UNorganized Activity – Having Fun with your Kids

I was talking to my friend today – a fellow stay-at-home mom of three kids – and she made me feel guilty. How? By telling me about how much fun she had with her kids last night having a half hour dance/pillow party. When is the last time I did this? My kids have, for sure. Their days are full of pillow forts, hide-the-stuffed animal games, dance parties, the sleeping bag game ( a death-defying act of going down the stairs in your sleeping bag – highly discouraged and dangerous – do not bring this into your home), pillow fights and the like.

My husband will occasionally participate in these games as he is the fun dad. Captain Fun. Mr. throw the kids in the pool – tickle monster – pillow fighting – Fun. I am Mrs. No-Fun. Mrs. empty the dishwasher – do the laundry – make dinner – clean up the bedrooms – make sure we schedule the dentist, the hair, the doctor appointments – and get there. Mrs. let’s do your reading – sit down and get your speech homework – piano practice time! – where is your binder – did you do all of your homework – I need to buy index cards – we need to buy the soccer snack………….

I was a very good mom activity-wise when my kids were very little. When we were home we would read, play Lego’s, color. I loved to take them to open gymnastics, the library, the playground. Now that they are in school, when they are home I am either a) getting them to do some required activity (homework, picking up their room, practice of some sort) or b) taking care of the house while they play together. I obviously need to let the housework go and join in. The other day my middle daughter asked, “Mom, why don’t you play Wii with us like Dad does?” I wanted to say “Because your father would like to move into a video arcade and I am busy making dinner,” but instead I said we would play that night.

My wise friend today reminded me that kids will remember the pillow fights with me, not the folded laundry. I am going to try and join in my kids’ fun rather than get things done. At least some of the time :-). How do you have unorganized fun with your kids?

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Rachael Ray