I’ll be the first to admit it, I don’t play with my kids enough. There’s always something to do. Some meal to make or room to clean, somewhere to be or conversation that has been put off and needs to be had. My answer is often, “Just a minute, baby.” “I need to just finish this one thing.” “I’ll be right there.”
And I don’t think I’m always wrong. I do have meals to make and shit to clean, because ps even though there are rules about only eating at the table - every-damn-thing is sticky! All the time! Why? How did this happen? How are you and your hands and your face and your knees always covered in some disgusting gooey substance? Someone needs to keep us from living like a bunch of frat boys, because you small people are the reason we can’t have nice things!
Then, once in a while there is time and not vacation at a resort time, but good old fashioned time to spend with them just to play. Not at Jump-til-you-barf, not at the movies or an organized activity, just to actually play. And when these moments happen, they are magic.
We had a rare moment - we were away from the world, we had no internet and cell phone access, we had feet of fresh snow, tons of sleds, and two bad-ass mamas to play with these four little kids and boy did we play! We didn’t only play with them, we played along side of them. The daddies took off for the day and the mamas were tubing, sledding, building jumps, hauling kiddos behind the snowmobiles, and laughing our butts off.
We only went inside for hot cocoa and a bite to eat - plus a quick game of Guesstures (which by the way is way more fun with two adults) before heading back out for more. More tumbles into the powder, more doubled over in laughter, more freezing fingers and toes, and more play. And when the kids were too done for more, us mamas got the daddies fresh back from the river to suit up and pull us behind the snowmobile. We wanted our turn to try and make it around the track just once! (Mostly to show the children how it’s done.) And our kids watched from the warmth of the cabin in the picture window. They watched their mamas be bad asses. Have our own fun and teach them by example how life is to be lived.
Now we’re back, and while the wind burn has vanished from our cheeks and we’re back to changing sheets and cleaning toilets, and trying to get a meal on the table that everyone will not only eat but no one makes gagging sounds during, the play will stay with all of us. In our muscle fibers, in our laughter, and hopefully the kids will remember their mamas not only as the toilet cleaners and butt wipers but as the bad ass mamas who can whip the kids around a corner while they hold on for dear life and laugh like wild banshees.
Mama life is tough. There are schedules to keep and humans to keep alive. Mamas don't get enough time to be the "fun" ones. We have to be rules and regulations while so many others get to be the fun ones. Grandparents, auties and uncles, babysitters, and often our partner get to have all the fun. So, every once in a while with no guilt say fuck it. Get out in the snow or the sand or the grass and roll around with them. Get dirty, eat junk for lunch, let them have cookies first, and do it with abandon. You’ll thank yourself (and they’ll look at you just a little different - because who knew mama could be so WILD!?!?)