When It’s Hard to Be “Play Mom”

It’s hard for me to be the play mom. 

I think it might be because of my family of origin, but I sometimes have a tough time connecting with my children.

That’s a scary thing for me to write, but it’s true. I really have to work extra hard to make sure I dedicate special time with my kids. I have to make a conscious effort to put down my phone, to look in their little faces, and to really listen.

I have to work to partake in the activities they enjoy. Sometimes that means I sit down to play video games and listen to a Ted Talk about Minecraft, even though I know nothing about either. But that’s really the key piece, is to explore and understand their interests. And often that means in order to care, we have to fake it until we make it. 

As parents, we have to lead our children through difficult lessons. And it can be exhausting! For me as a homeschool parent, teaching my kids things like handwriting and math can prove to be quite the challenge – for both of us. It’s my job to guide them through, and it takes a lot of patience as we work through complaints and frustrations.

So it’s important to balance out the frustrating moments with special connection time. Especially when I may not know how to be the “play mom”.

When my kids and I have a special time to connect, it needs to feed both of our souls. In our house, it’s usually making art together, going outside in the garden, going outside and building/ destroying with sticks. I take the time to listen to their games, stories, and challenges they have figured out and solutions they’ve created. I listen to their artistic statements about the series of dragon paintings they’ve made.

I listen, make sure they feel heard, and deepen that connection. This activity feeds all of our souls, and what I hope will truly make my children feel loved and be fond memories they look back on. 

Even if that means I’m not exactly a “play mom”. 

How do you connect with your children deeply? What was your catalyst for doing so?

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Julia Wells
Julia is a Jersey girl turned Okie! She graduated from MICA with a BFA. She moved to Oklahoma, her husband's home state, almost ten years ago. Seven years ago, her family moved to the country and bought a farm. She runs the day to day operations of the farm, The Humble Hive Homestead, where they raise poultry, pork and beef for the community. Julia also home schools their two boys. When not wrangling 2 and 4 legged critters, she enjoys quilting, reading, and creating custom art. She has a big garden, loves food preservation and cooking. She loves coffee with way too much cream and sugar.


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