What it definitely ISN’T is a smug “look at me, aren’t I a super mum doing all these fabulous games with my kids” type of blog. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with celebrating yourself as a Mother but I cannot bear smugness. Because as any parent will know, smugness always occurs just before your baby projectile vomits in your face, or your toddler smashes headfirst into the wall as you chase them laughing. And Supermum isn’t real. And if she is, I am CERTAINLY not her. (I recently drove my 3 year old to playgroup naked because he absolutely refused to get dressed. True story.)
So what is it? Well, I personally think every parent has their “zone”. We will all excel at certain parts of parenting. Some will be awesome when they’ve got a tricky teenager, some people are magical with tiny babies, some people are good are thinking up fun games for pre-school age. That’s me. I found newborn babies almost unbearably difficult, but chatty, active 2-5 years olds? That’s my bag. Everything else is about survival and making the most of it.
So what I really wanted to do was just, sort of, help out in a small way. On those boring rainy days when you’re all out of ideas. The day is dragging on forever (how is it only 1.30pm???) you can’t go outside because it’s pissing it down again. You want to do fun things but you don’t want to add more chaos to your already destroyed house or scroll Pintrest for ideas because you don’t have a glue gun, rainbow stickers and 75 toilet rolls . But then you feel bad. Like you’ve failed. “I want to be FUN MUM who teaches them useful things” you think, “but I just can’t be arsed.”
…And that’s where I want to step in. With quick, easy games you can do with stuff you most likely already have at home. You can whizz through the ideas and choose one that your kids might like. Set it up in five minutes and perhaps they might enjoy it. They might engage with it. They might not. But if they don’t your sanity isn’t lost (hey, you tried and no glue guns were purchased unnecessarily) and if they love it and play for 5 minutes (maybe the heady heights of 15 whole minutes) then you can feel GOOD. I AM A FUN MUM/DAD/GRANDPARENT! I TAUGHT THEM SOMETHING TODAY! Turn what might have felt like a crappy day into an OK one.
Then we can all stick on Blaze and the Monster Machines or Peppa Pig guilt-free and reward them with custard creams thinking “I’ve done my bit”. Later when the other parent asks “what did you do today?’ you can say, we played this game and learnt the letter F. You might even allow yourself a proud grin (but never smug or else your child will tell them F is for Fuckit)
So that’s all it is. More than ever we are conscious that people find this parenting lark hard, lonely, boring at times. We ALL do. I’m not here to preach or tell you how to bring up your kids (taking a nude child to a leisure centre achieves nothing). But when you’re stuck, maybe this little page of ideas might help. And if it does? Then good on you. Oh, and let me know please!