I never used to play with my kids. Like—never. You’d never peg me as the “fun mom,” that is for sure.
I felt a little guilty, but I reasoned that I was too busy , “mature,” and old.
I was reading some healthful living blogs, completely unrelated to parenting, which mentioned learning (or re-learning) to play as part of a healthy life, specifically re-learning how to enjoy movement. In answer to questions about exercise, one suggested, “Just MOVE.”
What? You don’t have to torture yourself to exercise?
So I started playing with my kids. Running barefoot in the grass. Climbing up ladders. Sliding. Hanging upside down.
They were so happy and excited.
It felt, and feels, stiff and awkward. I remember when I stopped playing like a kid. My family started wearing only long dresses for religious reasons. (Not knocking dresses, I still love them.) Our close friends had built an amazing swing set. I loved the feeling of flying into the air on that swing, until I felt my dress fly up too. I loved to run, and I could run faster than the little boys, but I stopped when my dress flew up above my knees. I stopped climbing ladders and hanging upside down for obvious reasons. I always said I could do anything in a dress that I could do in jeans, but it wasn’t exactly true.
So I didn’t do any of those things any more.
It is so much fun to run, swing, climb, and slide. It is so much fun to hear my little ones giggle and beg me to stay out a little longer. It is so much fun to feel the grass under my bare feet and the sunshine on my skin. I feel better, more limber and strong. Small aches and pains have gone away. It’s a happy thing to learn to move again.
So, based in my own experience, I advise you to go play like a kid again! Highly recommended!