Today I’m a bad parent because….

I have started a new series of blog posts. I am FED up of the way parents, and actually mothers, to be honest, are put under so much pressure, to be perfect and to have this parenting thing under control and be able to do it all, and the constant judgement we are under. This parenting job is HARD, we get no training, we don’t get paid, and we do it because we want to and love our children. Sometimes we don’t get it right, sometimes we get it more than right. We are all mostly just trying to do our best. I am tired of the “how to be a perfect wife, mother, craft provider, cleaning lady, cook…” stuff that gets flung at us every day. We need to take the guilt and throw it away and enjoy parenting, but also be able to admit when it’s not going so well, or might be a bit tough…

badparentToday I am a bad parent because I didn’t want to join in when my children were doing pretend play and asked me to come and play with them. In fact, I loathe pretend play and have never been good at it. I don’t dislike it when they play, I love watching them play imaginative games, with their toys and each other, but I just don’t want to join in. I don’t want to play at tea parties, or families, or “going to hospital” or “let’s be cats/dogs/jungle animals” and I do not want to dress up. I love seeing them enjoy themselves, I simply can’t get down there and play with them. I have tried, over countless years, as a nanny, with other people’s children, then with my own. Crafting (though I am terrible at it) baking, being outdoors, swimming, parties, dance classes, going places, spending time with them, I love, sitting in a play tent drinking a cup of grass supposed to be tea? I am just awful at. I will occasionally get involved and play, but I can only bear it for a few minutes and my children usually tell me to go away. I know I probably could make more effort, but I think I am pretty good at the other parts of parenting that make up for my lack of joy at imaginative play. Hopefully my children won’t need therapy because I didn’t play Frozen with them (well, I have been known to belt out “Let it go…” but they usually ask me to stop, and look horrified!) or wouldn’t play “let’s take all the dollies to the doctors and dress up the cat like a baby” (the cats are less than keen on pretend play, too, oddly enough!) I never liked imaginative play, even as a child, I found it boring and pointless, and would try to get out of games where we had to pretend to be something else, as fast as I could. Maybe I need therapy too? Oh wait… 😉 I just don’t get the fun, or why, so I don’t do it. 

So, that’s my bad parent confession for this week. Do you feel the same as me? Do share, there’s no shame here. Or do you think I should lip up and love pretend play and you want to donate to my kids future therapy?

Or if you have a completely different bad parent confession you want to get off your chest, feel free….

Posted in Family Life and Parenting and tagged bad parent, parenting, play with children.


  1. Think I’m gonna print it and hang it somewhere! THANK YOU! I hate playing with all those tiny figures from movies. And it is hard for me to act like a child even though I try hard… But the worst thing ever happend to me was all those good advices how to take care of your child, how to raise and so on, and then it turned out that the person who made me actually feel like a worse mum, does even worse things to her children… So… High five!

  2. My 4yo LOVES pretend play. All day long, nothing but. I spend my day as Captain Hook or a submarine captain or a hungry fox. I love his imagination and I know its valuable play but I also find it so draining!!! I’m looking forward to the day when the younger sibling can join in and take over my place in the games more.

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