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How Come Parents Don’t Play With Their Kids?

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parents don't play with their kidsRB40Jr recently turned five and it feels like my time as a stay at home dad is rapidly coming to a close. He will start kindergarten in 6 months and I will have a lot more time to myself then. I guess it’s not coming to a close as much as going to the next chapter. Kids still need a lot of time and attention at this age. RB40Jr loves spending time with his mom and dad. We have a lot of fun together and everyone enjoys each other’s company. He is such a happy and mischievous 5 year old. I would hate to see him turn into a sulky teenager, but I suppose it’s inevitable. Anyway, I haven’t written about the stay at home dad aspect of my life for a while. I do have one question for you today – how come parents don’t play with their kids?

Parents don’t play with their kids

Do you play with your kids? When I go to pick up RB40Jr at preschool, we usually stay and play at the playground for about 30 minutes. Most of his friends get rushed off, but there are a few kids who hang out for a while. The parents would sit down at the benches and poke at their phones. I’m the only one running around with the kids. This is partly because I want to run around a little bit and increase my step count, but I also like playing with the kids. They loved being chased and most of the games are a variation of tag. We’d play freeze tag, zombie tag, rocket tag, shark tag, and What time is it Mr. Fox. I usually ask them what game they want to play and try not to direct them much. If they want to play by themselves, then that’s fine with me. I’d just walk around the playground; however, they usually want me to play, too.

I rarely see other parents actively play with the kids this way. They would push the swing if asked; otherwise they mostly keep apart from the kids. Is there a reason why parents don’t play with kids? It’s fun to chase the little munchkins around. Actually, it’s getting much harder to catch them now. Last year, I could tag them easily. They are a lot faster this year.

While I like playing with our kid, it would be too much work to play with him all day. He demands a lot of attention, but he can entertain himself more now, too. I’d play a board game with him for a bit and then send him to play with his Lego. I’d try to involve him in hands-on activities like cooking as well. If I’m really worn out, I’d let him watch cartoons for a bit while I crash out for a little while.

Anyway, I did a little research online and opinions seem to vary. Some people say it’s good to play with your kids, but some says it’s better to let them explore the environment and learn by themselves. I guess you do whatever is right for you. Also, some people just don’t like playing with kids. Some kids aren’t as lucky as RB40Jr. 🙂

Mrs. RB40 mentions the book – Bringing Up Bebe (affiliate link to Amazon.) Apparently, parents don’t play with their kid in France. They prefer to enjoy the company of adults and don’t revolve their lives around the kids.

Not washing hands

Oh man, RB40Jr is developing a bad habit of not washing his hands after going to the bathroom. I don’t know how this filthy habit came about. He always washed his hands when he was younger. Now, everyone has to remind him to wash his hands whenever he goes to the restroom. Yes, his teachers caught on without us having to tell them.

At home, he’d turn the water on and off to try to fool us. We still know he didn’t wash his hands because he turned the faucet off too quickly. There is no way he could wash his hands that fast. Pretty soon, he will figure out how to trick us better. Oh, that’s another thing. Lately, he’s having a blast playing tricks on people. “Ha ha, tricked you!” This guy is going to be a class clown when he grows up.

Patches

I’m a little embarrassed to report that RB40Jr is the only kid I’ve seen with patches on his pants. The problem is that he is so hard on his long pants. He does knee slides on the hard wood floor and seems to fall down regularly. I guess he runs at full speed all the time so he has less control. We got him 5 new pairs of pants in September and they are all ragged already. Mrs. RB40 doesn’t like to sew, and I don’t want to buy new pairs because it is almost time for shorts. Once the weather warms up, he’ll refuse to wear long pants. Actually, he’s already wearing shorts a few days a week in 55 degrees weather. I also don’t want to buy new pants because they won’t fit anymore by next winter. Kids grow so fast at this age. I guess we’ll have to buy a few pairs extra next winter so they will last a big longer. Am I being too cheap?

Back to preschool

That’s it this week. We had a wet and soggy spring break and didn’t do much other than having a couple of play dates. RB40Jr is going back to preschool next week. It will be his last quarter there and that will be it for preschool. Starting kindergarten will be a big step for him, but I’m sure he will adjust quickly.

Did you have a good spring break? Do you play with your kids at the playground?

Image by WalkingGeek

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{ 53 comments… add one }

  • Jim @ Route To Retire March 25, 2016, 5:46 am

    I see the same thing out there… I actually have friends that are like that as well – their kids are more of a burden than a blessing. I’ve been trying to figure out if this is an age thing. When some parents have kids earlier in life, I think they haven’t gotten past the “it’s all about me” phase instead of putting their kids first.

    And I’ll be honest – working makes this a lot harder (this is one of the reasons I’m ready for FIRE). I leave worked whupped every day, but once I get home, I turn it back on to have some fun with my daughter… some days more time than others. If you don’t that’s when you turn around and wonder where the time has gone and can be filled with regret.

    My wife is really the queen of this – though she is part-time. They were just at the playground yesterday and it seems like every time I talk to them before I get home from work, they’re out walking or playing or something.

    The good news is that we’re actually doing Daddy-Daughter day today and we’re leaving to go bowling here momentarily. Have a good Easter!!

    — Jim

  • PhysicianOnFIRE March 25, 2016, 5:57 am

    I think you’ve identified another benefit of an early retirement. Parents who put in a full days’ work don’t have the energy and/or time to devote to a whole lot of play. I like to play with my kids and I do, but not as much as I would like to. I don’t have the free time to do everything I want to do and need to do.

    Or maybe parents are just too busy reading retireby40.org.

    • Charlie March 25, 2016, 7:02 am

      That’s a good point. And the reason your kids like to play with you may just be because you’ve been able to spend more time with them which created a stronger bonding.

    • retirebyforty March 25, 2016, 11:09 am

      You’re right. Everyone is exhausted at the end of the work day and doesn’t have much energy left.

      • Mr. Tako @ Mr. Tako Escapes March 25, 2016, 1:17 pm

        I think that’s a lot of it Joe. There have been days when I was just too exhausted to play, so I totally understand why some parents just go and chill-out.

        Now that I’ve FIREd, I don’t exactly have much of an excuse! I better go get on those monkey bars and quit commenting on your posts! 😉

  • Pia March 25, 2016, 6:01 am

    I really enjoy your blog! I’m a mom of a 5 year old and a 3 year old. I used to get up and play with them all over the playground, but after reading about “helicopter parenting,” I realized I might be too involved. In our particular situation, it was getting to a point where I was directing too much, and my kids didn’t want to play by themselves, even at home.

    Since I’ve backed off a little, I realized that I feel more rested. I enjoy sitting on the park bench, getting some sun and drinking a coffee. I still watch them play, and try not to poke at my phone too much, but that’s more because I’m trying to poke at my phone less overall.

    Other folks’ situations may be totally different, so I try to keep an open mind about other parents at the park – whether they’re playing with the kids, poking at their phones, or just hanging out. The only thing I won’t tolerate is if their kid is bullying or aggressive and they just don’t care – that’s unacceptable.

    In terms of patched pants, we have the same challenge with our 5 year old’s pants. We just them off at the knee and turn all his jeans into shorts at summer time, and I do let him just occasionally wear ripped jeans to school. That’s still in style, right?

    • Nicoleandmaggie March 25, 2016, 6:55 am

      THIS. Don’t be a judgey mcjudgerpants.

    • retirebyforty March 25, 2016, 11:14 am

      I don’t want to be a helicopter parent either. I usually let the kids play whatever they want. I’m not a type A so I don’t like bossing them around much anyway.
      I guess it depends on your personality too. I can’t really just sit and relax. If I’m sitting down, I’d be on my phone. It’s better for me to be up and around while we’re out side. At home, it’s easier for me to tell him to go play.
      Yes, we are making them into shorts now. I wish Mrs. RB40 could hem, though. 🙂

  • Financial Nirvana Mama March 25, 2016, 6:04 am

    In the summer, I let my kids play in the playground, it’s my favourite way to get involved because I can play too:). I love the monkey bars and use it for a bit of a workout. Win win

    When I’m at home, I let the kids do free play until art time, which is another great way to play.

    But if you had to ask who is more fun -> daddy wins. He plays minecraft with them.

    • retirebyforty March 25, 2016, 11:15 am

      I love the monkey bars. It’s getting harder as I get older, though. At home, he always want me to play with him. However, he knows that I can’t play with him all the time and he can entertain himself a little longer now. It’s tough being the only child.

  • Pennypincher March 25, 2016, 6:14 am

    I see a lot of parents ignoring their kids on the phone too-very sad indeed. What kind of message are they sending the kid? You aren’t that important. Yes, we are busy reading RB40-ha,ha!
    I thank God my husband could come home and take over w/some play time at the end of the day, for a bit. He would lay on the couch and move Barbie dolls! Don’t knock it until you try it! All the dolls had great conversations! Dads can also use action figures for the boys. Lounging on the couch together, reading, works too! Kids just want time w/you. Doesn’t matter what it is that you are doing together-do it! Hang out/explore his new school playground during off hours too. Good prep for school in the fall.
    I used to scare my kid about germs in the bathrooms. I’d say Ewwww! Don’t touch anything! Too many germs! And use the paper towel to open the bathroom (public) door when leaving! Yuk. They eventually “get it”. Now she wipes down her airplane seat area w/wipes! Back to reading my past RB40 posts. Joe, this one you should send to parenting magazines! Added income! : )

    • retirebyforty March 25, 2016, 11:17 am

      Heh heh, kudos to the dad for playing while resting. Good idea about going to the new school playground. I will check it out.

  • Ty March 25, 2016, 7:13 am

    I’m fascinated at how different each one of my 4 kids are. Same parents, same upbringing, same almost everything, but absolutely unique. Amazing.

    I’m a hands-on parent, but some of my kids want me to play with them at the park, others do not. I take my signals from them. I will happily play if asked or if I feel like I should jump in, but otherwise as they get older I sit back more and more. The park is a great time and place, IMO, to learn social skills without me too close by.

    But honestly, I think a lot of moms & dads just see the park as a break for the parents, which I can understand and have no problem with.

    • retirebyforty March 25, 2016, 11:19 am

      I’m sure your right. Sometime we ask ourselves, where did he get this habit? We weren’t like that when we were little. It would be interesting to see how a sibling would compare, but Mrs. RB40 doesn’t want anymore kid.
      For me, the park is a good time to run around a bit.

  • M March 25, 2016, 7:24 am

    I like reading your blog – thank you! I was just gonna offer a bit of advice on the clothes – I always shop Salvation Army. It is soooo much cheaper than new clothes and you can get some nice stuff – you just have to look a little harder. At the one near our house pants are usually about $4 🙂

    • retirebyforty March 25, 2016, 11:21 am

      We usually go to a second hand kid clothing sale event, but there hasn’t been one for a while. I will check the Good Will. We haven’t been there in a while. The last time we went, we didn’t find anything good for boys. I think boys just wear out their cloths too much. I know we won’t be able to donate our kid’s cloth.

  • Retired and Sailing March 25, 2016, 7:31 am

    On the pants, I used to let my son just wear them with the ragged knees. He’d outgrow them soon anyway, and his friends did the same so there was no social pressure. Alternatively, you could cut them off for shorts, or pick up a few cheap intact pairs at a second hand store, to get through the school year. Patching is a great idea, but a little more work.
    I love your blog, Joe! I’ve been reading it for years. I retired early, but later than 40. I wish I’d had your guidance years ago, but happy to have it now.

    • retirebyforty March 25, 2016, 11:22 am

      I think his school is in a nicer area. None of the kids have patches on their pants or ragged knee. We will cut them into shorts soon. Thanks for the compliment. Enjoy your retirement!

  • middle class revolution March 25, 2016, 7:36 am

    I definitely think it’s not something you can really judge. Parents on their phone may just need a break. Maybe they played with their kids at home. Maybe their kid prefers to play with other kids! I like to let my kids explore on their own and I wish they were interested in playing with other kids more often! I am a bit too much of a helicopter-parent because i’m literally 3 steps behind one or the other at all times. I think a playground is a great time for kids to explore the “world” outside their home/comfort zone.

    • retirebyforty March 25, 2016, 11:23 am

      I encourage our kid to explore on his own too. He does that for a while, but he also likes playing with me. He likes playing with other kids too.

  • Money Beagle March 25, 2016, 7:46 am

    We do a lot of camping over the summer and typically go to campgrounds where there are lakes. As such our kids play in the water a lot. We’ll go in with them and play but never stay in as long as they do (kids, can in fact, stay in there forever, it seems *lol*). One time last summer, I decided to stay in there with them and played with them for hours. We played ball. We swam. We looked for treasures. We chased each other. It was one of the best afternoon’s of my life.

    • retirebyforty March 25, 2016, 11:24 am

      Thanks for sharing. It’s hard for adults to keep up with the kids! They have so much energy. I’m glad you had a memorable afternoon with the kids.

  • Mike Drak March 25, 2016, 7:50 am

    Hate to admit it publicly but one of my biggest regrets is not spending more time playing with the kids as they grew up. The job was all encompassing, highly stressful and I had a hard time decompressing at the end of each day. Did the work day really end it seemed like work or thinking about work was 24/7. Now I spend my time trying to make up for my past mistakes, spending my fun money on adventures with my family. I’ve come to understand that it’s crazy to work so hard if it negatively impacts the reason we do it, the family.

    • retirebyforty March 25, 2016, 11:27 am

      Thanks for sharing. I hope you are enjoying more family time now. It’s can be difficult to switch mode. I guess it really depends on the job.

  • Erik @ Hippies de Land Rover March 25, 2016, 7:59 am

    Many time people forget that kids will grow fast!! RB40Jr is already 5!

    Working late hours to be back home and continue working or blogging gives so little time for parents to play with their kids. You’re blessed man! being at home gives you that privilege of enjoying your kid all the time.
    Great for you! 🙂
    Cheers!
    ERik

    • retirebyforty March 25, 2016, 11:27 am

      Thanks! Time really flies. Pretty soon he will be a teenager and he won’t want to spend anytime with us. That’s why I want to maximize my time with him now.

  • Tuan March 25, 2016, 8:14 am

    It depends. The term “play” may be not a good choice. I have 3 kids, we played at he playground up until they were about age 8. As they grow up, we spent more time at ice cream shop, hiking, biking, shopping …
    I still spend time with them but no longer play with them. In fact, I have a appointment for lunch with them (just as my friends), then will decide what to do in the afternoon.
    They are 15, 12 and 10 now. I do spend more time with the 15 year old now because we have common outdoor interests.

    • retirebyforty March 25, 2016, 11:29 am

      I’m sure they will develop more interest as they get a little older. It’s great that you’re still spending time with the teenagers.

  • David Michael March 25, 2016, 9:26 am

    I think we all do it differently, depending on our circumstances. I found the magical years are between 6 and 13. In my case, after a fresh divorce, I had the kids for long holidays and over the summer. Fortunately, I had a small company involved in adventure travel, so we spent every summer travelling to some nature outpost of the world like Alaska, New Zealand, or biking in Europe. We were together 24/7 for weeks. Now that they have their own kids, I look back at those days as the very best.

    Enjoy each moment together for they disappear all too fast. Unfortunately, work in this America of today often robs us of these precious opportunities. Like working out, it takes commitment to spend time with the kids and play and travel with them. And then …flash…they are all grown up starting a new family of their own. Amazing! And… life moves on.

    • retirebyforty March 25, 2016, 11:30 am

      That’s fantastic. Thanks for sharing. I think between 6 and 13 is a great period too. They can do a lot more things and remember them. Time really flies.

  • amber tree March 25, 2016, 9:38 am

    A lot of what you see sounds familiar.

    At the playground, I love to play with them. I join them on the high slides and the adventurous trails. I also encourage them to go out and play with the 2 of them or try to meet new kids.

    Do not feel bad on the patches. Our kids have them as wel. The reason? when playing, they give 120pct: crawling, jumping, sliding… It is hard for the cloths

    • retirebyforty March 25, 2016, 11:32 am

      I never see any parents on the slides. I guess it’s a size issue. I’m relatively small so I can still go through most of the playground. Kids are so rough on their cloth.

  • Stockbeard March 25, 2016, 10:23 am

    I’ll be honest, when I come back from work on weekdays, the last thing I want to do is play with my kids. It sucks, but that’s the way I feel. And on weekends, I also like to have some time for myself, which I rarely do. The result is that I think of playing with my kids as a chore rather than something I truly enjoy. The exceptions are when we play video games together, or watch a movie, or play board games. Those are geeky activities that we enjoy together, but I’m very well aware they are not as healthy as running around.

    My kid’s favorite activity is to fight. He’ll take a stick of wood and pretend it’s a sword, then ask me to play the bad guy. It’s exhausting, neverending, lacks creativity, and he hits hard. I used to love fighting with friends as a kid, but I find the activity so boring nowadays 😛

    I’m glad that you enjoy playing outside with your kid. I think being a stay-at-home dad has a lot to do with that, and it’s one of the reason I want to FIRE. I think playing with my kids should be something I’d enjoy, but I’ll start enjoying it only when I feel it’s not impacting my “own” free time.

    I’m sure people will feel I might be a bad father for valuing my own free time much higher than the time I spend with my kids, I know my wife doesn’t like it when I say it so directly, but this is how I feel about it 🙂

    Great post, I think it’s an interesting problem to discuss.

    • retirebyforty March 25, 2016, 11:36 am

      Thanks for sharing and being honest. It’s hard to be enthusiastic about anything when you’re worn out. Mrs. RB40 is trying her best, but sometime she feels the same as you do. Fighting all the time doesn’t sound like much fun for adults. Maybe you can channel the energy to something else?
      Don’t feel too bad. I’m sure you will enjoy spending more time with your kids after FIRE.

  • Justin March 25, 2016, 10:35 am

    I’m probably one of those guilty parents you see sitting on the sidelines watching the kids play. 🙂 Although this morning I was tricked into racing my 3 year old on his bike for a while so I still play with them. Most of our playing together time is inside stuff. Board games, coloring, arts/crafts projects, learning stuff, exploring online, video/computer games, etc. We busted out a 1000 piece puzzle last weekend and spent literally all day (well noon till 11 pm) putting it together with hardly any breaks other than to make pad thai.

    Enjoy your time with your 5 year old. I think the 4-5 age range is the best time with kids. They’re still loving and nice but also still little kids. As they get older it’s still fun (and much easier!) but there’s nothing like watching your toddler turn into a little boy as he learns complex speech, new skills, independence, and autonomy. Ours is about to turn 4 and it’s a really great time right now!

    • retirebyforty March 25, 2016, 11:38 am

      Actually, I’m not as good when playing inside. We rarely do arts & crafts at home. At least he has those activities at school. We usually play board game, Lego, and some video games. I hope the 5-10 year old period will be good too. I don’t have high hope for the teenage years…

  • MrFireStation March 25, 2016, 11:35 am

    Our son is now 18 years old (only child) and we are in Florida for the final couple days of Spring Break. In a handful of weeks, he will graduate from high school, start his full-time summer job, and head off for college in August. We’ll be empty nesters, looking back on 18 years that REALLY went FAST. I’m early retiring (@49) in one more week and despite the happiness that comes with that, I am quite wistful about our son leaving home. The good news is when I look back on the last 18 years I can say we FULLY enjoyed him growing up. We participated in the good and the bad – the school projects, the sports activities, the band concerts, and Boy Scouts. Drink it up everyone – you’ll look back with no regrets!

    • Pennypincher March 26, 2016, 2:09 pm

      I agree w/MrFireStation 100%. The time flies by. And they will never forget how involved you were in their lives. You are leaving a legacy this way, and hopefully they will be the same w/their kids someday. Life balance is challenging and important-like time for oneself. But you’ll look back and say, you know what? I really enjoyed a lot of those activities w/my kid and I sort of miss them now! Yes, you will have no regrets, looking back, for sure.

  • Linda March 25, 2016, 3:57 pm

    I think it’s awesome that you run around the playground with your child. I don’t think that’s something you’ll ever regret, and it will create some great memories for your kid.

  • Catwoman73 March 25, 2016, 8:10 pm

    My husband tends to play with our daughter a lot more than I do, but this is because he is just better at it. She loves pretend play- you know, doing her dolls’ voices and stuff. I absolutely HATE that stuff, but my husband is fantastic at it. I am more than happy to sit back and watch them, and I feel no guilt about it, because my role in the family is different. I’m the one with my finger on the pulse of everthing that is going on with my family. I am the organized one- the one with 20 balls in the air all at once. I plan fun vacations, and make sure that our daughter has a great March break and summer vacation. I spend hours sleeping with her when she has a nightmare- I am the dragon slayer! So, we may not play together much, but I feel that what I am able to do with her and for her is just as important as the play time.

    That being said, if she wants to bake, play a board game, play video games, colour, do a craft, try a fun science experiment or some other totally structured activity, it is me that she turns to, and I am more than happy to do it. I enjoy that kind of activity much more than free play. Hubby and I have very different roles in our family, and it works really well for us. 🙂

    • Pennypincher March 26, 2016, 2:13 pm

      Your post is excellent, Catwoman! Well said!

  • Tom March 26, 2016, 3:16 am

    I read somewhere that if you don’t play with your kids it’s your loss. They will grow up and enjoy themselves anyway, with or without you. Of course, every kid is an individual, with individual needs, but I think there is some merit to it. If you don’t bond with your kids, it’s your loss, not theirs.

  • Dividendsdownunder March 26, 2016, 6:14 pm

    I really like this little snippet into the life of RB40Jr’s life and how he’s growing up. Although we don’t have kids yet here at Dividends Down Under, we are definitely working towards it (about to go through IVF) and seriously looking forward to having little humans in our life – even the cheeky lying about not washing hands! I remember when I was very young I used to “trick” my mum that I’d washed my hair – for some reason I hated doing it.

    I think it speaks fantastically of your love for being a parent that you have so much to say on the blog about it, some parents are sadly so involved in their own lives that they have lost touch with their children’s interests and how they change so much as they grow. Being able to spend lots of time as a family is one of my biggest motivations to keep working towards financial independence and retiring early.

    Jasmin

    • retirebyforty March 28, 2016, 9:57 am

      Good luck with the IVF. I know it can be difficult.
      Thanks for the compliment. It’s a privilege to spend this much time with my kid. Not many dads have a chance to do that. I’m very thankful.

  • Tawcan March 26, 2016, 8:37 pm

    It’s your loss if you don’t play with your kids, they grow up so quickly. That’s why I try to spend as much time with Baby T1.0 as possible. It’s so easy to whip out your phone and check out what’s happening “out there.” Instead we should focus on what’s in front of us and be present. I guess checking on your phone is easier than making an effort to socialize with other people around you or playing with your kids.

    • retirebyforty March 28, 2016, 9:58 am

      I agree. I can’t believe RB40Jr is already 5. He will be a teenager very soon and want more independence. Enjoy your time with the kids while you can.

  • Eric Bowlin March 27, 2016, 6:52 am

    I think we all struggle with it from time to time. There always seems to be something more important to do than to “play.” You have important emails, work, news to catch up on…

    But really, playing with your kids is more than just playing. It’s part of their development and it’s really important for them. It’s developing their imagination, dexterity or physical stamina, coordination etc… We should all make sure we take some time to help our children develop!

    • retirebyforty March 28, 2016, 9:55 am

      Life is so busy too. Sometime when you get home from a full day, you just don’t have the energy to keep up with the kids. There is still the weekend, though. We need to enjoy our time with the kids while they are young. They will grow up very soon.

  • Michael @ Financially Alert March 28, 2016, 2:35 am

    Hey Joe,
    One of the reasons I sold my company a few years ago and took an early retirement was so that I could play with my kids everyday. I don’t regret it one bit. I know this time to play with them is finite, so I do my best to soak up each experience no matter how trivial the activity may seem at the time. It’s also a huge opportunity cost (income I’d otherwise be making), so that is additional incentive to max my play time with them. 🙂

    P’S. I used to trick my parents too with running water so they thought I was washing my hands… Now I’m obsessed with washing them. So hang in there, he’ll figure it out. 😉

  • Paul N March 29, 2016, 9:49 am

    As a person who decided not to have kids I can attest to your post being 100% correct. I can’t tell you how many times I have pulled out my hockey stick from my back seat or joined a street basketball game in my neighborhood with OPK’s. (other peoples kids) The comments I hear like my dad won’t get off the couch”, or “can you stay longer”, “can you play with us tomorrow”. It’s endless…

    As a non parent, I have to say i have been really surprised by the above, and some of these kids changed my outlook on kids getting a bad rap for playing too many video games or being “entitled”, lazy, etc. Sure one or two kids you want to cuff across the head, but the other 8/10 are great. I don’t think parents even realize the time they are missing out on, not taking a half hour out of their day to spend with their little ones…

    • retirebyforty March 29, 2016, 11:21 am

      Thanks for your comment. Playing sports with kids is hitting two birds with one stone. You get to spend time with the kids and you get some exercise too. All kids are super active when they are 5. 🙂

  • Revanche March 29, 2016, 2:03 pm

    We take LB to the park every so often and ze is still too little to play alone but we don’t mind, it’s fun doing the rounds with hir. We’ll take our cue from hir when ze gets older, though I suspect that resting will be a big feature of our time out too. I take hir out for walks with the dog and play during the day a lot, because like everyone points out: They grow up SO fast. We only have this time together so I can either be distracted and stressed about it, not enjoying either my work or my kid, or I can focus and enjoy what’s in front of us.

    Having a kid later in life means we’re both much more tired, so I envy parents who did it earlier a LITTLE bit but I have the financial means to relax with LB at this age that I’d never have had when I was younger.

    It’s interesting how engaged kids are when a new adult is in the vicinity, though. They may not want to play with their parents but our friends’ kids were definitely gung-ho about playing with us when we visited.

    • retirebyforty March 30, 2016, 10:50 am

      I don’t envy people that had kids early at all. They are still trying to figure out life. Throwing a kid in there makes it a lot more difficult. I was the right decision for us to have a kid in our late 30s. Just about perfect timing. 🙂
      Yes, kids love playing with adults especially after they’ve been playing with other kids all day. It’s a change of pace.

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