I don’t play well with others

This is something I learnt many moons ago. I work better on my own. I work well alongside people but I’m just not much of a team player. I like things done a certain way; I don’t like being micro-managed; I like to just get on with things; I don’t like relying on other people; and I like my own company.

As a parent I’ve struggled at times to play well with my children. If they didn’t play with their toys the way I would have (as a child) I found myself biting my tongue and trying to roll with it. Who wants to be a dictatorial parent not letting their children play with their own toys the way they want to?!? But it wasn’t easy. And I often didn’t really have fun if I’m honest. I did it because I had to not because I wanted to.

As the girls have grown older this became less of an issue. I found myself spending a lot of time taking them to and from their various activities. We enjoy watching movies together. And when we play board games everyone expects it to be done a certain way, so it’s fun. Plus they are at an age where they like some alone time. So it has all kind of worked out.

Then last week my youngest wanted to help me decorate her birthday biscuits. She was super excited about the prospect. I, frankly, was dreading it. I knew she’d not follow my theme and would go and do her own thing. Whilst I highly commend her originality and uniqueness, it doesn’t really have a place in my biscuit making activities.

Plus she sings and hummmmmmms. That in and of itself may not be irritating, but I like to work in quiet. Between her yapping and singing and humming my head felt ready to explode.

I had to sit there and bite my tongue (it was very painful) because she was enjoying herself so much and I didn’t want to be a crappy mum. I admit that I did throw in a couple of “you really have to do it this way” and “you should never mix those two things!”. Just as I was kind of getting really annoyed about the whole thing (you’re not adhering to the theme!!!) it suddenly struck me that she wasn’t just having fun making biscuits, but she was also enjoying spending time with me and being able to share in something I was passionate about. Oh, and they were also her birthday biscuits!

I took a mental step back, told myself to chill out and relax. When I started doing that the unexpected thing was that I began to enjoy myself and HAVE FUN! I genuinely enjoyed her company, teaching her a few things (but not in a preachy way), and creating something together. I’m looking forward to next time. I’ve even invited the eldest one to join us!