10 Rules of The Playground

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There are certain things about childhood that I’m finding are even better the second time around. Grilled cheese sandwiches, for example. I was never that fond of them during my own youth, but find them completely irresistible now. Fireflies, rainbows and sandcastles also top the list of things I enjoy even more than my children. And, then there are the things I loved as a kid, but as a grown up, dread with every fiber of my being. Topping that list? The playground.

Now, I don’t hate everything about the playground. Of course, I do recognize the value of having some place to burn off steam that doesn’t involve bouncing on my bed or running around the house like a crazed lunatic, but my children just seem to make it as annoying as it can possibly be.

They want me to run around and play chase, to push them on the swings and to go down the slides with them. When I said that the playground was good for blowing off steam, I meant for them, while I play on my iPhone and sip my latte watching from the sidelines. What’s up with the mothers chasing and rolling all around with their kids? Isn’t that the job of the other kids there? I don’t get it.

So, as long as we are going to keep frequenting playgrounds, I’ve decided to come up with some ground rules so my children known exactly where I stand. Hopefully it will make the experience as painless as possible…

1. I will not push you endlessly on the swing. If you want to swing, learn to pump.

2. I will not swing from bars. I am not a monkey.

3. I do not go down slides (for fear of my ass getting stuck mid-way.)

4. We are not playmates. At the playground, I have my friends and you have yours.

5. Sandboxes are evil. Stay away from them at all costs.

6. Hide and seek anywhere but home isn’t fun for mommy. Don’t even think about it.

7. There is no need to yell “LOOK AT ME!!!” every three seconds. I’m (half) watching. And, if I miss that particular slide dismount, I’ll catch the next one.

8. Don’t ask me to play on the see-saw. I don’t need to be reminded that I weigh more than all of you combined.

9. Don’t do anything that will result un an ER visit. Or, we may never comeback.

10. Don’t tell me you are bored. I guarantee you’ll be more bored at home.

Still want to go play, kids?

About the writer


What started as an innocent on-line baby book to chronicle Jill Smokler’s stay-at-home days with her children, quickly transformed into a vibrant community of parents, brought together by a common theme: Parenting doesn’t have to be perfect. Welcome to Scary Mommy!


Angela 2 years ago

So glad I read this post from the “9 Worst Playground Parents!” Glad to see you mock both “left and right wing parents” equally well!! :). LOVE IT!

Ryan D 2 years ago

I have a 20 month old and I’m a newbie to the whole playground scene ( as well as the whole stay at home mom gig). I’m not totally comfortable socializing with other moms yet and it’s mostly because of all these unspoken rules and all this judgement. I feel like I’m the new kid in school and I’m trying to find a spot to sit in the lunchroom for the first time. It’s very intimidating to me but I’m pushing myself to get out more with her because she loves to be outdoors playing and socializing. I guess I’m one of those helicopter moms but more because my child is so active and wants to climb everything but she’s not quite big enough to do it all herself yet. So I totally understand not loving every moment of this. I also sometimes wish moms could be less judgy and know we’re all in this together ( and some of us are new at this and don’t share their confidence!) So the next time you see that mom who’s right on top of her kid the whole time, maybe take into account that she’s a little new at this and perhaps a little intimidated as well. just another side of the coin I guess. I learn more and more each day!

jennygoat 3 years ago

I usually love to play with the kids at the playground. But my ass did get stuck on the slide, right after some little kid told me my butt was too big .

christina 3 years ago

we have a pond with ducks at our park. we don’t go unless i have other adults with me to help watch for fear of having to go “swimming” unexpectedly due to a slip trying to catch a duck. who ever thought a pond+small children=good idea is an idiot.

natalie 4 years ago

it is the best thing int he whole world watching you kid pump and you don’t have to !!! now for tying shoes after taking the sand out

Melinda 4 years ago

What? Wiping your bum for the first two years of your life isn’t enough? Now you want me to lift you onto the monkey bars? Lift yourself, kid. How else are you going to build the muscles you’ll need to push my wheelchair when I’m old?

sahmnexdoor 4 years ago

LOL so true! good to know I am not the only one…

Liz 4 years ago

Girls- I am still LOL at “fruit of my ute!”

Lollie ~ The Fortuitous Housewife 4 years ago

Don’t they get it — I’ve already dragged my sorry, dimpled, jiggly ass to the gym. I may need another workout, but I don’t want another workout. Thank you very much!

What don’t they understand — this is my lazy, slack ass mom way of burning off their excess energy!

Good Enough 4 years ago

Thank you – used to feel so guilty about hating the park. Honestly, looking back, it was the most depressing part of motherhood. (what sane mother wouldn’t love frolicking w/ her kids at the park?!)

One last rule: when it’s time to go, it’s time to f-ing go! Can’t tell you how many public scenes I’ve made by playing like I would leave w/o them. Always backfired!

Nicole Martel 4 years ago

LMAO. These are great :) I agree with all of the above :)

Katina Michelis 4 years ago

I thought the post was absolutely perfect!! Reading the comments is shocking…

MangoChutney 4 years ago

Exactly!!I think you mustve heard the conversation I had with the kids before we went to the park. The park is to play with our electronically devices and not engage in any conversation with anybody, because that’s just funner( yes I said funner).

Tracy Larson 4 years ago

Too funny! Thanks for the humor Jill!

Carol 4 years ago

One question for the “Supermoms”:
Do you expect the recess monitors to play with your kids in elementary school?

2BsMama 4 years ago

When I was a kid my mom NEVER played at the playground! Her and my aunt sat with their Dunkin Donuts and let us work it out. I’m a tremendous mom in every other aspect of my kids lives. Getting in the dirt is dad’s job. There’s a reason I had my boys 13mos apart. Push each other on the swings, same weight for see saw, make one or he other eat dirt or team up against that kid thats way to old to cry sbout the small plastic slide being too scary. Just leave me out of it. Unless you’re bleeding or a bone’s gone crooked. Then I’ll put my Dunks down and we’ll talk.

    2BsMama 4 years ago

    My cousins and I were also only allowed 3 “Look at me’s” per day. Ma wasn’t easily impressed.

The Cheeky Kea 4 years ago

God I hate swings!! Seriously, how hard is it to learn!?

Jessica 4 years ago

I thought I was the only one who didn’t like pushing my kids on the swings. Can we start some sort of campaign to just remove swings all together?

    ButteryMuffyn 3 years ago

    Our local park recently removed all the swings because apparently they are dangerous. True story.

Autherine 4 years ago

The playground is great fun for my boys but not much fun for me because I am pushing the 3 year old on the swing while making sure that the older boys don’t do anything that will require a trip to the ER. Parents are cranky, also. I recently overheard a dad yelling at his 4 year old daughter, “Don’t let that kid get in front of you again, you need to learn to stand up for yourself.”

Alyssa 4 years ago

Excellent set of rules… now to make the big one read it… :)

nnf5angels 4 years ago

Jill I love your posts. Every single one of them! And I applaud you for being REAL. A lot of us struggle with trying to be the perfect mom and we all need a break at times. For those who don’t like, agree, or think we are all awful for feeling what we feel…don’t come on this site. We all love our children and would give our lives for them. That doesn’t mean we need to spend our every waking moment attending to their every single need even though we already to that anyway! If you can’t have fun and stop judging others this is not a site for you to be a part of!

kellie | sunwear for kids 4 years ago

Kids these days don’t often go to playgrounds anymore. They most of the time stay at home in front of these new tech gadgets. I’ll be glad if my kid ask me to go to the park and play. Afterall, they should be doing that. So they can have a full enjoyment of their childhood. :)

Kim at Not My Mom’s Blog 4 years ago

Very applicable to my playground rules as well! We have one more:

11. Don’t ask me for a snack or drink. If you’re that parched and hungry, you’re running around and screaming way too much.

Kristen Brakeman 4 years ago

First of all, nice to see Corey Feldman chiming in. Love this website.

His dad point of view reminds me that sometimes when my kids were younger he would take them to playground, but then suddenly the kids didn’t want to go anymore. I asked them why and they said, “It’s no fun, Daddy turns into the Playground Sheriff and reprimands all the other kids.”

Imperfectmomma 4 years ago

Ugh. Still at the stage where I haftaplay with the kids at the playground. I’m looking forward to the time where they can reach the steps by themselves.

When I Blink 4 years ago

Don’t eat anything you find on the playground; and if you do, for the love of God, don’t spit it out and show it to me.

Lynn Kellan 4 years ago

I’d also like to add rule #11: If you have to pee, DON’T.

Crystal Ponti 4 years ago

OMG! I think you nailed this for 90 percent of the moms out there! I’m too damn tired to swing, slide or climb. I’m almost too tired to watch these days.

Johanna 4 years ago

Mommy doesn’t do kid play is a rule in our house. I will read, talk, go for walks, shuttle them to and fro and play certain board games but that’s it. In fact, we’ve had long discussions (because that’s on my list of acceptable activities;)) about how play for grown ups is different. I don’t expect them to wax poetic over brussel sprouts roasted in salt and olive oil and they can’t expect me to get down on the floor and try to put rubber clothes on Polly Pockets.

Just Jennifer 4 years ago

Oh the “look at me-s”! Drives me nuts. You’re absolutely right. The playground is where we take them so they can run amok without it ruining the house. They should not need our attention at the park.

Candy 4 years ago

It’s actually the *other* kids on the playground that get on my nerves. Can we write some rules for them? Such as:

1) Don’t steal my kid’s sand bucket and pretend you don’t hear me when I politely request its return.
2) Don’t play in the section designated for babies and toddlers when you are TWELVE YEARS OLD.
3) Don’t angrily tell me the swing is “YOURS!” after I just put my child in it. Then I will I have no choice but to leave my child in the swing for as long as he likes and laugh as you stand off to the side and sulk. (BWA-HA-HAAAAAA!)

Denise 4 years ago

Maybe moms need to state the age of their little ones…following a 2year old around a playground with equipment that isn’t all the right age is more realistic. Following a six year old, not so much. I was never happier than when my boy was big enough to handle the park on his own. He’d much rather chase a kid he just met than me anyway. As for swings, they’re usually all full…and we have one at home. And that’s dads job anyway,he’s more fun.

Kirsten@BarkingDogShoes.com 4 years ago

My super-involved tag-playing, hide and seek mommy friends always wondered why my kid could pump on a swing a year before their kids.

sleevienicks 4 years ago

I have lost 100lbs in the last 10 months and I am thankful that I CAN get up and play on the playground equipment with my 3yo daughter. That being said, I do enjoy sitting on the sidelines and watching her try to make friends too – she is painfully shy and so I try to encourage her to go out on her own and just try to talk to the other kids. What really chaps my ass is rude, selfish little brats whose parents did not care enough about to instill any manners in. Those are the kids who make our trips to the playground hellish. I honestly don’t care if parents play with their kids on the playground or just watch from the benches. I’m just glad that this year I can actually get my (not so) fat ass up from that bench now and run and play with my little girl when she asks me to.

Motherhood on the Rocks 4 years ago

I detest the playground too! My daughter is such a little daredevil and usually ends up with a black eye or fat lip… not fun

seerofthespoiled 4 years ago

I loved this blog! It was hilarious, I didn’t care for the “pat myself on the back” mothers who fail to see the humor in child rearing. When my girls were little I pushed them on the swing, took them down the slide and climbed on the jungle gym.
Once they were a little bigger and before they were in school, the playground was where they learned a great many of life’s lessons such as how to get along with others, to be polite and learn to share, to work as a team even when you don’t like somebody, and to learn that not every request will be immediately gratified if at all. In a world where there is so much use of email, texting and no face to face communication I find it extemely important to instill these things in my children by letting them be children. The end result so far is that I am raising two very gracious, polite, intelligent, and caring human beings who know how to let it all hang out or can walk into any class restaurant by themselves and be secure and confident. So stand there by the swings pushing your children on end if you want, but when they talk like adults at age 6 and have adjustment problems in school don’t say you werent warned to let your kids be kids and act like kids not like little cloned versions of yourselves including the good sense to shut your trap when your opinions are unwanted.

WildAss 4 years ago

Um I LOVE the term crotch fruit thank you very much! I’m cracking up over here! Mutters, “crotch fruit”… Immature giggling ensues. My loves are also my crotch fruit. Seems the two terms could go hand in hand for me!

Denise Malloy 4 years ago

My vote is for PB&J sandwiches (which explains the size of my ass now). Totally agree with you on the playground – I wanted to gouge my ears out with a Bic if I heard LOOK AT ME one more time! Glad mine are out of the playground phase. Now I worry about, Mom can I have the car keys?

Eve 4 years ago

Unfortunately lots of parents don’t let their kids play, those days of go find a stick and play with it are gone. Many of them have no idea what to do at the park. Many children these days are booked with activities they are taught how to do once they get there, they go from school to gymnastics, to swimming lessons, and to dance, home a to bed. Play ground? A slide? “How do I use this mommy?” So we may just have to show them!

Jennifer 4 years ago

This is why we don’t go to the park.

Jack 4 years ago

I love going to the park with my kids and watching the moms watch me. Sadly you’re not staring at my ass wondering what might be stuffed inside my shorts.

Nope, I am getting glared at by moms who wonder why there is a man at the park during the day. Never mind that my kids are there yelling for me to come play with them.

It is a good thing my fragile male ego doesn’t flip out over being viewed as a predator nor do I care. I get it.

I am also usually glad to climb the monkey bars and send kids flying on the seesaw. It is my job, I am dad and we love having an excuse to pretend that we are still five.

    GirlsOnly 4 years ago

    My DH goes through the same thing! He decided to pick a ‘regular’ park, and take our kids there at the same time every single day. Now he knows most of the parents there, and their kids know our kids. :) It’s nice for him to get a little social interaction while the kids careen around the playground.

    Love,Fun,Children 4 years ago

    Hey, I can assure you that as long as you are on the play ground having a blast with your kids, (normally) not ONE Mom or nanny is going to think anything bad about you what so ever. I know that I personally enjoy watching my husband play with our kids at the playground. It’s the weird guys who just don’t seem to have any kids playing at the park that are just “hanging around” that make a lot of moms a bit nervous. There is definitely a HUGE difference between the guys who are having fun playing and the guys who are just randomly “there”.. It always makes me think two things, they’re either using or dealing drugs, or they’re fulfilling some odd desire to watch little kids play and have fun.

    zumpie 4 years ago

    Jack, what 1950’s town do you live in? I know here in PDX we’ve always seen just as many Dads as moms at the parks. In fact I was never a huge park fan, but my husband loved it! So he was frequently the one who took her.

Deb 4 years ago

Love them all. #6 is my favorite. Why do kids play hide and seek at a playground anyway? I think it is to get back at me for giving them broccoli.
They love to see me running around screaming because I think they have been kidnapped. Silly kids.

Lu 4 years ago

Don’t yell, “Look at me” love it! I once had to climb into one of those ball playgrounds in front on numerous stangers to retrieve my 4-yr.-old little darling. Not a good day!

    Really??? 4 years ago

    Right???? I personally think all ball pits come standard with one of those deep sea fishing pole hook things to retrieve wayward crotch fruit……

      Lu 4 years ago

      Yeah! hahaha!

      wtf 4 years ago

      did you honestly just call your child “crotch fruit”? That is just awful. I’m sorry if that sounds bitchy or whatever, but that seriously is too far… a child should never be called crotch fruit, it’s disgusting.

        Sara 4 years ago

        “Fruit of my loins?” is that better? Offer up some alternatives…

          wtf 4 years ago

          uh.. kids? children? loves of my life? offspring?

          GirlsOnly 4 years ago

          Ooh! How about ‘fruit of my ute’?

atleasthesmiles 4 years ago

When we go the playground and my son asks for me to play, I say “Dear, I am playing. See my book? This is how mommy plays. If you want to play with me, sit and I’ll read with you.” All of a sudden he finds something else to do with some random kid. I’m sure maybe down the road his therapist will say he’s a psychopath because I didn’t push or play on the slide but we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.

WildAss 4 years ago

Open ass. Release stick. Breathe.

It’s a post. Lighten up, Sanctimommies, will ya?!

unforgiven 4 years ago

Holy Crap! Did ya’ll not read the disclaimer? If you can’t have a sense of humor or appreciate sarcasm please move on. This isn’t the place for you. We love our kids, we are happy to witness them experience joy and be there to catch them when they fall. The fact that we want some adult time or a chance to relax doesn’t make us any less of a mother than those who think they are better than us. GEEZ A LOO.

Perfectly Imperfect 4 years ago

I’m on both sides of this. My daughter is only 2 so sometimes she really can’t get up on something or do something herself like swing, but on the other side of it, if there is something she CAN do, I’m not all up on her like she’s incapable of living. She’s smart, she can figure it out. She can perfectly well climb up the stairs to the ‘big kid’ slides and go down on her own, even if she is a little hesitant at first, so I’m not the mom who jumps up to help her down if she’s sitting at the top of the slide for a second or two. She still goes on the ‘baby’ swings, so I don’t mind pushing her. (especially since she only lasts a few mins before wanting to get out and do something else) She is also very shy, so it takes some time for her to warm up to other kids, she’s not anti-social, but she’s not the most outgoing at the park by any means. I have days where I play with her while we’re there (moreso if there aren’t many other kids there) but I also have days where I sit back and watch as she plays and runs around. My husband loves playing with her when we go to the park though, so those are the times where I’m the stagnate mom watching from afar. I don’t mind or judge either type of parent because we’re all different and so are our children, however, I WILL be the ‘hoverer’ if I see someone whom looks like they shouldn’t be there! Don’t mess with the mama bear! I also have to add that I DO judge and secretly HATE the parent’s who pay ZERO attention to their children while they’re running around, knocking other kids over and using them as stepping stones. My daughter was going down a slide one day as another girl who was much older and bigger was climbing up the slide, the girl used my daughter as a ‘climbing wall’ to get up the slide, kneeing her in the stomach and stepping on her head. I was PISSED! I asked her to let my daughter go down the slide several times and tried to get the mother’s attention while she sat with her friend on the swings gossiping about ‘this bitch’ blah blah blah. Not even 5 mins later, her daughter was crying because another boy accidentally knocked her down and the mom was up at the drop of a dime, running over and yelling at the little boy, demanding an apology for ‘hurting her baby’. Sorry but if you’re that parent….EFF YOU! I have no sympathy for your kid, get your lazy a$$ up and discipline them as needed!

Really??? 4 years ago

Playgrounds serve ONE purpose in life…..to tire out those snot nosed rat bastards enough to take a REAL nap……..when that happens its a win-win!!!! If and when I ran rampant on the play structure I got a nap too……but more often than not I was on the sidelines reserving my energy for the REAL SHIT mothers of 5 do, clean…..nonstop!!!! Pfffffft…..sanctimommies need their own blog to follow already…..*eyefuckingroll*

    lol@you 4 years ago

    why not just give those little rat bastards up for adoption? Then you NEVER have to play or deal with them! That would be AWESOME!! So much free time to play on your computer and no more screaming kids running around for you to ignore

      MarySunshine 4 years ago

      Dearest Sanctimommy,

      Why are you even reading this blog if life is all sunshine, lollipops and rainbow unicornpoop? Hurrah, your kids are wonderful little snowflakes and you love devoting every nanosecond of your life to them. Good for you.

      Methinks, you need to go to CafeMom, or BabyCenter or one of ther mom blogs. Then you try to out sanctimom the other sanctimoms to your heart’s content.

      MarySunshine 4 years ago

      Better to be an asshat with a sense of humor than a Sanctimommy with a stick up my ass.

        Love 4 years ago

        Mary, unless I’m misreading, the “asshat” was in reference to the adoption comment, not to you!

      Amy 4 years ago

      Pay lol@you no mind. Probably just a troll. Shouldn’t you be logging off so you can go upstairs and out of the basement. Your mother has dinner ready.

Garrettsmama 4 years ago

Ahh I love this! I in fact dont go to the playground I decided to turn my back yard into a playground! Trampoline, pool, swing set, sand box, quad, bikes, ect! So I can wake up open the sliding glass door and let my son play! I play with him many times but he is also independent to play by himself! Plus mommy can do her school work while sitting outside! Also the neighbor hood kids, and cousins all come over; I say win, win!

Jen 4 years ago

Nothing makes me more crazy than taking my kids to the park and then having them hang all over me.

We are at the damn park… go play and leave me alone!

kmetz 4 years ago

I just want to thank the helicopter moms that are crazy anal about being right up on your kids junk…makes it so I don’t have to get up when my kids are stuck becuase you’ve also attached yourself to my poor neglected kids…and dont bother shooting me the dirty looks…Ijust laugh as you get my kid down and she proceeds to tell you to not touch her she can do it herself while your kid is crying becuase he stuck and too scared to move…and my girl is older
I also feel sorry for you becuase I have these awesome eyes that can move and scan the playground to watch my kids without me having to get up off my butt

    lol@you 4 years ago

    Yeah.. yeah I guess I am. I guess while you’re at the park sitting on your fat ass, I will be running around and playing with my kids and keeping in shape because of it! Seems like a win win to me?

      Mikki 4 years ago

      You should really watch those stereotypes and generalizations, this fat ass LOVES the jungle gym. Resorting to fat bashing because someone doesn’t enjoy the same stuff you do makes you a real fucking class act.

        lol@you 4 years ago

        my apologies, sincerely. I am by no means the slimmest thing ever (who is after having children, though) and I am really not fat bashing. It just seemed like a clever response at the time. I actually have a number of friends who would consider themselves heavy but can out run, lift, etc me by a mile.. I was just making the point that chasing after your kids daily *does* keep you in shape.. we all know we’re never gonna look like Hedi Klum 😉

      Sara 4 years ago

      Wow. Talk about playgrounds. SM Army is a huge diverse group of women that come from all different places and all different backgrounds that have their own personalities and opinions on everything from toilet paper to giving birth…I won’t claim to have read every thread posted but I read the majority and I have never seen attacks on weight and fat bashing. Not in a serious discussion. I guess when you don’t have anything intelligent to say the insults start flowing… We certainly aren’t a group to sit by and be insulted…Squats and leg lifts will help keep that stick nice and tight…

      Suzanne @ Fit Minded Mom 4 years ago

      Actually, my ass is a firm size 2, so the bench sitting hasn’t seemed to do much harm to mine!!
      The fact is, most of us are constantly doing things for our children. Getting them dressed, feeding them, cleaning the house of their messes and if for ONE hour out of the day we want to take them to the park so they can play and have a good time while we get a few minutes to sit back and rest(while keeping a watchful eye on them) that is far from making one a bad parent. Should we just let ourselves get so frustrated with them that we completely tune them out at home or worse yet, yell and scream. Children need breaks to play and mom’s need breaks to relax. The park is the perfect place for that!!

June O’Hara 4 years ago

My mother wasn’t into entertaining us — anywhere — but that’s largely generational. Didn’t matter much to me. I was busy reading.

Love 4 years ago

Jenn and Sarah said it EXACTLY.


Tongue-in-cheek ladies…Unfortunately, the sarcasm font widely used on the internet is not yet available for public use, more’s the pity.

Much love Jill!

eschelle 4 years ago

I agree with every statement I HATE being at the park for all those reasons lol. Then add those parents you don’t know who insist on chatting with you while you try to politely get away and watch your kids. I am not park parent material lol.

Corey Feldman 4 years ago

I have to admit, I love the playground equipment almost as much as they do

    Really??? 4 years ago

    HOLY FUCK BALLS!!!!! Corey Feldman follows SM?? COREYFUCKINGFELDMAN!!!!!!?!?!….. my day just got brighter!!! I can’t wait to rub this in El Jeffes face……..

      Corey Feldman 4 years ago

      let me direct you here

        Corey Feldman 4 years ago

        Oh I’m the real Corey Feldman, just never been in an 80’s movie. “Stared” in really bad 90’s movies. Started a band were about 12 people bother to show up. Or been in a car wreck of a where are they now reality TV show. I am a very real HR Pro, Daddy Blogger, and children’s writer.

        Spareme 4 years ago

        Could be worse, dude. Your name could be Michael Bolton. He’s a no-talent ass clown, you know.

Jenn 4 years ago

Our job is to teach your children how to be independent how to fall down and get back up, that is how they learn. Some of these people (love,fun,children, abettermother) are rude and judgmental. I suspect their children will grow up to be just like them, I also suspect they will grow up with a low self esteem, (after all, clearly they can’t be trusted, even on a play ground).

Not So Perfect Mom 4 years ago

I figure going to the playground serves several purposes: kids blowing off steam so they don’t drive me crazy; me getting out of the house, and doing something fun and different with the kids; me having a chance to SIT and WATCH them play for a while without them hanging on me. As a stay at home mom, I get plenty of quality time with them, doing things together, reading books, playing and rolling around and wrestling, etc. It is nice for us all to do something different (like go to the playground), and kids – for the most part – are better for having time to play, explore, and interact with other kids WITHOUT me. And it is a great time for me to soak in the sunshine and drink my iced coffee, while calmly keeping a head count. :)

    Amy 4 years ago

    Exactly!!! There’s a big difference between sipping a latte and blowing the kids off vs. sipping a latte while patrolling the perimeter!

    There’s also a big difference in how one might handle the playground with a 2 year old as opposed to an 8 year old. Lighten up and see the shades of gray instead of judging and pouncing on a post that was intended to entertain.

Triplet Mom Leslie 4 years ago

wow! were you reading my mind?! I gave up pushing the swings, and you know what?! they learned how to do it! I do still help with the monkey bars, but that is only because I don’t want them to break anything! Keeping track of three 7 year olds is difficult, so I am also “that” mom that strolls the perimiter counting my kids!

Christine 4 years ago

OMG so true!! Especially wanting me to chase them around the playground. Mine want me to chase them out front too. Drives me NUTS! Mommy doesn’t run, never liked to run, and never will like to run. Play chase amongst yourselves! I would add to this list they need to pick one set of monkeybars/jungle gym to play on so I am not running between both of them.

Love,Fun,Children 4 years ago

I normally love this blog and read it quite often.. This one I guess I just don’t get. Unless you live somewhere extremely rural, there are always TONS of kids at the park (normally accompanied by parents).. I have an 8 year old and a 4 year old and I am the Mom that is running around playing with them (aka keeping an eye on them), climbing ladders, sliding down slides, pushing swings, etc.. My kids have never had a problem making friends while there.. when they do I just jump down and keep an eye on them from a distance.. Do some mothers really think that if they play with their kids they are somehow making them not make friends? I just don’t get it. My two each have a bed room and a shared, HUGE play room to keep them occupied at home (where I can read my kindle, drink my coffee (or vodka! haha) and have time to myself. IMO, ANYTIME we are out in public, it is my job to watch my kids. Maybe the other mothers are shunning some of you because they are disgusted that you’re not watching your children? I know I have spent many hours at the park watching my own kids AND other little ones, making sure they don’t fall and get hurt, or wander off with that creepy guy in a trench coat while their own mother is busy enjoying her copy of 50 shades of grey..

    Betterthanabettermother 4 years ago

    Really? Did you read the article? It didn’t say she didn’t watch her children. We all watch our kids, we all love them. This is about not wanting to swing on the monkey bars, slide down the slides and actively play with our kids nonstop while at the park. Some of us view it as a chance to get a small break while our kids learn to explore and play among their peers. Stop judging us, or we will start wondering why you keep looking at our kids and wondering why your van lacks windows and your husband is dressed in a trench coat…

    GirlsOnly 4 years ago

    How many guys in trench coats do you ever truly see? No bull-hockey, now! And in what season? And did you know that child abductions are far more likely to be perpetrated by a family member or close family friend? And even then, they’re pretty dang unlikely.

    Maybe it’s time for mom to stop being “disgusted” with one another. There’s no single perfect way to raise your child, so let go of the harsh judgements. After all, what we hate in others is what we fear within ourselves…

    ButteryMuffyn 3 years ago

    Seriously, are you for real?? “while their own mother is busy enjoying her copy of 50 shades of grey..” Are you kidding me?? What a judgemental, mother****** you are. How dare you have the balls to make assumptions as to what anyone is doing on their phone.

Sarah 4 years ago

Damn it, I worked hard to give my kids enough confidence to play on the playground without me. My oldest will walk up to any other kids and ask them to play (and if they say no, he’ll just walk up to the next group, bless his heart). My youngest will run and climb and pay no attention to me anyhow. I keep my eye on them (mostly) to watch for major falls or creepy people lurking about, but I also choose not to live my life in fear. It’s good for them to stretch their horizons without having me constantly over their shoulders, and it’s good for me to allow myself a couple of minutes to chill out and not play superheros and bad guys.

ItsJustMe 4 years ago

I think this post is funny but I’m still the mom who is walking around keeping an eye on my kids. I have 4 girls all under the age 8 and when we hit the park they scatter in different directions. Honestly Its not so much my girls taking off because when its just us,they stay where I tell them to and where I can see them all,but its the other kids tellin them to follow them. I’m fine with sitting on a bench and watching them(I have nothing better to do and honestly I hate cell phones with a passion,thanks in laws!!) because I’m also 8 months pregnant and my butt tends to tire out easily anymore. I don’t cater to every whine and whimper to be pushed because that is how my girls learned to swing themselves(pump your legs!!!) but I do walk a distance between myself and the park equipment when I have all my girls with me just to make sure I can see them all. And yep I’m the one who is steadily pointing and moving my fingers back and forth…this is what we parents with an abundance of babies call a headcount =). Seriously though,I’m a paranoid freak and when it comes to my kids I keep a watchful eye on them at the park.Too many kids have been getting snatched up or attempted to be snatched up around here,but I also do not participate in every “HEY MOMMY DO THIS”,but I’m not too far out of reach either. Anyway I do like the rules and think this post is pretty funny even though I don’t abide by 95 % of these “rules”. People need to lighten up a bit,its a post…

Kristen Brakeman 4 years ago

So, so, so, so true! I loathe trips to the playground. My kids never let me rest “Push me, lift me, watch me Mommy” Ugh!

The awkward chit chat with strangers or feeling like an outcast when there are groups of mom-friends who shun you, and then the constant patrolling of the premises for child abductors – all these things make the playground a dreadful experience for me. Kids seem to like it though.

stephanie 4 years ago

yowza. some people (ie “abettermother” – really?) need to get a grip. you drove them to the playground. you will get up if a bone becomes broke or a kidnapper starts lurking around. other than that, you’ve done your part and it is time for you to drink your coffee, read your book, talk on the phone or simply get to ignore the fact for a couple minutes that your house is a pigsty and will be until these creatures leave for college someday a hundred years from now. It’s always the parents (i.e. “abettermother” again) who hover around their kids like a newscaster at a sporting event that prevent kids from playing WITH EACH OTHER. Sit the heck down!

wendy @ mama one to three 4 years ago

It’s like you and I are one person, sharing a brain… :)

jenn 4 years ago

I completely get that i don’t like running around or any of that. The only time you’ll catch me doing the slide or climbing is if I’ve only brought one to the playground. But @abettermother don’t think for a second your kids are having more fun than mine because on top of my boys playing they’re going up to the other children who’s mother is not attached and making friends. Im not their only friend.

zeemaid 4 years ago

I can see both sides of this, (those that think you should play with the kids vs those that want a break) cause it can be fun to get down and play with the kids for awhile but seriously how many times can I be expected to play “monster” and chase them around while they scream. I am always envious of those moms that sit and read guilt free etc because it seems when I do, the moment I’m not looking my kid falls and then I feel like a bad mom cause I wasn’t watching.

Love,Fun,Children 4 years ago

what’s going to happen when you’re sipping your coffee and fiddling with your phone and some creepy stranger walks off with your child? I’m the super freaked out mother who refuses to let her children out of her sight when the park is full of kids with tons of other adults around “watching”. My 6 year old was once lured by a bigger kid over to a Pedo-style van parked nearby to “meet her Dad”. After that, my kids never leave my sight at the park. I couldn’t imagine telling them to go away while I enjoy my book. I can read and drink coffee at home. The park is a time to be diligently watching your kids. Shame on you and everyone else who thinks this post is cute.

    Bat Ma’am 4 years ago

    Actually, my park is super safe, fenced, and right next to a hospital. And in a nice neighborhood. I feel no shame letting my children play 20 feet from me as I type this response with my Droid. Those who are judging should feel shame for their generalized comments.
    We are all moms, I’m no better than any if you, none of you are better than I.

    Spareme 4 years ago

    I’m sorry that almost happened to your kid, but please, lighten up.

    GirlsOnly 4 years ago

    Wait. So, at home your kids leave you alone? You get to read and enjoy hot coffee at home? This is a novelty to me, LFC.

    More power to you, honey, but there’s no need to shame another mother who does things a little bit differently or has other child-rearing talents than you do. It’s a fairly ugly way to end your (mostly rational, but wee-bit paranoid) statement.

r 4 years ago

and those over achiever well rested parents that feel the need to do every damn thing with the kids on the playground. Give it up or include my kid too because I NEED A REST!

Rebeccah 4 years ago

Oh yes. The only thing I dislike more than pushing a swing (for a child who is perfectly capable) is pushing a swing at a birthday party. Great post!

Raquel 4 years ago

First off this was funny and true but people take it so serious….even if that’s how she/we feel, I’m sure she still pushes and plays. Its a mother requirement. But I get the sarcasm and love it!

Kristy 4 years ago

I am so glad I am not the only one! I loathe the park with a passion. Of course I grew up with over 1000’s acres we could roam around on. (neighboring properties, not all ours) Its just not safe enough to send the kids out on their own like it used to be.

Melissa Stottmann 4 years ago

Um, yes, yes and yes. Seriously? There are benches at the playground and swings… go to your appointed space :) Alas, I’ll be by the swings pushing endlessly…

Lovelylady 4 years ago

This is the only post of yours I disagree with! I love playing with the kids at the playground, it’s so much fun and I get a little bit of a workout! The playground isn’t meant to be so serious, it’s for all of us to be kids again :)

Marti 4 years ago

Wow, I thought that I was the only parent who feels that way. When I go to the playground, the other parents look at me like I have leprosy when I park my happy butt on a bench with a book. My son has plenty of time to play with me, this is his time to socialize and find friends.

Amy 4 years ago

We have those rules too plus, no climbing up to a place that you can not get down from by yourself. My daughter learned to jump down from a rock wall that way.

Denise 4 years ago

I love to swing, me so don’t ask me to push you because I’m busy swinging myself and when my turn is over I’m done and I get to sit my old butt down under a tree and work on my jewelry while you play. That is unless we take the grandkid than we will only be at the park for 30 minutes – unless I get to swing the whole time and you push your nephew in the baby swing then we will stay till some rude person thinks you are my grandson too!

twinsplustwo 4 years ago

I hate when other parents push my kids because they feel sorry for them when I choose not to get up 50 times to give them another push on the swing

ZooKeeper 4 years ago

And how about the endless: “Mommy watch me!” Yes, I see you on the swing, slide, monkey bars, see-saw, trash can— oops, get down from there!

Amber 4 years ago

@abettermother lol! It won’t be fun for your kids when all their friends know how to swing by themselves and they can’t because mommy always did it for them.

Tinne from Tantrums and Tomatoes 4 years ago

Our holiday rental had a swing in the backyard, after one entire afternoon of ‘push me mama/papa’ I decided it would be good for her development if the eldest learned how to swing by herself. One hour of training and yelling ‘up legs, down legs’ like a Navy Seal Drill Sergant and she got it.

Megan 4 years ago

I can’t wait for my son to get the knack of swinging so I can steal the one next to him.

abettermother 4 years ago

How sad. You are missing out on all of the joys of childhood while you drink your coffee and check your e-mail. I’m the one playing with my kids and pushing them for an hour if that’s what they want and I guarantee, they are having more fun than yours.

    MarySunshine 4 years ago

    Here’s your gold star!

    I like to play with mine, too. But not the whole time, and not every time we go. And FYI, I have no smart phone, I sip no latte or read a book. I just enjoy not being hung on for the 20-40 minutes we’re there.

      Jenn 4 years ago

      Well said Mary Sunshine. A better mother really? Could you be more judgmental?! I am sure if I was a fly on the wall in your home for a week I could point out plenty of your shortcomings. Rude.

        MarySunshine 4 years ago

        We can’t all shit rainbows and ride unicorns to the playground. Otherwise, how else would these “better mothers” find ways to feel better about themselves?

        Listen ladies, if life is peachy keen everyday and you never feel the urge to pull your hair out, cry, run away, or at the very least dive into the bottom of a pit of ice cream head first, mouth open once in awhile I need to know….

        …what meds you are on. I’d like to talk to my doctor and get some, too.

          MarySunshine 4 years ago


          Although, a pit of ice cream would be just as good.

          Toni 4 years ago

          I liked it better when it was a pit of ice cream!

          Guerrilla Mom 4 years ago

          Amen, sister. I’ll take some of those meds, too.

      ButteryMuffyn 3 years ago

      Why don’t you all come to the park with me? I’ll bring coffee for everyone, gummy bears and goldfish for the kids and we can all sit and chat and ignore our kids whilst sanctimonious “abettermother” can watch all the kids for us.

    Spareme 4 years ago

    Oh, please, pull the stick out of your ass.

      Suzanne @ Fit Minded Mom 4 years ago

      My mom certainly didn’t play with me at the playground and I remember having tons of fun. Because that is what kids did when when I was growing up. You stayed outside all day and played with friends and came home before the “street lights” came on!!

      God forbid we actually raise children who learn to entertain and occupy themselves!! Constantly “doing” for our children only teaches them to be self centered. They are at the damn playground……..where the equipment usually states for ages 2-12!!!

    Amy 4 years ago

    This is place to come release some of our less than admirable truths. Once can LOOOOVE raising children while not always loving the mundane day-to-day doldrums. I guarantee that all these other moms are still playing with their kids…they just don’t always want to. Your need to assert your perfection by judging others reveals that you probably have a lot to hide. Look in the mirror before you hold the mirror up to others who are simply blowing off steam while having a little laugh.

    funmommies 4 years ago

    I was thinking the same thing! I admit, im definitely not a perfect mommy but i sure as heck am involved in their interests too!! No, i dont love going to the playground all the time but i do love to see the smile on my kids face when they get to play with mommy too!! I am definitely one of the moms out pushing their kid on the swing and catching them at the bottom of the slide! And when they get older ill still be out there taking pics of them while theyre playing! Theyre little only for a little while and ill have plenty of time to sip my latte when theyre off to college or raising a family of their own!

    sammi 4 years ago

    I would like to extend a generous offer to those of you who are disgruntled with this blog post. I’m in a giving mood. I’ve got a bottle of Evian with your name on it, Abettermother. I’d be happy to send it to you, so that you can wash the sand out of your nether regions. Typically, I don’t hand out prizes to sanctimommies, but today is your lucky day. We all love our kids here, so your holier than thou attitude is incredibly misplaced. Lighten up.

      Love 4 years ago

      Here, Here.

      Sammie, you forgot to add:

      Bless Your Fucking Heart,

      The Whole ScaryMommy Crew

      Rebeccah 4 years ago


    AnOrdinaryMother 4 years ago

    Really ma’am? I’m so glad that you’re here to point out everything we’re all doing wrong. You’re having fun with your kids. That’s great. I’m thrilled for them and you. However, just because I don’t want to jump around on the playground doesn’t mean my kids aren’t having fun. They are learning to get along with kids their own age. You sound like a Class A helicopter parent. Respectfully put a sock in it.

Nancy 4 years ago

I tell my kid’s the play ground is my time to relax,read and enjoy watching them play…there are 2 of them,entertain each other!

Mae (Life’s Candy) 4 years ago

I don’t mind pushing (for the wee ones who don’t have the coordination to pump yet, not for the big enoughs!) if there’s another mom friend there ALSO pushing. Because then we can push and talk and sip lattes. The rest of it? Ugh. If I wanted to play we would have gone to the mall. This is YOUR playground, not mommy’s!

Guerrilla Mom 4 years ago

Yes to all of this. Also, graham crackers are delicious.

unforgiven 4 years ago

BAHAHA! Another great post!

Sarah at Julia’s Child 4 years ago

I think that six years at the playground was a major contributing factor to our exit from NYC. My kids called their swingset “the playground” for a long time after we moved.

My issue with the playground was that the moms and the nannies were camped on either side, like boys and girls at a junior high dance. I preferred the nannies to the particular constellation of moms in my neighborhood, but soon found that the babysitters really didn’t want me in their club. So I made a lot of small talk about the weather with the moms, and counted the minutes until we’d need to go.

Alison 4 years ago

Also, don’t tell ME to get on a swing next to you – my ass is too large and I don’t need the reminder.

Toni 4 years ago

Omg-I so love you. Numbers 1,3,4, 5 & 7 especially…oh, that’s almost all! I always say I had two children two years apart on purpose. Play with each other dammit.

Mom Off Meth 4 years ago

What is it about the swing that sucks so bad? I hate it too. I hate when they get stuck up in a high place and can’t get down. The first time is okay, but fool me once…

lynn @ Maven of Savin’ 4 years ago

OMG – I CANNOT STAND PUSHING on the swing and thought I was the only horrible mother out there!n I will hang at the park with you any day – sipping of course.

    K 2 years ago

    I am so number 1 with my 5 year old. However, my 5 year old is not shy and will ask and talk to anyone. So he will ask other parents to push him and it’s funny that almost all of them oblige. Many of them for 20 or so minutes! Some days it bothers me to think about what they are probably thinking of me. But I believe in purposefully ignoring them at the park. I’m watching, I care but all of that is going on in the inside. They need to learn their independence and isn’t the playground one of those great opportunities

Nina 4 years ago

Yes! I agree with every one of these, Jill! The worst is when I go to a park WITH a friend and our kids and my friend is answering to every “Mommy, come sit on this slide” call from her child. The kids have EACH OTHER!!!! Come on!

Heather 4 years ago

Ha! Great post!

tracy@sellabitmum 4 years ago

The fact that I could even do the monkey bars at one time shocks the hell out of me. Have you tried it lately? Seriously impossible. xo

    Love 4 years ago

    RIGHT? I tried the little zip line thingy last weekend and thought my arms were going to pop out of their sockets LOL I will leave the little kid equipment to the kids from now on!


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