I was talking with a friend. Okay, griping really that my husband is the “fun” parent. He’s gone most days and evenings too (Workin’ hard for the money!). Although I work outside the home too, many of the child rearing duties are left up to me to handle alone.
You see, like most Moms, I am struggling to find the balance between care giver, home maker, income earner…not to mention taking care of my basic self-maintenance and self-care. No wonder I feel like I’m failing. I’m trying to be about 18 people at once!
Anyway, I digress. The conversation I was having with my friend was that I am the primary disciplinarian in our home and my husband is the fun one. She gave me no sympathy at all *only later did I realize that that’s exactly what I was seeking out of the conversation* and said, “I’m the disciplinarian and I’m the fun one. Why can’t you be both?”
I was instantly ticked off. I mean, geeze Sister, can’t you give another mom a little sympathy?! It really rubbed me the wrong way. But as most things that irk us, it was irritating me because it was hitting a little too close to home. It’s true. You can be both. You don’t have to be stuck in one role.
I was in a rut. Instead of taking a little extra time to play with my kids, I’m sitting at the table only half listening to their chatter as I write an impossibly long to-do list that I “expect” to get done in one night when in reality it will probably take me the entire weekend to accomplish all 15 items.
Where did the fun Mom go? Was I ever fun? It’s been so long I can’t even remember.
So tonight, I played. We ate supper. Then we made chocolate chip cookies. We played with Play-doh. I got plastic forks and knives out so they could stab and cut. I even got out the cookie cutters and we made star and pumpkin shapes out of our Play-doh. My 3 and 4-year-old learned how to make “Play-doh spaghetti” and even got out the “grown-up” plates to showcase our masterpieces.
Then my children and I sat on the kitchen floor and ate the warm from the oven chocolate chip cookies. My son spontaneously decided he needed to give me a hug. Not to be out done, my daughter gave me Eskimo kisses, and then the baby smothered me with a full WWE style body slam (aka a toddler hug).
There was a moment to cherish. Happy kids sharing hugs and warm chocolate chip cookies with their mom. Sweet memories are made in moments like this one.
Dishes are still in the sink. Chores were left undone, but the trade off was worth it. I got to have fun with my kids.
It’s easy to get stuck in your role. Take some time to play. Don’t forget, Mom, you can be the fun one too!