This weekend, I realized I’m not the fun parent. I try to do fun things with the kids, but when my husband is involved he’s like a big kid himself. Our children’s faces light up when Dad’s around.
Discovering Our Parenting Roles
As Mitch and I navigate through this parenting thing together, we’re realizing pretty quickly that our roles are very different. I’m the “authority figure.” I set boundaries and create consistency and routines in the kids’ lives. He’s the “yes man,” always giving in and getting to play with the kids while I wash the dishes, do the laundry, pay the bills or clean. But this has been our relationship from the beginning, even before kids, and that’s why I think we work. But why am I not fun?
We both have full-time jobs and share the responsibilities, but it feels like I just don’t have time for fun. Our experiences with the children are far, far different. I’m the planner and organizer, and I prefer structure. I make sure the kids are ready to tackle their days, that their homework gets done and that all their events (swim lessons, soccer camp, etc.) are scheduled. I have a calendar on the fridge and in my phone so my husband knows what’s going on in our day-to-day lives. Sometimes, it can be a little overwhelming, feeling like you’re the only one taking care of things, but then you see your children with their father and the smiles on their faces and think everything is great.
Even though we both work, Mitch’s job isn’t your typical 9 to 5. He works Sundays and Wednesday nights. He also participates in weekend retreats and mission trips, so, yes, Mitch is gone a little bit more than me. Naturally, when he comes home after being gone all day, they both get super excited to see Dad. And you know what? It shows in the way they interact. That excitement builds, and the house immediately fills with loud giggles and squeals. Giggles and squeals that I have to work really, really hard to achieve since, for most of my day, I’m saying things like “No, don’t touch that,” “Stop arguing,” “Stop name-calling,” and “Please go play in your room so mommy can have a break.”
Finding the Right Balance as Parents
Not being the fun parent means that I’ve got a huge responsibility. It’s my job to create rules and boundaries around the home that will hopefully create a sense of independence and self-responsibility for both kids. Mitch and I are very much on the same page when it comes to our parenting style, but he takes a more passive role. He always says “You pick your battles,” but I always say “If you give them an inch, they will take a mile.” But somehow, we manage to compromise. It’s the right balance, I think.
Sure, our parenting styles might not match up, and he may get to have more fun with the kids, but I’m honored and privileged to be their parent. I’m grateful to be responsible for their physical and emotional growth. Not being the fun parent but still being loved as their mommy is pretty wonderful!
Babies & Toddlers
In addition to the time I devote to being a mom, I also work full-time outside the home, which means my day is hardly ever as simple as nine to five. With an all-too-established schedule, as soon as I walk through the door, my day doesn’t end, but rather just begins. It’s a balancing act, especially with two children, but being a mom is one full-time job that I never want to quit!
Mark Your Calendar to Be the Fun Parent
Join Bryan Kids’ Club to receive information about our upcoming Pool Party on August 5 and other fun activities throughout the year. It’s free and great way to have fun with your kids!