It was Saturday morning. As usual, our 15-month-old, who shares a room with us, crawled out of her crib and into our bed, snuggling between my husband and me and poking us in the face until we opened our eyes.
We began to roll and stretch and do all those things you do when you’re not quite ready to get out of bed but know it’s time. Sometimes, we try to squeeze in an extra fifteen minutes of sleep, but I could feel my little one climb over my body, jump off the side of the bed, and then hear her toddle down the hall to wake up her 9-year-old brother. She succeeded in waking him, and my husband followed suit, walking down the hall until everyone but me had gathered in the living room.
It was a few short minutes before I head my son very clearly and loudly say, “Google, play Tiesto,” and then our Google home came to life with music. Everyone was dancing to my husband’s and son’s favorite DJ.
My husband is always the one that the kids could turn to for fun, while I’m the one they could turn to for structure.
And while I know that these kids need both in their lives to learn to grow to be successful human adults, but some days, I’d like to be remembered as the fun parent.
I know what you’re probably thinking: it’s so easy. Just get down and dirty, plan something fun, or even just join in on the dance party. For some reason though, it’s not as easy as it sounds — for me at least.
My husband and I balance each other out in almost every single way imaginable. I think that a part of me feels like I have to be a bit more rigid and keep the order because he’s so much laxer —and if I didn’t do it, then who would? I walk through life feeling this way and wish that I could somehow break out of the mold.
I know parenthood and marriage are all about balance. We must give and take in equal amounts so that we can thrive and the kids can thrive, and it all works out. But within that, we sometimes work ourselves into corners that are hard to get out of. We become “the reliable one.” Or “the one who always makes dinner.” Or “the one who always makes it to the PTA meetings.” And sometimes, that’s just not who we want to be anymore.
I’m not unhappy with my parenting role. I just wish I had the urge to laugh a little more, color outside the lines, and be more spontaneous instead of always planning, making sure our bills are paid, school lunches are packed, and the gym uniform is clean (or at least smells clean).
I’d love to be the one to surprise everyone with a weekend dance party or say “eff cooking” and pile everyone in the car to go out to breakfast. But I’m always stuck thinking about the bigger picture, how that move will impact the rest of the flow of the day (and our bank account).
So I’m making a little pact with myself. This year, I need to get out of my head. I’ve realized that’s where I’m living instead of relishing what’s happening now. And the last thing I want is for my kids to remember me sitting in the corner while they were all up, trying something new.
Being a mom has helped me live my life to the fullest, but I want to show them more of how I feel that on the inside, every single day.
Right now, I’m probably not thought of as the fun one. Well, I know I’m not. 2018 will be my year of change. I want my kids to know how important it is to be their own person and do what makes them happy, and I need to be that example.
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