By Heather O.
One of the things that irks me sometimes as a stay at home mom is Happy Fun Dad. DH comes home from work, and the party begins. Never mind that I’ve been doing all the work all day–Jacob only has eyes for Dad. They play fight, they play pirates, they play hide and seek, and both of them seem absolutely thrilled to do it. Dad does all the things that Jacob has been bugging Mom to do all day, and the result of that is that dad is SO much more fun than mom. Can’t beat mom for healing and kissing the boo-boos and the owees, but if you want some serious lightsaber wars, Dad is the go-to guy. One time DH said to me, after a particularly rousing wrestling match with his offspring, “Do you ever do this with him?” After my emphatic no, he asked, “Don’t you ever actually play with your son?”
Sadly, the answer to that is also no. I rarely play with my son, just because there is always so much to do, and his need for play long outlasts my endurance and energy for such. I feel like I try to take Jacob fun places and give him lots of educational and exciting experiences, but when it comes to just plain old one-on-one, I’m afraid I fall rather short. And of course, the guilt about that is constant. But I try to tell myself that Dad is so much more fun because he hasn’t been hanging out with the little bugger all day, and hasn’t been slowly worn down after 8-10 hours of dealing with the energy of a 3 year old.
Now, this week we have been enjoying the beauty and adventure of Aspen Grove, the BYU family camp where you get to dump your kids all day and go pretend for a week that you are a real adult. You can do whatever you want, from sitting like a lump and blogging, to playing cards all day, to the adult slip-’n-slide down the hill. The kids have structured activities in their age groups, and hopefully, they have some fun too (although at the end of the day, I suspect it really amounts to creative day care, at least for the little ones. But I’m not complaining!) One day, after not seeing Jacob for pretty much the entire day, I was thrilled to hold him, to hug him, to swing him upside down, and we played superheros for a good 30 minutes, just me and him. I thought, “Hey, look at me! I’m being Happy Fun Mom, and I’m actually ENJOYING it!”
So I’m thrilled that my guilt assauging message to myself about dad being so much fun because he doesn’t do all the work all day is actually true. Not seeing your kid so much actually does make you more fun! Not that I’m saying we should dump our kids on somebody else all day. Kids need more in a parent than just fun. But it did make me feel better about the marked disparity of my behavior towards my son and my husband’s. It also makes me wonder how exciting he would be after a day of hanging out with nobody else but a 3 year old. It makes me smile to think of him saying, “Thank goodness you’re home! Take this child now, I’ve had it. I need a break. I’m going out for an almond steamer and a pedicure.”
WordPress database error: [Can't open file: 'wp_comments.MYI' (errno: 144)]
SELECT * FROM wp_comments WHERE comment_post_ID = '120' AND comment_approved = '1' ORDER BY comment_date