I’m not the fun parent. What a bummer right?
And, when I say bummer, I’m not talking about the notion that I just shared with you, I am talking about me as a person…I’m a bummer…and that bums me out…and probably bums you out, too.
In my house, like most, one parent is definitely favored by the children. One parent is definitely the go-to for all things fun, happy and spontaneous. Yes, its my husband. I know it’s obvious. What gave it away? His cheerful demeanor, his infectious laughter, his relaxed nature or the fact that I typically act like a bat-sh**, crazy control-freak of a person? Could have been any of those, but for the sake of my self-confidence, I am going to believe you chose the one that didn’t have to do with your less than positive thoughts of me.
Are all “Dads” the fun ones of the family or is this specific to my family’s dynamic? I mean I have always thought I was a ball to be around, but something about my husband’s presence and attitude increases the size of my children’s grin, the volume of their laughter and the magnitude of their joy.
I have concluded that there are likely some reasons that, at least in some families, Dad is the fun guy and Mom is the bore. Take my list with a grain of salt, as I do realize that this does not apply to all families and that many of you may be a part of a family where you, the Mom, are the life of the party. Sadly, it just does not happen to be the case for me.
Reason 1: Dads typically lose themselves in play more than Moms. For some moms it is extremely hard to delay household chores and or the children’s self-care to merely engage in “silly play”. Me, personally, I feel like I am horrible at playing and yes, I am referring to all types of play. It is like I am unable to fully engage with my children with ears and eyes all on deck. My thoughts, my worries, and my to-do list is always in the forefront of my mind, blinding me from seeing past it towards anything fun.
Reason 2: Dads typically don’t freak out over messes or getting messy. My husband is so very willing to get dirty with our children — we are talking, mud, dirt, sand, paint, goo — anything you can think of. Me, the thought of any of that makes me want to go shower. He is also super allowing of the children to get dirty and engage in activities that may be messy. I, disappointingly, typically squash their creative energy because I can’t get over the fact that it will take me forever to clean them and/or the area of mess.
Reason 3: Dads typically joke more. Think fart noises, booger jokes and things up that alley. Dads have a way of diffusing meltdown-type situations by pretending to stick a marker in their ear and pull it out of their nose. I have not yet seen a mom do that. My husband is also more inclined to make a Chewbacca sound while walking the aisles of the grocery store than am I.
Reason 4: Dads possess a wealth of knowledge. Ugh! I hate to say this! But…my husband is probably smarter than me. AH! He is going to relish in the fact that he has that in writing. But, realistically, he pays more attention to the news and science and history than I do. He just has the answers, when most of the time, I don’t. I mean, literally, the other day, my husband told my son he didn’t know something and my son responded, “but I thought you knew everything”. Kids truly do believe that their dads have all the answers.
Reason 5: Dads are strong. Physically, most dads are stronger than moms. Not in all cases, but in most families, it is easier for Dad to put the kiddies on his shoulders, to flip them up and down and to help them lift heavy items to build a fort.
Reason 6: Dad may be less schedule-driven. Some moms, like myself, thrive on a schedule. We thirst and need for there to be organization to the day and to our lives. Because of this, we are less likely to be spontaneous which means there is less of a possibility for random adventures and unpredicted, but immense happiness.
Maybe you are reading this and you think that I am totally off-base. Maybe you are the exception to this rule. Maybe I am in a boat of my own. But, I know one thing. I know that I want to be the FUN one. I know that it is imperative that I work towards being the fun one so that I do not miss out on vital opportunities to bond with my children.
Here are the ways in which I plan to try to be more FUN for and with my kids:
— I am going to make more silly faces and tell more jokes.
— I am going to be open to getting messy and making messes.
— I am going to seek out new activities to do with the kids.
— I am going to be more adventurous and push out of my comfort zone.
— I am going to be enthusiastic.
— I am going to be flexible and adaptable in regards to our schedule.
— I am going to say “yes” more and “no” less.
— I am going to play music more around the house. Music helps to put me in a good mood, so I am going to utilize it as a happiness aid.
— I am going to lead with an open-mind.
Okay. Well, that’s a start…at least. The truth is that I will likely never beat Daddy out for the number 1 FUN GUY spot, but at least, with these changes, the kiddies will enjoy being around me more and I, too, will enjoy being around them more, which is the plan regardless, because summer break is here.
“There is something beautiful about watching two people lovingly act silly together; behaving as though no one else existed”. — Steve Maraboli
Lose yourself in silliness this summer — even if just for a short moment each day. Be with your children and pretend as if nothing else and no one else matters — just you guys and the moment you’re in. Because in truth, that is all that should matter.