Fun Daddy

I am not trying to complain… I am really happy that my husband is involved with our kids and that they have a great relationship, but sometimes I wish they thought I was as much fun as he was!

Why are Dads always the fun ones while Moms are the fun police? Is it because women are actually innately more organised and naturally get burdened with the task of being the disciplinarian?

I have to say that most of the time my head is so full with trying to plan what kind of dinner to cook or remembering to organise a playdate with my new friend’s little girl etc. that it does not come to my mind to stick a newspaper on my head and pretend to be a giant duck. I actually think that even if I was not acting as my 2-year-old’s PA, making sure that her social calendar rivaled Paris Hilton’s, it would still not occur to me to stick a paper on my head and pretend to be a feathered beast!

I also do not have the patience to sit on the floor and draw for hours on end; I can do about 10 mins and then my mind wonders off and I start thinking of the wash I need to hang up, how I’ve been planning to hang up some new paintings, and how my desk really needs a tidy up. I also get this urge to quickly, just quickly, check my email and see what is going on in the world outside our 4 walls.

I have observed this family dynamic in most other families with small kids. I don’t even think it is the fathers that are imposing this onto the family. I don’t even think it is more prevalent in families with a stay-at-home mom as it seems to occur as much in families in which both parents work as in families where the kids are with the mother all day.

As a friend of mine put it: dads seem to plan for the moment while moms for the bigger picture. They know that even though a dinner of solely popcorn followed by a movie is really fun, but that the consequences the next day are going to be dire. Tired, hungry kids who want to watch a movie every night are not fun to be around!

I guess we all have our roles to fill, but I think I am going to work at expanding my comedic repertoire from screaming “put that down” and “because I said so” to something more punchy….

-Emilie

8 COMMENTS - Add your own

1. Mette | September 28, 2008 | Reply

Hey girlfried! I hear you! I know what you mean… but i also sometimes think for real: “what is the worst that can happen?” and realise that a bit more hard work to get her in the park the next day isnt that bad and that freshly chopped fruit can make up for a lot.. Sometimes supermum have to have an ice cream herself:-) I fear i might sound patronizing because ofcourse you are right, its just that sometimes that doesnt matter… but only sometimes:-)

2. Jude | September 28, 2008 | Reply

I think it is good that kids get different things from both parents, I do admit that most of the no’s come from me, but in the grand scheme of things it all pans out, I think/hope! Men and women have different priorities, and personalities, my husband is generally far more easy going than I.

on a less serious note – I am probably, maybe slightly a bit of a control freak, did I really just say that?!!

3. chiara Rich | September 28, 2008 | Reply

It is such a fun and precise snapshot of how it is! Thank-you! You made me laugh and made me feel “normal” as I know now that other mothers feel this way.
How about organizing every here and then a comedic night of roles exchanges, involving the kids and everyone in the family…”ok, now mommy becomes daddy and dad is mom, is the night of the roles’ exchanges” and we all have fun imitating one another’s characters…it could be cathartic and we could all learn a lot, the light way. cheers- chiara

4. Michela | September 28, 2008 | Reply

yes, thanks emilie… now I feel normal too.
The same things happens in our family, I noticed it only recently. Now that my 3 year old can voice really well his disappointment when i tell it’s bath time, dinner time, sleep time….

But two days ago we reversed role, my husband was cooking and i wa with the kids…. suddendly I was more patient and was less in a hurry … less schedule obsessed.
It was a good feeling, at least now I now that at least partially this is due to the roles we have in our family.

5. Katie | September 28, 2008 | Reply

I think sometimes we sell ourselves short; we are far more fun than we think. Just as we are far more thin than we think! it is just compared to the mega extreme of crazy chaos that is dad fun (at this moment my husband is holding the pram bar to his face and doing lines from batman!?); as with comparing our thinness to the Vogue cover we get the nagging feeling we fall short of the mark.

6. Courtney | September 29, 2008 | Reply

It’s so true. My husband comes home from work and it’s all fun and games. He riles the boys up and then I have to be the bearer of bad news when I announce it’s bed time! I always feel like I have so much less patience than my husband… but then again, I’m with my kids ALL the time, so my patience runs out more quickly.

But yes- I think it’s good that there’s a balance. It’s better if one of the parents is more of a disciplinarian. Someone has to be! Just as long as both parents show a united front!

7. Tina | September 29, 2008 | Reply

My son Noah is only 5 months but I’m also starting to realise that it is often my husband that gets the biggest laughs. In fact, I’ve noticed that when I do come up with something that is sure to get a giggle out of Noah, I show my husband and then he starts doing it with more dramatic flare for even bigger giggles! sigh. . . Oh, of course, these bigger giggles often come near bedtime when I’m trying to promote a state of serenity. :) Glad to hear there are others that can relate to this!

8. Esther | September 29, 2008 | Reply

Yep – same story here.
When my husband comes home, my children run to him in delight: daddyyyyy! Playtime! Cute.
What in fact I think is ‘not fair’, is that I am punishing my children much more than my husband – which is very frustrating.
I wish I could be at work all day, come home to some beautiful, well-behaved children (thanks to their strict mum) and have a good laugh – until the party-pooper says it’s bed-time, that is!

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