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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Parenting: Silly vs. Serious

Before I got knee-deep into this whole parenting thing, I thought I would be a different type of mom. I also thought ADD Daddy would be a different type of dad. I thought I would be the silly and crazy one that threw caution to the wind and made silly faces while ADD Daddy was the one who would stop all the horsing around and make sure shit actually got done. Boy was I wrong.

The way it really works in our house is that daddy is the silly one and mommy is the one that makes sure the ship stays afloat. Some days, I get tired of being the mommy. I want to be the crazy one that gets to throw the kids around and let them eat ice cream for dinner. But most days, I relish my role as the authoritarian because it means that I am making sure my kids needs are met. I know that they are healthy, and well fed and emotionally sound, because I make sure that they are.

Now, don't get me wrong, I also play and roughhouse and have fun with my kids, but that is not my primary roll. Where daddy is the instigator of epic tickle fights and general craziness, I am the instigator of Drs appointments and clean teeth. I'm the boss, applesauce. And I'm OK with that. At least most days I am. Some days I would pay a drunk monkey to take the reigns for a bit so I can just be fun and free with my kids.

Why so serious? Because I have to be. Not because my husband refuses to be, but because I need to know that my children are growing up right and that they don't think that life is all puppy dogs and rainbows. Because it's not. Life is hard. And I want them to be as prepared for what life will throw at them as I can make them. People will hurt their feelings. And break their hearts. Bad things will happen to them. There is just no stopping that. I want them to know balance in life. To know that even when the shit hits the fan, that they are strong enough to clean themselves up and start over again. That no matter how much pain there is in the moment, there is still joy to be had in the future.

If both my husband and I were happy, happy, joy, joy all the time, our kids would have a skewed view of reality. If we were both rules and repercussions all the time, they would have the same. Balance in parenting is hard, but it is important. I often have a hard time with that. I beat myself up for not being as "fun" as I this I should be or as "strict". There is often no winning for me when it comes to me. But more and more every day, I realize that it is OK to be a little bit of both. That just because other moms don't lose their shit in public like I often do doesn't mean that they never lose their shit at all. They may just store it all up under their veil of perfect parenting until they explode. Just because I am the serious parent most of the time doesn't mean that that is the only way my kids see me.

So what about you? Are you the silly or the serious parent? Or the perfect blend of both?

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  1. I am so much more serious than I ever thought I would be. Parenting has sobered my personality, while ironically driving me to drink. ;)

  2. It's SUCH a struggle! I have the same issue because I'm with them most of the time. My husband is definitely a harsh disciplinarian but he also gets to have a lot of fun time with them b/c his nerves and patience haven't been shot to hell from being with them ALL day EVERY day.

  3. YOU. Are amazing! Recognizing the balance needed is what your family will appreciate most as time goes on. You got this girl. :)

  4. I'm definitely the serious one. And sometimes I really wish that weren't the case. Not so much that I want to change roles (although at times I do) but more so that I want the DreadBrewer to show some gratitude that MY seriousness allows him to be the silly, fun one. I want acknowledgment for shouldering the burden of responsibility; is that too much to ask

  5. As a reformed stick-in-the-mud, I feel your pain. Took me a long, LONG time to realize:

    *Light-hearted did not mean flake.
    *Fun did not mean irresponsible.
    *Silly did not mean childish.

    Laughing at your foibles on your way to doing the "right" thing is good.

    Making household chores, paying bills, or any of the mundane day-to-day things we do fun gets the task done in good cheer. (Mary Poppins' "a spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down" applies to chores as well.)

    There's delight in finding the absurd in any given situation. That's a mature, adult thing to do. It releases tension and reminds you that, in the end, you can only do so much. You might has well laugh. After all, there is a "Someone", somewhere (perhaps "The Big Guy Upstairs") who has a warped sense of humor, with you being the butt of the joke(s).

    It was way too many moons & seasons before I really understood this. Hopefully it won't take you as long. Enjoy your darlins'. Have fun. Be silly. You'll blink and they'll be all grown up.

  6. We're pretty fluid in these parts, cause there's so many of them. But dad doesn't handle logistics, ever. That's all me. Chris is ADHD, so I'm pretty sure that asking him to handle appointments and structure and organization is like asking a toddler to do, well, anything. Ain't gonna happen.

    But we're pretty equal in our silliness and fun.


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