You know what? *I* want to be the fun one!

This weekend, I stumbled upon (or fully realized) another of the Truths about Motherhood.

Mommies are not the “fun” ones. We are the “get things done and make sure that everyone is taken care of so that everyone else can have fun” ones.

Don’t get me wrong – there are times that I am the fun one. Bath time, for instance, is much more fun with Mommy than with Daddy. (This is most likely due to the fact that I love taking a bath and thus assume that LB wants to linger in the tub for decades like I do.)

But the general modus operandi is that Mommy makes sure that everyone is fed and clothed and reasonably healthy and that the toys are corralled and the errands get run and so on and so forth. Daddy makes sure that there is plenty of rough-housing and games of chase.

And it makes me feel like such an asshole when I nag the DreadBrewer to spend time with the Littlest Brewster rather than perusing seed catalogs ((It’s that time of year again! Cue wailing and gnashing of teeth…)) and then I get jealous and resentful because I feel left out of the fun while I do chores.

And I know the answer to this is: Ditch the chores for a bit! Join the fun!I try, really I do. But it is very, very hard for me to stop in the middle of a load of dishes or packing lunches to go play. It is not my personality to stop mid-task and start something else, even if it’s something worthwhile.

So I guess that’s something I need to work on – being more willing to put down the broom and join in on a game of “Tickle Monster”. Or being more willing to ask for help with general household operations so that there is more time for fun for everyone.

Maybe there’s a special Daddy gene that makes him able to ignore the gajillion piles of clutter and only see opportunities for fun? Where can I sign up for that?

 

3 thoughts on “You know what? *I* want to be the fun one!

  1. You are fighting the culture from whence you came.

    Despite being a Catholic, you were raised with the Protestant work ethic, which places the merits of work above all others. Far from honoring the concept of “self-improvement” or “self-fullfilment,” this ethic (I would argue) subverts the idea by proposing that these should be found *through* work.

    The result is that people from this culture find it anathema to decide that “fun” should come before “work.” Three Little Pigs, Ant and the Grasshopper, we indoctrinate this ethic at a young age. The fundamental problem with this worldview is that, to be frank, there’s *always* more work you could do, isn’t there? And there’s always self-fullfilment you can postpone until that work is done. That means that it’s quite easy to reach the end of a life and realize that you’ve spent the entire time doing what you were *supposed* to do, and never finding time to do what would have made you happy.

    (Extreme example, to be fair. Also, At the other extreme are the people who *always* choose fun before work, who do *no* work and choose the hedonistic lifestyle. That’s equally destructive.)

    Much better is to mindfully realize that you needn’t do something at that moment merely because your culture is predisposed to value arbitrary chores over personal development To balance work and play– and perhaps focus on valuing play more, since you are predisposed to do otherwise.

    One interesting thing I’ve heard is that we de-value love and life when we don’t do this. We feel it’s perfectly acceptable to cancel lunch with a friend because we have work to do, but we should truly *value* that friendship, and that friend, and keep that date. We should value friends, time with family, love, live, as much as we value work– which is really just about money or acceptance.

    Easier said than done, of course. I cancelled lunch twice this week. But it makes a point. It’s worth it to try to stop yourself from assuming you *must* fold clothes *right then.* Perhaps, as is often the case, you don’t actually *have* to wash those dishes *right now,* or even *today,* and are just doing it out of habit.

    Not that this makes it any easier, but you should know that you’re exactly what your culture wanted you to be, a hard working bee. Maybe if you know it comes from the outside, and not from some part that is fundamentally *you*, you can make mindful choices to ignore it (and know that no-one is judging you).

    There’s always more laundry. There will not always be tickle parties. There are always more dishes, there’s not always time to do what you want to make yourself happy. Value yourself.

    I love you.

  2. Pingback: This made me happy | BeerCat Brewing

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