I was in the kitchen washing bottles (I’m somewhat of a bottle bitch these days), and I heard my son say to my husband, “I don’t want to be with mommy today. I want the babysitter to come, because she’s fun.” Although he’s five-years-old, and didn’t mean to hurt my feelings, it stung.
As I stood there, and tried to process what he was saying about me, I was flooded with so many emotions, but, mostly, I felt guilt. Guilt because he was right; I’m not very fun these days, and that sucks, because before I was a mom, I was fun.
In fact, I was the epitome of fun. People gravitated towards me because I was the life of the party, but somewhere between children, and responsibilities, the fun bus left the station and hasn’t returned.
I want to be fun, but I have two children, and two children are a hell of a lot of work, especially when one is a baby. That’s another thing; I had forgotten how much damn work babies were, and everyday I’m left questioning my decision to have children 5 years apart. Not only am I trying to man my 5-year-old, and run a household; I’m now trying to keep my 10-month-old from choking on button batteries, or tumbling down the stairs. If I’m not on my A-game, always taking care of business, the entire train derails. I don’t get the luxury of saying, “To hell with my responsibilities! Let’s finger paint and destroy the house with pillow forts. The laundry, dishes and all sense of responsibility can just wait.” If I don’t do stuff around the house when we are home, nothing will get done. Sitting down to do arts and crafts for two hours, like the babysitter does, would mean something important wasn’t getting done.
There just isn’t enough time in the day to be fun and responsible, and it’s totally unfair.
As I kept replaying what I had heard my child say in my head, I felt utterly defeated. Defeated, because this is not how I wanted to be remembered as a mom. I don’t want my son to look back and remember me as “the mom who made the best bed.”
What a sad existence.
I decided right then and there that I was going to be fun, if it was the last thing I did.
I cleared my schedule, dropped the baby off at daycare, and I planned a special day for just me and my son.
We had the most amazing time.
We have a beach about an hour away from us, so I loaded us in the car and away we went. We went hunting for shells, floated in a lazy river at a nearby water park, and ate naughty foods. We were having so much fun that we decided to make a night of it, and booked a hotel room. I didn’t realize how much my son loved hotel rooms. There were actually so many things I learned about my son in our 24 hours together. Things I had been missing.
He was such a natural when he entered the room. He unpacked our bags and put out clothes in the dresser, opened the blinds, and took a bath in the large soaking tub. He really is my child.
After we got settled in, he looked at me and said, “I’m having so much fun! I don’t ever want to leave.” His words were everything, and made me realize that something had been missing from our relationship for quite some time and it was having FUN. I had been so busy trying to keep my head above water that I had been missing the entire big picture. A light bulb went off; the key to keeping my head above water IS to have fun with my children. It’s therapeutic and a necessity.
We arrived home the next day with an entirely new connection and appreciation for one and other. It was refreshing, and was just enough to make me realize that some things in life are more important than laundry and dishes. A messy house is ok sometimes if it means your children are happy.
Does this mean that I’m going to let all housework and responsibility go? NO.
Does it mean that everyday will be like Disneyland at our house? NO.
But what I can do is carve out uninterrupted fun time with my children, every day. Even if it’s 10 minutes a day, I need to make it happen, for all of us. Having fun with my children should be one of the responsibilities I prioritize as a parent.
Perhaps, having fun with our kids should be a priority in every family.Follow