by Risa Green
Somehow, I am no longer the fun one.
This did not happen overnight. It must have been gradual, because I only recently even became aware that it had happened. But it has. Where I used to be Mommy, the Doer of All Fun Things, I have now morphed into Mom, the One Who Drives to All Fun Things. And somehow, my husband, who used to be Daddy, That Other Parent, has now become Daddy, the Awesomest Guy In the World Who Coaches All of Our Sports Teams and Buys Us Donuts at Nine AM. Hmmm.
It kind of sucks, not being the fun one anymore. When my kids were in preschool, we would spend the afternoons together playing at the park, going to Mommy and Me classes, baking brownies or Rice Krispie treats, and making art projects together. But now that my kids are older and have stuff to do after school, I feel like I’ve become nothing more than a glorified chauffeur, chef, and personal assistant, all rolled into one. While my kids are toiling away at school, it’s become my job to buy posterboards for their projects, to make cookies (by myself) when they’re student of the week, to return their books to the library before they’re overdue, to buy them new socks because their old ones are starting to feel like sandpaper, to prepare (ok, to order) dinner so that it’s on the table when they get home from practice and they’re starving. Twice a week, I sit in the carpool line at school for half an hour, waiting to pick up my kids and three of their teammates, and twenty minutes later, after feeding them all a snack (that I had to go to the market to buy), I promptly deliver them to the soccer/basketball/softball field, where
My husband, a/k/a the Awesomest Guy In the World Who Coaches All of Our Sports Teams and Buys Us Donuts at Nine AM, is waiting in his coach’s hat and jersey, yelling about all of the FUN! they’re going to have.
Now, of course, I think it’s great that my husband wants to coach my kids’ teams. He’s been waiting for this since the day my daughter was born, and I certainly prefer his over-coaching to those dads who hardly have anything to do with their kids. And I’m not saying that I mind buying the posterboards, or making the cookies, or driving carpool. I don’t. But it just seems – I don’t know – unbalanced, somehow. Like, he gets to do things with my kids, while I just get to do things for my kids. He gets to be the fun one who is so awesome because, after all, none of the other dads are there every week, teaching their friends how to catch a softball, or how to make a free-throw, or how to hit a ball off of a tee. While I get to be the one who keeps everything humming along smoothly; the one who only gets noticed when something doesn’t work the way it’s supposed to. But that’s okay. I don’t want to be one of those guilt-trippy moms who’s always complaining that my kids don’t appreciate me. I get it – it’s a mother’s lot in life to be underappreciated, and the only time that they will ever really appreciate me is when they become parents themselves. Which is, I hope, a long way off.
So until then, I think I just need to suck it up and try to be fun whenever I can. Making up dance routines at bedtime, impromptu Wii karaoke contests, surprise Make Your Own Sundae bars for dessert. I’m going to give Mr. Awesomest Guy In the World Who Coaches All of Our Sports Teams and Buys Us Donuts at Nine AM a run for his money. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to beat him (well, maybe when it comes time to go shopping for prom dresses), but God knows, I will die trying.