As I was sitting on the beach watching my husband go from playing with the kids in the water, to building elaborate sand castles and then finally to getting buried in the sand up to his waist, I had an “aha” moment. My “aha” moment is that I don’t really want to be the ‘fun’ parent.
No, thanks. I very much like my role as snuggler, confidant, boo-boo healer, goofy talking parent, and cheerleader. I even gave my kids the sex talk without batting an eyelash. But I have to say that I totally prefer any of these roles over the “fun” role.
Here are some of the fun things that I’d rather leave to my partner:
1. Going IN the water.
I don’t want to go in the water. Not all the time anyhow. When we get to the beach and the kids are raring to get wet in the icy cold lake, I’m quite content to set up the beach umbrella, grab my book, and let Daddy frolic away with the kids.
2. I don’t roughhouse.
Ugh, I can barely watch roughhousing, let alone participate in it. But I know my kids love it from time to time, so my best bet is to leave the room and let them have their fun. Without me.
3. The wild rollercoasters.
I’m okay with most roller coasters but my “fun” husband likes all the crazy ones and will go on them over and over again without feeling the need to hurl or walk around in a dizzy stupor for the rest of the day. I leave those rides to him. The vomit inducing teacups? All him.
4.The piggy back and shoulder rides.
I feel like I can do it, but only for very, very short periods of time. I was not made to be a pack mule. But on the plus side, my husband seems to be. He could carry one on his shoulders and one on his back all the way to the beach and not even bat an eyelash. So there’s that.
5. The adventure sports.
We went to a rope climbing fort, and because Daddy wasn’t with us, I was required to go in with my daughter. Yep, we got stuck halfway between there and back, which is a pretty crappy place to be stuck. It’s hard friggen’ work pulling yourself along the outside of the rope course. I used muscles I didn’t even know I had, but I’m pretty sure their dad has some of those muscles, so we’ll leave that to him next time.
6. Teaching them to drive (one day).
I’m just speculating that this will be way out of my comfort zone and that their dad will totally think this is fun and so will the kids. So he can have it. And I will stay safely over here on the sidewalk cheering them on.
7. Being the coach.
Before anyone gets all upset with me, I have been the coach and didn’t mind it that much. I’m a pretty good baseball player and it was okay coaching the little league games that one year, but as a general rule their Dad seems to like it better so if there’s anymore coaching to be done it’s in his court now. As the “fun” parent.
8. Touching all the slimey things.
Because…no. I’ll leave all the frog catching, snake holding, bug finding fun up to Dad because this Mama doesn’t appreciate that sort of fun.
9. Camping in the backyard.
Or I guess any camping in general really. Of course a great lot of fun can be had camping. I know that in my head, but in my heart, I’m aware that it’s best if I just stay out of it. I’ll be inside without the bugs and on a more comfy mattress letting Dad have that fun.
10. The pushing back of bedtime.
Nope, nope and nope. Yes, the cool “fun” parent may implore for just a few more minutes to roughhouse with the kids before bed, but that will not be me. Bedtime is called bedtime for a reason. And that reason is that it’s time to binge Netflix because the kids are…wait for it… IN BED.
Do I feel guilty that all of these “fun” things are not my cup of tea? Sometimes. But I do, of course, have lots of fun with my kids in different, quieter ways. Lately I’ve been the queen of card games and I’m always making them laugh with silly voices.
But I’m not the “fun” parent. Nor do I aspire to be. I’ll leave that in the capable hands of my partner, who is much more suited to it. And thank goodness for that.
This article was originally published on