I wanted to be the fun parent. Even those days when I said I didn’t know if I want kids, I think I knew I would because I wanted to be the fun parent. Then R was born. She was a happy child and we did a lot of fun things together. I was at home. Her dad worked. It did not seem like a difficult thing at all. In fact, we were both fun parents. She shared a different kind of relationship with her dad. They did different things to what she and I did.
When the tantrums began, I was left to handle the disciplining. I was teaching her the right and wrong, having arguments with her and soon it felt like she and I were constantly quarreling. By then, I had started working, which meant we had fewer fun moments and more outbursts. Dad’s life, on the other hand, did not seemed to have changed that much. I was the the bad parent. Dad was still the fun parent. The only.
We got more stuck into our jobs and schedules; she was growing up at a rate we could barely keep up with. I was still occasionally reading the odd blog or parenting websites and newsletters. I tried to keep up with the news but that was no better. Mummy wars, best way to parent kids and all the unimaginable crimes against children interspersed with accidents that left them with a single parent, and in some instances none. I could ignore the wars and advice. The crimes were out of my control but I resolved to enroll her in self-defense lessons as soon as she was old enough to start. In the meanwhile, we would do our best to keep her safe.
The last, the unexpected, I felt I had to prepare for. So, we took turns with her routine – from bath to washing hair to bedtime, daycare drop-offs and pick-ups, we could both independently take care of her. The added bonus is that I can take nights off with the girls or her dad could head off on a boys weekend out. Isn’t that fabulous? We could both switch roles and do just fine. Of course, we hope never have to fly solo. It is awesome that she doesn’t assign either parent to a fixed role anymore. It is simply great.
We will be right. Hashtag parentingwin.