I’m not a fun mom. There, I said it.
What is most funny about this statement is that my kids have only once said it to me. I think it had something to do with playing in the basement when my husband had tools out. You know… safety first makes you not a fun mom!
I have, however, received eyebrow raises, nods, and even snide comments from other people about, “How a mother should be fun.” And yes, my skin crawled at that statement just as much as yours just did.
So, how do I know I’m not a fun mom? As a firm believer that there isn’t one set way to parent, the idea of being a fun mom has always presented a challenge to me. I’m a sarcastic person by nature, and I don’t like to goof off. I don’t parent in a way that encourages my children to look at me as their friend. Which is completely ok by me. It doesn’t make me a particularly fun mom though.
It has taken a lot of understanding and heartbreak on my end to finally acknowledge that I’m not fun.
I’m not the mom that I had always claimed I would be before kids (but are we really ever that mythical creature?)
I’ve managed to narrow down what I deem as the top five reasons why I’m not a fun mom:
I make rules, and I stick to them.
I’m a stickler for rules (and logic.) When I have set a rule in place for our household, I stick to it with absolutely no wavering. What makes this equally challenging is that my husband is more likely to break the rules with the kids and they know it. That makes him the fun parent for sure.
I constantly tell myself that I make the rules for their benefit, yet the truth is, the rules are equally for me. I live in constant fear of my kids getting hurt, so I try to control every situation to hopefully avoid even a single scratch from a stick when they are playing in the yard. Sounds fun, right?
I do not allow my children to have sweets (but I’ll eat them.)
This is a big one for the kids because it’s incredibly hard for them to understand why I am sitting on the couch eating a bowl of ice cream at 8 am and they aren’t. “Because I’m the parent,” is often my response. It sounds cold, but I promise you it isn’t. This is done with a good reason. My diet choices aren’t the best, but there is no way I will let my kids fall into the same unhealthy food rut that I’m in.
A large part of my rule is that I want my kids to eat only the best, and I want their teeth to be as healthy as possible. I’m not the fun mom that creates extravagant desserts for the kids to enjoy. I don’t allow soda in our house, and my kids do not get dessert every night. Sweets and desserts are occasional treats in my eyes, and I’m lucky enough that my kids love fresh fruit with yogurt or a little homemade whipped cream for dessert as their treat.
I don’t play.
I should rephrase that. I can’t play. I don’t have that ability to switch into imagination mode. And when I can figure it out, my enthusiasm dwindles to nothing at the five-minute mark. I love watching my kids play though, and I love the beautiful imaginations they have. I just don’t have it, and I wonder if I even did when I was their age.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I absolutely laugh, giggle and have inside jokes with my kids. It’s just the actually playing aspect that I don’t have down.
I control and prefer to do all household chores.
Ok, so my son could care less about this one, and in his eyes it probably makes me a wicked fun mom. My daughter, however, is getting older and wants to play a supportive role in our household, more than just as a child. She actively tries to help with our household chores. I’m a control freak, and I basically attempt to micromanage my own family (yes, I’ll admit it). I don’t like messes, and sometimes a kid “cleaning” creates a bigger mess than the original disorder, and I can’t tolerate this at all.
My daughter even went as far as writing her own chore list, and I caught myself crossing tasks off her list because I like to do them. This is absolutely an area where I’m trying to budge out of my, “Not a fun mom” ways because I know allowing my kids to accomplish basic chores is developmentally good for them.
I’m a homebody.
My family doesn’t go on a lot of vacations, and while part of that is financial, the other part is I would rather just be home. I would prefer to take a week off from work and spend time around the house with my family. Sure, we might go on day trips here and there, but traveling locally is still (to me) part of being a homebody. And you add this to my driving anxiety and my kids have never experienced a one-on-one day-long outing with me. I’ve never decided to just pack up the car and take them by myself on an adventure further than our very local radius.
Quite honestly, I’m sure there are more reasons that someone could come up with to describe how I am a not fun mom, but these stand out to me the most. I am not a fun mom, but I am a loving mom and a supportive mom. I am a caring mom and an always worried mom.
At the end of the day, my kids still think I’m fun even though I don’t label myself that way. They tell me every single day that I’m the best mom, just as I tell them they are the best kids I could have ever asked for.