Are you tired of not being the fun parent? Parenting is hard work. It’s definitely not fun some of the time. Being a mother, in particular, is hard because you are reinforcing the same thing day after day.
For some reason, my kids thought I got a big charge out of bossing them around all the time. Like I somehow enjoyed telling them to get out of bed and get ready for school. Frankly, I wished I could just jump back in bed with them and call it a day.
Instead, I had to get up with them and push through another day of meals, homework, and sports. (For several years I had to have my daughter at cross country by 6 am. Argh.)
There is nothing like having to be the adult in the room when the inner child or “fun parent” is screaming to come out and play. Often, I had to quietly stuff “fun mom” into a closet and leave her screaming and banging on the door while “boring mom” got up and made breakfast.
Moms Are Usually Not That Fun
You see, I am the main taskmaster of the family. I’m really not the fun parent that I wish I could be. Although, I do try. (I usually just make myself look like a dork.)
My husband definitely has had his share of commands to the kids, but I am still the main ogre. It has mostly been up to me to make sure our children are well-mannered, educated, spiritual, healthy, and all around good people.
This takes a lot of correction and molding. It hasn’t been easy. I think the worst thing I had to do was be the Sargent in command on a school night. I am the one who was constantly bossing them to eat dinner, put their cell phone up, do homework, get ready for bed, and encourage Bible reading.
How many ways can you say the same thing day after day? It’s as if they have never heard, “It’s 10 pm. Put up the phone!”
They would have this sort of shocked look when I would call them out. It’s like they didn’t know the rules or that they had been purposely targeted for cruel and unusual punishment.
None of these tasks were really easy to spin into an exciting and meaningful event. It became monotonous and thankless. No child says, “Thanks mom for making me eat my green vegetables, ruining my social life, or isolating me in my room for hours to do reading and math so I can be an amazing adult someday.”
If you are waiting for some sort of great platitude or public announcement of your great sacrifice and strength-don’t hold your breath. It’s not coming. The rewards come years later.
You will have to wait until they can articulate a sentence that starts with something other than, “Why do I have to…” or “No one else has to…”
One Day You Will Be Amazing
One day it will happen. You will be amazing. Maybe even a little fun. Your child will call home and thank you. It may only be one time, but I guarantee you it will happen. They may not even be able to articulate it out loud, but it is coming. When my son went to college, I got a text. I didn’t erase it for months.
He specifically thanked me for making him read. He told me how much he loved me and appreciated everything I did for him. And then years later he publicly thanked me on Facebook for making him clean his room. (That seems to be a torture in my house.)
I thought I might pass out both times. Where’s the smelling salt?? I suggest you print the text or Facebook tribute if it happens to you. Maybe even frame it right by your computer so you see it every now and then. I was beyond happy, even giddy, that he would finally admit a tiny bit that I was right about something!
It was proof I did something right all those years I questioned myself. I can’t tell you how many times I wondered if they were going to visit me in my old age. Or perhaps both my kids were secretly plotting to just lock me up somewhere as a way of revenge.
Now That My Kids Are Gone
Now that my kids are gone I have realized 3 things:
1. It is temporary.
Now they understand why I made them do their homework, volunteer, eat healthily and go to church. The pain was temporary, but it seems forever.
2. It pays off.
I love how my kids have turned out. It was painful, but it was worth it. I’m glad I didn’t give up. I kept reinforcing the right things and eventually, they got it. Or are getting it.
3. Maturity helps.
Time has a way of working out some of the problems. My kids are realizing things finally because they are getting older. They have lived a little. They see how others or even they have paid the consequences for not doing the right thing.
It Won’t Last Forever
If you are tired of not being the fun parent, just remember it won’t last forever. The kids do mature and, eventually, they realize you were tough on them because you loved them.
And don’t forget, you can still have lots of fun in between all the work. Your day is coming. Don’t give up! What things do you tell your kids to do day after day? Are you fun?
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