As I watched my husband and kids playing on the living room floor, I was angry.
At first, I didn’t know why. It was great that they were able to bond and enjoy the somewhat limited time they have together. I should be happy, I should be participating, I should be the fun mom. Instead, I held back, arms crossed, and sulked.
As I sat there, feeling all funked out. I realized I was jealous.
I’m home with my kids a lot, but some days I feel like we barely have any fun. I know that it’s not possible to always be a blissful, engaged, and fun mom. But I may have become so consumed with getting laundry done, shopping for groceries, cleaning toilets, managing schedules, etc., that being fun mom got pushed to the bottom of the list. I would get to it only if I had time.
That’s not to say that my kids don’t have a good life. I still read them their favorite books, take them to the park, redirect them when they start to fight over toys, and provide on demand meal service, but I sometimes do it begrudgingly and halfheartedly.
The second my husband gets home from work, my kids light up and run to him. In that moment, it often feels I become invisible. My mom guilt tells me I deserve it. I’ve become the un-fun mom. I put life’s tasks in front of actually enjoying my children. I’d probably want to spend more time with my husband, too, if I were in my children’s shoes. He’s fully in it, truly cherishing their silly stories and make believe.
There are just so many things to get done over the course of the day and I have a really hard time letting them slide. Besides, if I stop doing what I typically do and become fun mom, then my husband and I would both be busy in the evenings and on weekends- running to get toilet paper and vegetables, mowing the lawn, and doing dishes. My intention is to get it all done over the course of the day so we can all enjoy our down time together.
But when all was said and done, maybe this is just an excuse. Maybe I’ve just lost my fun mom.
I love my children and my husband. I don’t want to be jealous of the joyous moments they have together. I also want them to know that their fun is often possible because of all the behind the scenes work I’ve put in. I need to try to join in more, to ask for help when I need it, and to incorporate my children into the things I ‘have’ to do in a playful way. Try to find my fun mom.