I have a confession to make. Sometimes, I wish I could be the fun parent instead of you.
I hear you dancing wildly in the kitchen, jumping around in celebration of your favorite baseball player’s homerun. The kids are giggling at your antics and hopping around you in excitement.
And me? I’m in the other room folding laundry and making a mental list of all of the bills that need to be paid tonight once everyone else is in bed.
Insert big sigh here.
This seems to be the tune to a lot of our days. While you’re cracking jokes and tickling, I’m tiredly looking at the clock and thinking it’s about time to calm down for bed. While you’re proudly eyeing the grease that appeared on our son’s overalls while he was helping you work on the truck, I’m wondering how I’ll get the stains out and dreading yet another load of laundry when the hamper is already overflowing. And given the choice between mom’s bath time (think: cleanliness) and dad being in charge (think: splash park), I know they would choose you, hands down, every single time.
To be clear, it’s not that you’re never responsible. You do the maintenance on our home. You go to work each and every day to provide for our family, and some nights you still come home to cook dinner when this pregnant mama can’t muster up the energy.
And it’s not that I’m never fun. Sometimes I’m the one instigating the dance parties. Sometimes I’m the one playing hide ‘n’ seek, or the one sneaking extra scoops of ice cream into the kids’ bowls too close to dinnertime.
But if I’m being perfectly honest, even the “fun parent” moments often exhaust me. Outings to the zoo or the pool get me thinking about sunscreen, safety precautions, and fully stocked diaper bags. Extra sweet treats make me worry about whether or not we’ll have to endure stomach aches later on. My fun and your fun may not look totally different from the eyes of our kids, but they sure feel like they require different levels of energy from the two of us.
We’re wired differently—you and I. That mental load I carry around? The one that bogs me down and overwhelms me so much so that some days I have to make an intentional effort to remember to relax and smile? You don’t carry it. You have the miraculous ability to push your cares away and just be.
I envy you sometimes, husband.
I envy your ability to be the fun parent while I take on the role of the over-analyzer.
I envy the pure joy you so easily evoke from our sweet babies, the kind that seems to take more effort to acquire on my end.
I envy you, but I’m also in awe of you and I know in my heart of hearts that we balance each other out. We each play our part in our family’s make up. And the most important thing of all? Our kids are happy—really, truly happy.
So I’ll keep on wishing that I was the fun parent if you’ll keep on filling that role like only you can.
Thank you for the fun that you bring to our lives, our home, and our hearts.
Your wife (the second-most-fun-parent in this house)