Friday, August 20, 2010

What's the deal?

Why is it that when Mom wants to do something for herself everyone suffers?

The kids suffer because they are "stuck" with Dad. Dad suffers because the kids are acting like they are "stuck" with Dad, and Mom suffers because she has to deal with the before and after of the kids being "stuck" with Dad.

At least this is the situation at our house. And I am convinced our house isn't the only house associated with this problem. I know that I have kind of blogged on this subject before, but it keeps being an issue, and I keep talking about it.

A couple of weeks ago, Steve went to a Rush concert. Totally had a great time, everyone did. He went with two of his brothers, a friend of his brother, and his Uncle. Called on his way home and couldn't stop talking about the great time he had. Was completely in a great mood the following morning despite the late night. Since he wasn't going to be home, the kids and I got some pizza for dinner, I let them play late with some friends, had a fun dessert and then went to bed. Really an enjoyable evening for all of us. And there was happiness still in the morning from the kids too.

So why is it that I can't go out like that and do something for myself and have the same results? I'm not going to Steve-bash or anything, so I'll leave out any specific details, but seriously? What is so hard about taking over for Mom ONCE in a blue moon and just enjoy the time with your kids? Why does it have to be pain and torture for the kids and dad when Mom is gone? Play with the kids, have a fun treat with the kids, watch a movie together with popcorn, go to the park, go for a walk, explore a weed field near your house together, shoot some hoops at a school nearby (if you don't have a basketball hoop at your house), show your kids how to do a hobby of yours, go get an ice cream cone at Mc D's, make a box of brownies together and then eat them, color together - make mom some cards, do sommersaults in the family room, really it isn't all that hard to come up with something out of the ordinary to do with your kids when Mom is gone. I just suggested 12, that should last you a year, maybe two.

Give Mom [me] a break... I'm just sayin.


Michelle said...

I hear ya. Erin is a fan of Dad. She even crawled for him and hasn't for me yet. She even says his name and gets excited for him when he is home and reaches for him when he walks by. She is the first for such behavior.

Lhone said...

I totally agree, but I just can't believe you have the guts to say it. and since Blaine reads your blog too, that's all I can say ;)

Heather - said...

I think your point is very valid, and it takes more effort, but it might be worth it to plan ahead of time what the dad is going to do with the kids. Even if takes you getting out the brownie mix and all the supplies, or renting the movie and popping the popcorn before you leave, or whatever it is you decide to do, I think it's worth it for you to go to the extra effort to have a shot at coming home to a happy house. Does it stink that you would have to go to all that trouble? Yes, but I don't think I know of any dads that would do that sort of thing on their own. It's worth a try, right?

Brett said...

It's not always just the Dad's fault. Michelle went to Vegas for four days and left the kids with me. Overall we had a great time. I can't say that I was very productive, but we all survived and had a good time. However, when it came to lunch time one day, I asked the kids what they wanted. Each suggested something totally different. I told them that I was not going to make 3 different kinds of lunches, so we all compromised on PB & J sandwiches. I made three sandwiches, asked each kid how they wanted them cut, plated and served them. One kid, who will remain nameless, sat down and began crying as if Old Yeller just died. They wanted strawberry jam, not grape jelly. Now, if that kid had told the Dad before he made the sandwiches, or even after, it would have been OK. But the wailing and crying and throwing a fit makes it one of those things that make being "stuck" with Dad not so fun. Dads have to do their part. I hate hearing a dad at church say that he has to babysit his kids. No, he needs to parent his kids. Sorry for the rant, I'm just sayin'.

Heather - said...

Sorry to comment again, but I've been thinking, and I think part of the problem can be that as a mom, you're used to the whining and the crying, and the complaining. At least I am. I have a much higher tolerance for it than James does. And really, that's not the dad's fault. They're out supporting the family and don't have much of a chance to build up a tolerance for it.
For the most part, a little crying and complaining doesn't ruin my whole day. I think sometimes dads can think that things have to be perfect and magical or they've failed, and that just isn't the case. I don't think I've ever had a day where I thought, "wow, that was a perfectly magical day", but that doesn't mean that we're all grumpy and upset about it. You make the most of it and decide that you're going to have a good time no matter what happens. Does that make any sense? I'm just sayin' :)

Lhone said...

I thought I would put in a plug for blaine. i went to a soccer meeting, and I came back and he had taken all the kids to jubilee for donuts and chocolate milk. i love when he takes the initiative. maybe a family night to talk to the kids would help by telling them about how we feel when we leave the house, and come up with a plan so the kids are on board with mom leaving. I think that if the kids are happier, then dad is happier, and mom can come home happier. i don't know. more ideas from dad about how to keep everyone happy would be great.

Cynthia Hatch said...

Dave gave me the day off yesterday to read and relax. At one point Ashton came in to ask me a question. I told her, "Ask Dad, he is in charge today." She responded, "How can Dad be in charge?" I told her that it was my rest day so Dad was in charge. She gave me a funny look and mumbled as she walked out of the room, "Oh man, Dad is babysitting!" Hahaha