Dad is Great!

Up until about a year ago, my life was all about my kids. I was a 24/7 stay at home mom. I didn’t have much of a life outside my house.

Then all at once I became really busy. I started a blog and a business. Suddenly I had so much to do I had no time to think about how everything was changing.

I like that I have my own life now, but I feel like I’ve completely lost control of my family. My husband used to be a weekend dad who worked until late at night or go out of town several times a month. Now that I’m working more he has stepped up and taken a bigger role in the parenting.

He’s a great dad, but let’s just say he has a different style.

When I went to Blogher in Chicago this summer my husband had the kids for less than 48 hours. I think they spent 24 of those 48 hours playing Wii and they managed to eat at In n Out or Islands several times.

Since then, it’s been “Dad is great. Give us the chocolate cake.”

Not that I’m competing, but how can I compete with that? I only let them play Wii for a couple of hours on Saturday and I won’t let them go to McDonald’s and I don’t even want them to eat beef more than once a week.

My husband has been spending so much time with the kids on the weekend that if I go to get in the car with them the boys look at me and say, “Are you coming?” And then look a little disappointed when I say yes. Because it usually means no In-N-Out chased by ice cream or cookies at Diddy Riese. (My husband can’t have gluten so he HAS to eat there because he can get a lettuce wrap hamburger and gluten-free fries.)

In my attempt to be the cool parent for the Veteran’s Day school holiday I told them right up front that if they went with me to the Science Center I would get them McDonald’s. Yes, McDonalds. I already had a humiliating experience with a preschool parent last year about giving my kids McDonalds, so I was clearly aware that this was not a good idea.

We ran into a friend and her kids there and when she saw me she looked flabbergasted at my choice of toxins. “What are you doing?” This is wrong on so many levels, she said. She was so right and I knew it.

I really wanted to have a super fun day with the boys. I wanted them to say “Mom is great.”

Which leads me to Saturday. I got tickets to the Premiere of “Planet 51.” This would be super cool and the kids would love it. Or so I thought. When I asked the 5-year-old if he wanted to go he didn’t even have to think about it. “No,” he said. “I don’t want to miss soccer.”

In that moment I realized that someone has to be the enforcer. Someone has to make sure the kids eat fruits and vegetable and learn skills other than using a virtual light saber.

If I had thought about my kids and what was best for them and not what makes me look like fun mom, I never would have suggested it. He made a commitment to being on the team and it was his responsibility to go to all of the games.

Ugghh. Whether I’m trying to be the Enforcer or the Cool Mom, I can’t win.

On another note, The 4-year-old and I did end up going to the Planet 51 premiere Saturday. We hovered on the edge of the red carpet (which was actually green for the movie) and partook in the voluminous free junk food. My son loved the movie and I thought it was cute. I wasn’t crazy about a homophobic joke and a reference to plastic surgery. But other than that, it was good.

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