Did you guys know (according to a couple studies) that the majority of dads describe feelings of joy + fulfillment when taking care of their kids while the majority of moms describe feelings of stress. Ugh. Knowing that there’s a lot that goes into why this might be, the main difference between the two was that dads talked about playing with their kids while performing parental duties (i.e. dinnertime, bedtime, getting ready in the morning, etc.). Now, I really don’t want to oversimplify things, but considering how much we do it really seems toooooootally unfair (not to quote my kids) to let the dads have alllllll the fun! Ha!
I had actually seen this same scenario play out in my life years ago when Johan got home from work one evening and immediately started playing with the kids (Ozzie 10, Espen 4, Tilly 2, at the time) on the trampoline, while I finished making dinner (wha-wha). At first I stood at the kitchen window and just enjoyed the peace and quiet while taking in the beautiful view of my husband and kids laughing and rough housing. But then all these thoughts rushed through my mind…. like, why am I stuck doing all the work while they get to play?… and then, I’ve been with my kids all day and hadn’t heard them laugh like that which is totally on me!… etc.! This one little moment with all these thoughts (some negative and not helpful and others altering my perspective and totally helpful) completely changed motherhood for me. After that I started prioritizing play which, by my third kid, I honestly had to learn how to do all over again because, PLAYFULNESS IS A SKILL! And when you’re outnumbered it’s hard not feel like you have to use every free minute doing something productive. But that’s the other thing about playing, it is productive. It’s also at the core of our relationships with our kids and from my experience a strong relationship makes parenting so much less stressful.
Of course there’s a lot more that goes into it like asking for help and prioritizing self-care because no one can get all the things done, play endless games of candy land and still retain their sanity :) There’s a balance.
My favorite way to regain some balance when I start feeling that tension in our home is to simply leave the house (and with it all the undone laundry + work) to do something fun. Which is exactly what we did a couple weekends ago (to go get bagels and flowers at Pike Place!) and you know what — all the laundry, packing boxes and messes were waiting for us when we got back, but it felt like a lot less of a burden to deal with after a little playtime. And it was so much easier getting my people to help because they started liking me and each other again, lol.
A few pics from our morning at the market!
To all my local friends, do you guys know you can order seattle bagels and cream cheese through smith brothers!? Will definitely be signing up for that once we are moved in! Highly recommend adding some french toast bagels to your order if you do the same!
Found a very nice person to snap our pic! Ha! Blurry is better than nothing!
2nd grade teeth are the best… amiright?
I would just like to add that my kids were about to kill each other before we left the house on this particular morning… so when I sat down to edit these pic and found this hand holding one (even though I think Johan had asked them to do it) it made my day!
This is a perfect pic of Poppy. Girlfriend is suspicious of everything and everyone and will not let you near her until she has observed your behavior for awhile and even then she’s pretty picky. So different from her sister who would have gotten in a strangers car without even being bribed with candy.
One of my favorite quotes by Roald Dahl to end the post:
“When you grow up and have children of your own, do please remember something important: A stodgy parent is not fun at all! What a child wants – and DESERVES – is a parent who is SPARKY!”
Would love to know your thoughts on being playful with your kids!
I’m for sure never perfect about it nor do I feel the need to be perfect about it. No one needs that kind of pressure, lol. But I definitely have seen it play a big roll in my relationships with my kids so wanted to pass it on.
I love you guys and hope you have the best weekend!