Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Why Daddy’s Always Get To Be The Nice Guy

Over the weekend we had the chance to get outside and enjoy the beautiful weather. For the first time in many weeks we didn’t have to go anywhere, no one was sick or injured and it wasn’t raining miserable weather. With Luke being away all week I have noticed we are all making the most of our time together, more so than we do when we see each other daily. Saturday we had hoped to spend the day on the boat and have a picnic on one of the nearby islands but it was still a little cold for that. Since nanny had come over to visit we decided we should still take the boat out even just for a little while. Nanny had a great time showing Skye how to fish even though we didn’t manage to catch a single thing.


It’s been almost 8 months since Skye last went out on the boat so while it was moving she cuddled into me like a little koala looking for reassurance and eventually fell asleep on the trip home. Daddy tried his hardest to get her to sit with him in the drivers seat but when she is looking for comfort in an unfamiliar situation, it’s all about mummy.


The following day was spent cleaning the inside and outside of the house. Of course, no outdoor work can be done properly without a trip to Bunnings and once we had our supplies we headed to the park to have some lunch. I was able to sit back and enjoy seeing daddy and daughter bonding over feeding the seagulls and then chasing them away. Skye was scared by the seagulls coming so close but Luke showed her how to flail her arms at them so they would move away and once she realised they were more scared of her she happily chased them around.


It was then that I realised just how different our approach to parenting is. If I had been alone with Skye in that situation I probably would have put her back in the car and gone home rather than deal with the stress of seeing her upset by the seagulls and worrying about her running off the edge of the rocks and into the water. I am more likely to avoid a potential problem than face it head on which is why Luke’s forced fun tactics often help overcome an issue before it even has a chance to become one.


Can you tell Luke dressed her this morning? I wonder if the matching blue polo’s were intentional.

I was witness to this once again when we got home and started cleaning up. Skye took great delight in helping daddy in the garden and it made it much easier for me to get on with tackling the inside. While washing the boat with the high pressure hose Skye was frightened by the sound of the compressor so rather than allow her to become scared by it, Luke picked her up and let her have a go at washing the boat herself. Within minutes she had gone from grizzling that something was upsetting her to complaining that she wanted to be the one pulling the trigger! As I watched through the window I saw Skye sitting proudly in the captains seat trying with all her might to steer the suspended boat out of the driveway. The whole time I could hear Luke talking to her about where she was steering and how many fish she could see. It was a beautiful sight to behold the two of them consumed in their time together as if the outside world had ceased to exist. I felt a pang of jealousy and guilt as I realised that I am usually so busy trying to get something done that I miss those opportunities.


Totally Daddy’s Girl

Its a common stereotype to fall into but I can see how it happens so easily. It can be very hard to be the fun one when you are in charge of making sure that you have everything you might possibly need and be always mindful of what needs to happen next (including being responsible for packing your husbands wallet and phone before locking the house). Having to constantly be on top of every real and potential need that may arise leaves little energy or patience for taking the playtime approach even thought I know it’s far more effective in the long term. Seeing the joy in their faces reminded me that this is the whole point, this is what life is all about, not letting life get in the way of living.

I wish I could say it’s a simple matter of telling yourself to lighten up but how do you dial it down when the responsibility level remains unchanged? Skye undoubtedly turns to me when she is needing comfort and nurturing (or to be fed) while she seeks Luke’s attention when she is looking to play and be silly. So what do I do about it? Do I drive myself crazy trying to be everything to everyone or do I accept that Skye benefits from having the two of us compliment each others strengths and weaknesses meaning she has a parent capable of giving her what she needs in almost every circumstance? The fact is that Luke and I are partners in this parenting gig and as such have to be able to make our own individual contributions to Skye’s needs drawing on the most suitable skill set available at the time. Like generations before me I will take on the role of nurturer. I will relish the times when a cuddle from me will make everything right with the world and savour the occasions when Skye and her daddy can share their own special moments together rather than expect that it is yet another thing I should be doing myself.

Joining in with Diary of a SAHM for iBOT.


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