Secretly winning the contest

Even though most parents won’t admit it, there is a silent contest waging in the home with their children, a silent contest to be the fun parent, the hip parent, the most popular parent. Now of course I love it when my little girl has fun with her Dad, seeing her laugh as he tickles her, or lifts her high to touch the ceiling, piggy back rides with her little voice shouting “faster, faster,” all these fill my heart with joy. Not only joy at her being happy, but joy that he is such a great father, and loves her the way he does.

Yet come night time when she asks for me to come sit by her bed and sing her a song, I can’t help but to secretly want to high five myself for being picked. My heart fills with pride that she’s choosing me, but perhaps it’s because the choice is over such a great dad that it feels even better.

And yet this choice comes at a price too. It would sometimes be easier to not be picked, to sit back down and enjoy a cold drink while listening to their voices sharing stories from the day and picking morning books together. It’s on these nights when I also feel content, and can also be found secretly high fiving myself that I wasn’t picked.

Being a mother is complicated you see. You win even when you lose…and you realise that you must enjoy the times you are chosen because just like that it could change, and Dad will be back in the favourite chair tomorrow.

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