When I was pregnant with Annie, Mike and I spent a lot of time discussing how we would raise her. Finally, one day in month seven, we dipped our quill in ink and drafted our “Official Spohr Family Rules.” This historic document began:
“We the Parents of the Spohr household, in Order to form a more perfect family…”
Okay, so we might have been feeling a tad grandiose that day, but two plus years later we still follow our rules and Annie is all the better for it. But here’s the thing… steals sideways glances … I don’t always follow the rules when Mike isn’t around. In fact, when Mike isn’t around I find that I parent altogether differently than I do when he is.
When Mike and I are together I am more of the rule enforcer than Mike. Bedtime happens at 8:30 on the dot, TV time ends after one hour, and food is eaten in the high chair and not on the couch (though you wouldn’t know it from its stains). This isn’t to say Mike doesn’t enforce the rules too, he does, but when Annie “cutes” her way into staying up a little later you can bet its Daddy who got conned.
This all changes when I’m alone with Annie. I let her watch more TV than she is allowed, I don’t make her nap at the appointed time, and I sometimes even pull her out of her crib at night so she can cuddle in bed with me (this totally isn’t because I’m afraid of sleeping alone at night. Not. At. All. Okay, maybe a little.)
It isn’t all rule breaking though when I’m solo parenting. Annie and I do a lot of fun stuff too, like rocking out to OUR music (N’Sync and Gwen Stefani), reading our favorite children’s books, and spending hours playing dress up. But when Mike returns I go right back to being the “other mom.”
Don’t get me wrong, I like the “other mom” and think she does a great job with Annie (if I do say so myself), but I do wonder why I parent differently when alone. Is it because when the “Y” chromosome is gone it’s time for girl bonding? Or is it just harder to enforce the rules when you don’t have the other parent to back you up? I wish I could say I knew.
Anyone else feel like they turn into Mama Hyde when alone with your kids?