Our older daughter’s golf team had just placed fourth in their conference. I was not able to go to the tournament, but my husband did—she played her best game yet. While I support my girl and her love of the sport, her daddy really is her biggest fan. So it was very important to both of them that they got to share this day together.
When the conference was over, she texted me her score. I texted back my congratulations. I could virtually feel her excitement through the tips of my fingers. I smiled and set my phone to the side and continued on with my day.
Within a very short moment, I received another text from her. In all caps. The excitement had waned.
OH NO, MOMMA! MY MONEY IS IN MY GOLF BAG AND DADDY TOOK MY GOLF BAG WITH HIM AND THE TEAM IS GOING TO LUNCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(Side note: When you are a teenage girl, you can never use enough exclamation points.)
Sensing my child being concerned about not having her money, not getting her lunch, being without, I offered the simplest of solutions: Call your daddy.
My thumb had barely lifted from the send button when she texted back: Why?
I looked at the text. I glanced at my friend who was eating lunch across from me. I showed her my screen. And without a word exchanged between us, she reached across, squeezed my hand and gave me a knowing look.
She also had children. They also came to momma in a panic.
I texted my daughter back yet again:
Because Daddy has your money and he’s ten minutes away. I, on the other hand, am two hours away. Who do YOU think would be the better parent to handle this situation?”
I rolled my eyes, set my phone off to the side and sighed. Ding! I got another text:
It’s okay. Coach says she will pay and you can pay her back.
Just one week later, our other daughter was home alone, sick. I called to check on her, and she said she was doing somewhat better. She was getting hungry, though. I began to give her a checklist of things we had at the house to eat.
She interrupted me, “But Daddy said he was going to bring me something to eat for lunch.”
“Oh,” I replied. “Well, then I guess lunch is taken care of.”
“No, it’s not,” she argued. “He’s not here. Where is he?”
“I don’t know, honey.”
“Well, could you find him and tell him I’m hungry and ready for lunch?” she shot back.
“I could,” I stated slowly, “but you have this thing called a phone and you could use it to call him yourself.”
“Noooo, Momma. I’m sick. You do it.”
All I really wanted to know was if she were still breathing. Instead, I was somehow roped into a full-blown man-hunt/lunch order fiasco. In case you’re wondering, and I know you are, my little sicky got a cheeseburger, and I got nada. Not even a “thanks-for-finding-daddy-so-I-could-continue-watching-Netflix-undisturbed.”
C’mon now, friends. I know you are with me on this one: Overworked mommas always—ALWAYS—go hand-in-hand with overlooked dads. Am I right or am I right?
(The correct answer is that I am right.)
The thing is this: My husband (as I’m sure your husband as well) is a perfectly capable and willing partner in this parenting gig we signed up for. In fact, on most days, particularly the ones on which I have to wake up in the mornings, he’s the better parent.
He makes (or buys) lunch to order. I throw crackers, a slice of cheese and some frozen pepperoni that I picked from a pizza into a baggie and call it a Lunchable.
He spends endless hours working with our girls on their softball or golf skills. I Instagram a cute picture of them #bestdaughtersever and then Pin it. Then Pin a breakfast recipe, then a quote I like, then a craft made from empty wine bottles, then I buy a case of empty wine bottles on Craigslist and have to leave the game to go pick them up.
He helps them with their math. They help me balance the checkbook.
He taught them how to sort laundry. I taught them that if they aren’t ready to fold the clothes just yet, they should restart the dryer.
He gets to do the fun stuff. I get the panic calls and the hard labor.
I’m grateful for my parenting partner, don’t get me wrong. But once, just once, when the morning rolls around and all the ponytail holders have magically disappeared in the night, I’d like to hear them yell, “Dad! Where did all of my hair stuff go?”
Better still, I’d like to see him find all of those elusive little bands.
Heather Davis is a momma, a writer and apparently a jack of all trades as far as her family is concerned. You can contact her through her website, www.Minivan-Momma.com or via email at Minivan.Momma.firstname.lastname@example.org.