Turning into my husband

Sometimes, my husband is just like a big kid. He is physically incapable of ignoring a football. If one comes near him, he can’t just knock it back, there have to be tricks involved. When there’s a football nearby, he forgets he’s a 41 year old father of three with his own company and a very demanding workload. Suddenly, he’s an 11 year old boy again.

And it doesn’t just stop at footballs. He’s obsessed with theme parks and rides. I’ll be honest, we rarely go to theme parks, but he’s forever planning theoretical visits and you know that, deep down, those visits are for him, not the kids.

When the kids were tiny and we went on holiday to Center Parcs or Disneyland Paris, he would go out on his own in the evening, just to go on the rides or the waterslides. Just because he could. They were there, he was on holiday and he couldn’t ignore them. To go on them was almost a compulsion. As the kids got older, he started taking them out with him too, leaving me in with whichever one or two kids was too young or too nervous to go out in the evenings.

At Center Parcs in the daytime, he’d be off with the boys, endlessly riding the Wild Water Rapids, leaving me bobbing around in the shallow end with my daughter, who just wanted to swim under water for hours. I wanted to go on the rapids too, but somehow it was never my turn. I was destined to be forever the one left behind, doing the boring stuff, while the biggest of all the kids had as much fun as he could possibly squeeze out of everything.

Fast forward to 2015 and our most recent holiday to Center Parcs and suddenly my daughter no longer wanted to hang around the shallow end. Suddenly she wanted to go on the rapids all the time too. So I could join in!

We went on the Wild Water Rapids over and over again. It was so much fun that I can hardly describe it. I could completely let go. I was young again. I was the big kid. I felt like I was just the same as them.

Center Parcs, Daughter, Water, Swimming, Wild Water Rapids

It’s all too easy for mums to get stuck in the rut of thinking they can’t join in with the kids. To decide they don’t want to do something without really giving it a go, to think they’re too old or that it’s somehow just not ‘right’ for grown women to join in. Who says so? Why do we fall into that trap? I knew I was falling into it and I knew I didn’t want to fall into it. I still want to enjoy life, I want to do what my kids do, I want to have fun and I want them to see me having fun, I want to enjoy spending time with them.

So I went on the rapids, and I also tried a couple of things I’d always been scared to try before. Why? Why was I scared? This isn’t Bear Grylls Mission Survive for flip’s sake, it’s Center Parcs! So I went on the very steep, very fast ‘piste’ slides and hit the water with a huge splash and a nose full of water. And I loved it. And I went in the freezing cold plunge pool, so beloved of tweens, teens and grown men as a means of showing off. It was cold, I didn’t love it, but I did it! I broke out of the ‘mum mould’, the shackles that said I can’t do that just because I’m 41 years old, a woman and a mum. If dads can do it, why can’t mums?

I realised I was turning into my husband and I realised I was having the best fun ever. I’m going to make the most of my kids and of having the energy and enthusiasm to do things with them. I’ll slow down when my body says I can’t do it any more, not when my mind says it’s somehow not becoming for a mother.

And my husband? He got a bit bored. He’s done the rapids so many times over the years that he’s kind of over it now.

Move over, Daddy! There’s  new big kid in town.

Author: Sarah Mummy

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13 Comments

  1. Haha that sounds like lots of fun!! I think we spend so much time being the grown up caring parents that we forget to be on their level too. My hubby and z will regularly boot a football around the house and I’m like the nagging fishwife shouting “not in the house” constantly. They find it hilarious!

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    • That’s quite sweet! There’s a fair amount of that here too – son will be kicking a ball around, then Daddy will have to join in and will inevitably kick it harder!
      Us mums definitely need to be the big kids too sometimes.

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  2. I agree, its so easy to fall into the habit of being the sensible one. The one to mind the bags. Over the past year, I’ve been trying to make an effort to be more physical – go on the roller coaster, go in the rapids, play ball, go down slides – Its not easy but so much fun when you start. Good on you!

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    • Thank you! It’s good to hear I’m not the only one – I think it’s so important to break away from the ‘minding the bags’ role and enjoy life. We’re not dead yet. We’re a very long way from dead!

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  3. As a husband, I would have to advise any woman considering the option of making the change and becoming a husband themselves to proceed with extreme caution. It may lead to a major culture shock, especially if you start liking Jeremy Clarkson.

    On a slightly more serious note thoguh, even though I’m a SAHD, and thefefore fulfil the tradiitonally female role, it is generally my wife who sits the fun stuff out. Not through lack of encouragement from me I have to say. NO idea why, seems to be the way the world rolls and I don’t really approve. Interesting perspective (oh, and btw, I have never been a fan of Clarkson).

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    • It definitely is the way the world rolls – interesting that’s even the case with you as a SAHD.
      I will definitely avoid taking it too far, just in case I start liking Jeremy Clarkson! 😉 Thanks.

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  4. I love this, Sarah! It’s always been the opposite in our house. My husband doesn’t care for rides but up until recently, my outing of choice for my birthday was always Alton Towers 🙂 I can’t wait until the boys are bigger so I don’t have to go on all the different things by myself.

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    • Thank you, that’s such a nice thing to say! Interesting to hear it’s the other way round in your house. My husband is forever going on at the kids about ‘upside down rollercoasters’. None of them have been on one yet – we’re basically waiting until my daughter hits the magical 140 (she’s 136 now), then it’s a competition to see who’s the bravest. I’m guessing it’s going to be her! 🙂

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  5. Aw this is a great post and your husband sounds exactly the same as mine. He is such a big kid too and is first in line for the slides at Centerparcs. And yes I am the mum on the side too watching the kids having fun. But you know what you are so right. Us mums can have fun too xx

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    • Thank you! What is it with husbands? They just can’t resist! I think if mums want to have fun, they should definitely be able to join in! x

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  6. When you have a husband who is scared of heights and isn’t a strong swimmer, you get to do all the fun stuff. That said, I sometimes have to do it on my own.

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    • That must be weird (although perfectly normal for you, I guess!). I definitely feel I’ve been missing out on the fun stuff for too long.

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  7. That is so cool but it is difficult when you have a younger one that can’t manage the faster stuff. Interestingly it is usually me that does the fast stuff and my husband stays with A, I’m not sure why and with some of the theme park rides, I would be more than happy for him to go. It is true though that we should make the most of the kids while they want us there as they will want to be doing things with their friends soon enough.

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