Bluey is one of my favorite shows for my kids to watch. It’s clean, educational, and has those hidden parent-only side comments mixed in to keep us entertained, and Bingo’s little laugh makes me smile every time. But Bluey and I didn’t always have this fondness in our relationship.
When my kids first got into Bluey, like any new show, I sat and watched a few episodes with them. I loved the content and appreciated the humor, but boy, oh boy, was I feeling a certain way about Bandit, Bluey’s dad.
If you’ve never seen the show, Bandit is the play parent most of the time. Each episode is typically about a pretend scenario or adventure with Bandit and the girls. And let me tell you, he gets into it!
I instantly compared myself to Bandit. I was raging with jealousy and shame and feeling less than as a parent. You see, I am not the play-parent. Don’t get me wrong; I love taking my kids places, pushing them on the swings, sitting at the kitchen table coloring, or playing Play-doh. However, I do not enjoy playing pretend.
I wouldn’t say I like making up stories with dolls, being a monster, or pretending I am at the doctor or hair salon. I do it sometimes, but those types of play are usually reserved for when daddy gets home.
So imagine you are me, or maybe you already are and filled with guilt because shouldn’t we love every aspect of being moms? And then we watch Bandit making up all these magical stories and adventures for Bluey and Bingo, and our guilt deepens.
Instead of comparing myself to Bluey’s dad, I began appreciating him and other parents like him. Learning how to pretend is a skill our kids need to learn, but I don’t have to be the sole person responsible for teaching them, like any other skill or knowledge.
I value the roles I play in my kids’ lives and the tools I give them daily. I honor and respect my strengths and the areas in which I know I am not strong or don’t enjoy (like pretend play); I make sure my kids get that in different ways or from someone else. Bluey has taught my kids how to play pretend, and I am grateful instead of resentful.
Remember mamas; we can’t carry all the responsibility and burden. Appreciate what you do well and do more of it!