Last night we were sitting around after dinner and having a conversation as a family. Now as sweet as that sounds, after dinner was 8:00pm. My husband asked the kids a loaded question – “Who is in charge, Mom or Dad?”.

As expected, we got three different answers. My middle daughter shouted “Mom” right away. (I have always liked that kid!) My son chose my husband. (Trader!) My oldest and wisest daughter said, “Both”. After I glared at my son for his answer, he followed his sister’s lead and said, “Both”. My middle daughter remained on my side.

My husband asked the kids what they meant by “Both”. They all joined in to explain that for some things, Dad is in charge and for other things, Mom is in charge. That is probably the truth. My husband asked them to elaborate. “What things were Mom in charge of and what things were Dad’s territory? They sat there for a second, probably afraid to answer. My husband then asked them about specific things.

“School?” Mom

“Homework?” Mom (However, my kids all said that if it is Math homework, then Dad is in charge. Smart kids.)

“Activities?” Mom

“Money?” Tie (They were split on this issue. Mom did most of the shopping, but Dad made more money. From their eyes, I spend more of it. My husband tried to explain that he paid for things like insurance and the mortgage. Minor things in comparison to what they care about – writing checks for sports and activities and school.)

“Clothes?” Mom (This includes buying and washing.)

“Fun?” Tie (First they said Dad, but then they saw my face and changed it to “Both”.)

“Social Life?” Mom (It is funny to watch the kids walk right by my husband to ask if they can go to a friend’s house.)

“Shopping?” Mom (My middle daughter said that unless it is something from Lowes, then it is Dad)

“Food?” Mom (It was decided that yes, Dad cooks dinner a lot, but Mom does most of the food shopping and is in charge of breakfast and lunch, too.)

“Pets?” Mom

“Bedtimes?” Mom (Although we were both in charge of kissing them goodnight)

My husband was feeling like, well, the Dad. What was he in charge of? He asked the kids, “Who was in charge of the cars?” My middle daughter said “Mom”. That made both my husband and I laugh. My husband just took my car to be cleaned a few hours before. I am of the belief that the rain will wash the dirt off the car and as long as you can get in the driver’s seat, the inside is clean enough. He told them that he just removed eight empty water bottles from the back seat of the car that Mom is in charge of. In my defense, were those bottles in the front seat? No, they were in the kid cargo area! Out of sight, out of mind.

We then tried to find things that Dad was truly in charge of. They said the lawn. Good one. I think in the 13 years we have lived in this house, I mowed the lawn three times. They all agreed that Dad was in charge of coaching and practicing (sports, not instruments). That’s two things. What else? After thinking about it, they decided that Dad was also in charge of the family room TV. Come 6:00, if there is a kid watching that TV, they are kicked out so Dad can watch his show.

It was getting late and I still needed to pick up after dinner. (Dishes? Mom!) At the end of the conversation, I think we all knew who the boss really is. Mom.

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