How Much Fun Are Parents Allowed to Have?

Life & Love | Gerren Keith Gaynor | 12/02/2013 | 01:00 PM EST

The tricky balance between play and parenthood

After growing frustrated with being criticized for being a “bad parent,” Kim Kardashian defended her and Kanye West’s parenting skills on Twitter in response to one user who chose to ridicule them for always being photographed out and about rather than at home with their daughter North.

"(Because) I don't tweet or Instagram my every move (with) my daughter means I am not with her (24/7)?" she wrote. "We share what we want. When the baby goes down 4 bed or a nap, parents are allowed 2 work & support each other, maybe even have fun too."

Kim’s poignant response brings up a very interesting discussion. Just how much fun are parents allowed to have? 

You don’t have to be a Kardashian to feel the pressures of balancing play and parenthood. They say once you have a child, your life changes forever. While that is most certainly true, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your days of partying or having a night on the town have to come to a screeching halt. Whether you’re a celebrity or the average Joe or Jane, it’s important to still have a life outside of being a parent - but don’t get it misconstrued, it is and should always be your first priority.

Everyone needs “me” time and it’s important to be able to get away from the everyday stresses that come with raising children. Of course, most people do not have the resources and support system that’s afforded by Kim and Kanye. Still, there’s nothing wrong with asking grandparents, friends or family to watch after your kids while you have a date night or late-night with friends. Some parents, however, abuse this privilege by leaving their children for unreasonably long hours, or even relying too on their parents so much that the grandparents seem like more of a guardian figure than the actual parents. There’s no reason why your children should be used to not seeing and interacting with you, not to mention being too absent in your child’s life can have long-lasting emotional or behavioral impacts.

There’s a very clear line between having fun and being an irresponsible parent. Anyone who can’t see the difference may not be cut out to be a parent in the first place. You don’t have to feel guilty for putting yourself first every now and then. As long as you are effectively making an impact on your child’s life and providing for them emotionally and otherwise, you’re free to have a little fun - just not too much.

(Photo: Splash News)

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