As a mom, have you ever felt like you’ve lost your sense of fun? Like the relentless to-do lists you’re trying to stay on top of make it hard to relax and enjoy life? Like carefree, lighthearted, playful moments are becoming fewer and further in between? Like your spouse and children wish you could have more fun?
If so, you’re not alone.
Fun is important. It can lead to inspiration, family closeness, and, obviously, greater happiness. It can offer a different perspective, a break, a detachment from the grind, and a better outlook on life. If you think about it, it can make you better at all of those to-do’s you’re worried about.
Really, Mama, it’s your responsibility to have some fun!
“It all begins with training our minds to say it’s OK to drop everything and have some fun,” said Maria Lianos-Carbone, author of “Oh Baby! A Mom’s Self-Care Survival Guide for the First Year: Because Moms Need a Little TLC, Too.”
“Coming to the realization that there will always be work, household chores, and responsibilities, and knowing that these things can wait for a while, is freeing.”
So, it’s been a while. How does one have fun, anyway?
Be True to Yourself
What do you find fun? That question may be harder to answer than it sounds. Author Gretchen Rubin defines one of her “secrets of adulthood” as “what’s fun for other people may not be fun for you—and vice versa.”
There’s a lot of wisdom in that, and it takes self-awareness to understand what is truly fun for you, and not just what seems to be fun for everyone else.
To dig into this, write down all of the things you can think of that you truly enjoy. This simple act in itself should make you smile and will remind yourself of those things—minute or grand—that you actually find to be fun.
Scheduling … that sounds fun, right? As a Mom, you know, however, that if it’s not on the calendar, it’s not going to happen.
Choose a few simple items from your fun list and schedule them so they do happen! Alert the family. Treat fun like an important item on your to-do list and check it off like a pro.
“One thing that has worked really well is giving an hour a day where my kids get my undivided attention,” McKinzie of TodayMommy.com said. “I leave my phone in the other room and we do whatever they want. We color, do crafts, go to the park, etc.
“This is my power hour with them. We each look forward to it every day, and then I don’t feel as guilty or like a boring mom when I have to shift my focus to making dinner or submitting something for work.”
Going forward, ensure there is always fun on the calendar and that every list you’re working on includes something fun.
Plan Big Fun
Sometimes, part of the fun is looking forward to the fun. Work your Mommy magic to pool the time and resources to plan some big fun in the future. Schedule something special—a trip or family experience—that you and your family can look forward to for a while and that will live on as a family memory forever.
Make it a policy to always have big fun on the horizon—no matter how far away.
Ask for Help
All of this fun can be a lot of work!
If you need time to make plans or prepare for something fun, ask for help. Perhaps a family member or friend can watch the kids for an hour while you research hotel options in that city you’ve always wanted to visit. Perhaps your spouse can get the kids out of the house while you prepare treats and fun decor for a family game and movie night.
When the fun is the kid-free kind, make arrangements you trust for your children and let go of any guilt in doing so. Whether it’s a day to yourself, a date with your spouse, or fun times with friends, you’re preparing a happier Mama for your children, and they’ll likely enjoy the change of pace.
Have fun like it’s your job and call in the troops.
Whistle While You Work
What if you could make those not-so-fun tasks fun?
If doing the dishes is a bore, have the family help and play lively music as you dance around the kitchen getting everything washed, dried, and put away.
If paying the bills takes forever, turn it into a game. Set a timer and put all of your focus on those bills. See if you can’t wrap up that task in 15 minutes.
In whatever you do day-to-day, find the deeper meaning in it and bring joy to the task.
Laundry may feel like a never-ending, thankless chore. But if, while you do laundry, you think of the benefit that neat and clean clothes at the ready bring to you and your family, you’ll be reminded why it’s gratifying to do it with loving care.
Moms, perhaps more than anyone, need to make fun a vital part of their lives.