/**/ The Purposeful Wife: How to be a Fun Mom

Thursday, August 20, 2015

How to be a Fun Mom

Being a mom is for sure not all fun and games. Kids have to know mom means business when she is disciplining, instructing, and otherwise keeping the order. Let's be real- the chaos of a home full of small children can seriously undermine a mom's fun factor... so I think its worth trying to be extra fun and silly whenever we as moms can be. It makes life just a little more pleasant for everyone.

Here are a few ways I try to incorporate fun into our everyday lives:

1. Let them get messy! Seriously, I know how not fun trying to get extra stains out of laundry is... but also, part of childhood is jumping in mud puddles, getting grass stains, and really embracing that melting ice cream cone. Try to take a deep breath and just let them get filthy. It won't kill you, but I'll bet your kids will have a really good time, and lots of precious memories to look back on someday.

2. Fun lunches. Serve it up outside, in a muffin tin, or an ice cube tray. Use cookie cutters to shape bread, lunch meat, and cheese. Eat in a novel place or way.

3. Silly faces at the gas station. Every time I fill the tank, I play peekaboo and make ridiculous faces at my kids in their car seats. It kills the time, entertains them, and probably amuses other patrons. I never thought about where I got this from until I saw my own Dad do the same for our kids on our last visit to them. Let me tell you- I had a fun Dad.

4. Learn to let a lot of things go. I can't tell you how often I tell my kids "no" or "stop"- for no really good reason other than it annoys me or just isn't my preference. I'm trying to think this through more, and only shut down an activity if I can come up with a compelling reason {safety, health, morality,etc.}.

5. Get outside every day. I have 8 million things to do inside my house. Unfortunately we don't have the kind of yard situation that allows me to send my kids outside on their own- they need supervision. I have to determine each day that the kids getting fresh air and running their energy out is more important than me completing my To Do list.

6. Play with them. I'm a total advocate of teaching children to entertain themselves, and my kids do play independently and happily most of the day. But mom sitting down to color with them, play a game for a few minutes, or getting dressed up together really makes their day.

7. Take advantage of free events. In the last year our local library has hosted Easter egg hunts, magic shows, Batman, Spiderman, the Cat in the Hat, and Clifford the Big Red Dog. While putting these events on the calendar and hauling everyone there does require my effort and coordination, it is so worth it to my kids. We also try to hit up at least one story hour each week.

8. Let them in the kitchen. I am much more tidy and efficient working solo in my kitchen. But my kids really really want to be involved in whatever it is I'm doing in there... I figure better some fun with an extra mess now than being alone and efficient and tidy forever. Someday they are going to be rock star helpers, and all the messes will pay off!

9. Have tea parties. Fill the tea pot with hot chocolate if your kids don't like tea. Drink out of fancy cups and saucers, dress up in hats and gloves, put cutesy little snacks on a tray, read a story together while sipping drinks.

10. Don't overlook plain old water's fun potential. Let kids play in the bath tub, splash in the kitchen sink, fill a baby bath tub and take it outside, let them pour and dump with pots, pans and measuring cups. Squirt bottles make great water guns. If your kitchen floor gets soaked in the process, mop it with a towel and consider it cleaned for the week ;).

11. Clean to loud music. And have dance parties. Modeling work as something fun to embrace will {hopefully} help them not to shirk from it as they grow up.

12. Giggle together. A lot. Tickle, peekaboo, snuggle, make jokes and goofy faces. Making little moments sweet and special is our unspeakable privilege as mothers.

13. Make picking-up a game. We "feed" hungry toy boxes, pretend we are Cinderella and her helper mice, "shoot hoops" while tossing toys in containers, and race to beat the timer.

14. Celebrate the seasons. This summer I made a bucket list for the season, and it has been fun to check off items with the kids.

15. Run around like a crazy person {for at least a few seconds everyday}. If everyone is a little stir crazy, and I feel my stress level rising... I just start running and making loud noises around the kiddos. They think it is hilarious and start running around wild too. Usually I can quit after about a minute, but they are happily occupied in a new game and don't notice me slipping out.

16. Read theatrically. Different characters in stories require different voices. Read with excitement, enthusiasm, and variations in tone. Story books will become all the more engaging.

17. Be spontaneous occasionally. Every once in awhile it is okay to drop your plan for the day and go to the park or get ice creams. Fun surprises can really turn around a day for the better!

18. Exercise together. Nothing quite so silly as having your toddler joining you when you pop in your pilates video :). Sure, you might get stepped on or trip over one another, but it can bring a lot of laughter. Belly laughs are good exercise too!

My kind of fun might not be your kind of fun, and what amuses my kids might or might not amuse yours. So just remember:

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