Do you ever feel like your fun side died? Well, maybe not died. You hope it’s still in there somewhere, it just hasn’t made an appearance in… a while. From one recovering party pooper to another, I’m here to tell you, it’s ok. I mean, someone has to have the hard job of saying, “No.” Not to mention the fact that it’s hard to be fun when you’re running on the fumes of your last caffeine fix. I understand, really. That’s why I made this list that I think might be able to help.
Turn frustrating moments into teachable ones
Life as a mom is full of unexpected surprises. You might have every intention of getting something on that to-do list done, but then life- or kids- happen. As frustrating as it might be to have to tell your toddler not to climb up on the countertops for the 1000th time, instead, try thinking of it as a teachable moment. In a way that’s as easy for him or her to understand as possible, try explaining why it’s not the best idea for a 3 year old to stand on the counter. Kids might not understand it all the first time it comes from your mouth, but consistency and patience might just influence them to be a more conscious little person after all.
Ask to play with your kids
Throughout the day, we get asked to play about a million times. That being the case, think of what it might mean to a child if, this time, you asked to play! It may be the opposite thing you would think to do in a moment when your kids might just be leaving you alone, but the impact the simple gesture would leave is worth it for 15 or 20 minutes of fun initiated by you! It may only seem like stacking blocks or smooshing some playdough around together, but your child will hear, “I like you, I want to be with you.”
Put your kids “in charge” of helping out.
We get it. Being a mom is a job that comes with a long list of responsibilities that aren’t going to do themselves. Someone has to be the one to do the dirty work, and it can be hard when the young kids in your life would much rather have you to themselves than share you with your to-do list. Instead, why not ask them to join you in helping? Kids love to be challenged and given responsibility. The luster may have worn off for adults, but to young kids, chores can actually seem fun and interesting. Try this: when unloading the dishwasher, ask your child to grab all of his or her dishes (which are probably plastic and can be dropped without breaking), and put them away themselves. When doing laundry, ask them to collect all the socks in a pile and (depending on their age) ask them to match pairs of socks together. Take it up a notch by turning it into a game with a reward at the finish line. Whether or not they actually help you get your job done, you’ll have had time spent with your child working together instead of fighting each other for time.
See everyday moments as memories in the making
It’s the end of the day, bedtime is in sight, and all you can think about is the glass of wine you’re going to enjoy as soon at the bedroom door shuts. Hang in there, mama! We know it’s so tempting to want to veg out on your phone for the last half hour before bed, but this is the time memories are made! Hold out for a few more moments and decide to let your kids go to bed knowing that you enjoy them. Ask them to grab a book or two and read it aloud in bed. Talk to them about the fun things that happened that day or what might be going on in the morning. Several years from now, we know you’ll cherish those well-spent bedtime moments, and your kids will too.
Take your kids places that are fun for you as well
Sometimes it’s ok to cheat a little bit and take your kids places not completely out of the selflessness of your heart. If you have to bribe yourself to get out of the house with the kids by stopping at the drive-through coffee stand- that’s ok. Maybe it means doing the grocery shopping at Target instead of the grocery store so you can grab yourself a cute top on the way out. Our point is, try to make your day with your kids enjoyable for yourself as well, even if it takes a little extra motivation here or there.