How to have more fun with our kids. It is OK if you feel like you aren’t enjoying your kids and if having fun with them is not happening or is hard to do.
There are a lot of reasons why we aren’t having fun and I want to talk about those and then share ways to bring fun into your family, on purpose
Podcast: Play in new window | Download
Subscribe: Google Podcasts | Spotify | RSS
In this episode we talk about:
- The cultural image that makes parenting look fun will be easy and natural. And part of us holds onto this stock photo dream of family fun.
- The culture of fun in your family and where people in your family are getting their ‘fun’
- Letting the day build up into a stress mountain vs having small redirects in our day
- Distractions from harder emotions vs honouring our emotions and doing something to help us move on
- Reasons why we aren’t having fun with our kids
- 162. Think the best of me, or not. Allowing the hard and awesome in ourselves and in our lives.
- 76. Why it matters what you think (limiting mindsets in motherhood)
- Four steps to manage overwhelm in motherhood
- 25. Working through unhappiness in motherhood, life coaching steps for handling a bad day. Bonus Q+A Episode
- Making fun when things feel heavy
- Making fun happen, on purpose
- Making a list
- tips on planning it
- three ways we can bring fun into our family
- How to bring fun into the harder times of your day
- Handing sibling rivalry and competition while doing fun things
- following through on our plans for fun, even when we don’t feel like it
- showing up well for the fun
- All of the things that take away your presence and attention from doing fun things with your kids
- Things that feel more important and how to reframe them
Connect and let me know how you are having fun, on purpose
- Post about it in the Facebook group (make sure to answer the entry questions)
- Tag me on Instagram
This delightful new email newsletter by my friend Taco Katie who is sharing her great reads at This Librarian is Reading. Sign up for her newsletter here! Follow her on Instagram
Full Transcript (unedited)
HI friends, it’s Shawna, your nerdy girlfriend from simple purpose.ca. Welcome to the Simple on purpose podcast. If you’re new here, welcome. I started simple on purpose about eight years ago, I think. And the whole premise is to simplify like I learned about decluttering. I started decluttering my home, it helped me declutter my life. My mind, it helped me to just realize all the ways I was living on autopilot. So I thought I want to simplify things. I want to simplify my life, my home, and I want to start showing up for my life on purpose. I want to do things on purpose. So that’s what I’m here for, for helping you do that to helping you turn off the autopilot. Because I know what it’s like to get to the end of your day, and feel like you are constantly busy, but also totally unproductive. I want to help you stop just reacting to life and start being really proactive with what you want. Overall, I want to help you bring more peace, more purpose, more presence, and more passion into your everyday life. So welcome, I’m so glad you’re here. Today, we’re going to talk about a topic that comes up in many ways in many places. And that’s how to have more fun with our kids. So I have three kids, my oldest just turned 11, my middle is nine and my youngest is seven. And this topic, having fun with your kids it, it almost feels sometimes moms email me or they messaged me, and it’s like a confession when they’re like, I found you by Googling, I don’t enjoy my kids. And I just want to lift the stigma off of that issue. That if you have felt like you don’t enjoy your kids, if you feel it now, if you’ve Googled it, if you’ve if you’re working on it, you are not alone. So I don’t enjoy my kids. That’s a post that I shared some years ago, when I realized I wasn’t enjoying my kids anymore in my journey to start enjoying my kids again. So what I was doing, how I was doing it, what I was paying attention to what I was learning, I’m going to link that in the shownotes. If you want to go and read that post, I think there’s a part of us that really struggles with the idea of not enjoying our kids. Because one there’s a cultural image that makes parenting look like Family Fun time all the time. And also, I think we buy into our own idea of what we envision parenting is going to be. I don’t know, if you’re like me, but I probably thought parenting would look a little bit more like the stock photos. See, you know, like the ones where everyone’s dogpiling on each other wearing matching pastels. And they’re like these layers of happy people. And we’ve dug piled in my house, it does not Well, someone gets a knee, someone gets an elbow, and then there’s like revenge. It’s revenge seeking at that point. One of my favorite stock photos is when everyone’s cutting vegetables to make a salad together. Like if I feed my kids a salad, they’re like, are you trying to poison me? Where are the buttered noodles?
Or how about the family and who’s running through the field and they’re all holding hands. And I know my kids, specifically my boys, if we were running, it would turn into a race, it would be a competition, they’d be dragging people grabbing them by the hands to cross that finish line. Even though there’s no finish line, even though it’s not a competition. But I don’t know, we just thought parenting would be fun that it would be easy to have fun. That fun would just happen.
And sure fun does happen. I mean, in the day to day life of parenting, we’ve had fun times, right? A dance party in the kitchen, you know, driving down the road, and a fun song comes on and we’re all singing it or the baby doing something silly and we’re all laughing so hard. Sometimes fun happens. But overall, it’s probably not something that’s happening a lot. I know I really did feel like this for a long time. If you consider your family culture, like how your family is with one another, the culture that’s just already there. Maybe fun isn’t part of the culture. Maybe you feel like that if you notice fun is missing. Maybe the people in your family are finding fun outside of the home, maybe they’re turning to social media or games or hobbies or friends or, or work. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. I mean, we need to have a well rounded view of fun and where we can get it. But I do think when we’re not getting it from our family at all we do lose that bonding power and that enjoyment and connection that we could get when we’re having fun together it because it’s important to have fun. I was looking for studies that talk about this studies that talk about having fun as a family. I wasn’t really finding what I wanted to say. But I don’t think it’s necessary. I don’t think we need science to tell us this. Because I think when we pay attention to how we feel. It just makes sense. Right? How do you
You feel at a workplace where nobody seems to enjoy being there where no one seems to have fun together, man, it drains you, right versus a workplace. I mean, we spend so much of our life at work, a workplace where people enjoy one another’s company where you do things like potlucks or, you know, have fun jokes and have a fun time together. We are like that too, as a family, as kids as parents, the more fun we have, the more closeness we desire, we we like being there. Have you ever had someone in your life that you never seem to really have fun with. And then compare that to a friend who is fun, you feel connected to them, right? When we are having fun with another person, we feel more bonded to them. Because oxytocin has been released that bonding hormone. My kids were talking the other day about a game that they play in their class. Like they were watching a video or playing some game. And I thought in my head, I’m like, That is fun. Like, that sounds so fun. If I had a teacher that did that, I would think they were so fun. Because I can remember in elementary school, thinking about who I was gonna get that next year to be my teacher, and it was a small school. So there was like, two options. And one was maybe the funner teacher and one was maybe the less fun teacher and which teacher did you want, you wanted the funner teacher, right? Because somehow, they made you want to be there, and they seem to get more respect, you know, when you’re when with your grade six kind of brain, right? You disrespected them a little bit more. So we don’t need science to tell us that. When we have fun with someone, we feel more bonded to them, we seek their company. And for kids, if they feel like they’re having fun within our family, that it’s just so much easier to work with them on issues, because we’ve got that positive relational foundation with them. I want to focus this episode about ways to have fun on purpose, I have talked about how to be a fun mom. And I’m going to link that in the show notes, the show notes are going to be jam packed. So I definitely recommend you stop by and check them out. Side note, if you have trouble finding them on your podcast player, head to symbol on purpose.ca. And click Listen, all of the shows are there. And if you click on any show, you’ll find the highlights of the show any links any related links that I could possibly think of that connect to the issue that you might be interested in. There’s a signup form at the bottom of that post for the simple Saturday’s email. And there’s also a full transcript on most of the posts at the very bottom. Okay, so I want to talk about making fun a habit because we need to make this a habit if we want to bring it into our lives. If we want to do it intentionally do it on purpose, we need to plan for it, we need to show up for it, we need to practice it because we might be out of practice, this might not be a habit that we have formed. And I just want to start by painting this bigger picture of how this has looked for me. And I do share a lot more detail in that post about when I stopped enjoying my kids. But I found I would be in this situation where I would be at home with my kids.
And they were born all within three and a half years of one another. So even if one was in kindergarten, there was still two at home like there was just a lot of a lot of toddler notice a lot of chaos. And as it happens, there’s little things throughout the day that make it hard. And I would realize I would get to this point in my day where I could keep letting it be hard and get more and more stressed. I called it stress mountain because I would just let it pile up pile up. And when I was making stress mountain, I was pretty resentful. I was pretty resentful of everyone and everything around me. And those would be the hardest days to turn around. Because I feel like I had gotten so much further off course from where I wanted to be. Now, my approach is more of making small redirects throughout the day. So I need to watch how I’m feeling I need to watch where I am on the stress scale. I need to kind of pay attention to my kids to how I’m thinking about them to how they might be feeling to what’s going on for them and do little redirects as necessary. If it’s really building up, you know, sometimes we need a bigger redirect. Got to think outside the box. And I think it’s important to not distract. Like I’m not talking about distractions and distracting people from their emotions, which a lot of us do. And we’re having hard emotions, right? Like, let’s turn on the TV. Let’s turn go to our phones, let’s have sugar. Let’s just you know, all leave and let’s go shopping. But we’re not really walking through the emotions that really got us to this point. We’re just kind of moving away from them. And when we do that, and we think oh, I’m just gonna make the day fun. Now, we’re not really showing up for connection, right? And we might even tell our kids have fun, have fun. This is supposed to be fun. We’re pressuring our kids. Maybe we’re pressuring ourselves. So I’m not talking about distractions, right. I’m talking about those redirects that we can do and still honor our emotions. Well moving forward.
An approach I often take is I talk to my kids about it. They’re so sick of talking about their feelings, I’m sure. But I recognize it. And I say, I’m stressed or I feel like you might be stressed, you might be frustrated. And I think if I wanted to move us forward right now, then I’ll just say, let’s talk about this more later together. And I’m going to do that I’m going to, at the end of the night, we’re going to talk about it. But right now, maybe it might help for us to go do something fun. And you know, what do you think about going and doing this, so I don’t want to pressure them, I want to honor their emotions, I want to make sure I’m going to help them through whatever they’ve been struggling with. And maybe we just do that a little bit later in the day. Maybe this is more of a reactive way of having fun, right? When things feel tough, we’re just going to Okay, let’s do something to help us move through it. And maybe fun isn’t really a proactive part of our day, maybe fun isn’t something we plan. And I think there’s a handful of reasons why we don’t have more fun. I think one of them is past experiences, inform us that it’s not worth it. Like, we did this thing, and they fought the whole time or they had a meltdown or this went wrong, we we can probably think back on things that we tried to do, and they just didn’t work. My best friend is amazing at powering through this, she takes her kids on trips and outings, especially when they were younger. And I would be at home in my happy little bubble. And she was out there like on the beach with their kids or like planning special things. And she would talk about how it went. And she would say, Oh, this was hard. And this was hard and naps and meltdowns. But then she would always say how special it was, how important it was how she can’t wait to do it again. She wants to save up money and plan the next thing. And I was really struck by her willingness to let it be hard that she would accept those hard parts in order to also have the awesome parts. And you might have heard me talk about harden awesome. In the last episode, I’ll link to that in the show notes. But she taught me so much just by being her friend and watching her and trying to adopt her approach, I wouldn’t do half the things I do with my kids, if I didn’t really have her to kind of mentor me through that. And one thing she’s also taught me is to start identifying what’s going to be hard about this situation. If you’ve been through it, you can kind of predict like, what your kids might struggle with, when there’ll be over tired feeding people, sibling dynamics, and just kind of try to be a little bit proactive about that. Like that is just good data. That’s something that we can modify as we go along. Another reason why we don’t have very much fun is all or nothing thinking, which is kind of in line with my example of building up stress mountain. So thinking your day is a write off, like if it’s not 100% Good. It’s 100%. Bad, all or nothing. So if we’re starting to have a little bit of a tougher day, if things are starting to feel hard, we’re just like, well, this days are right off. It’s all bad, right? How could it get any better? When it’s so bad? Like it’s just it’s unredeemable? You’re redeemable not sure what the word is. And and go back and listen to that last episode on things being hard and awesome. Because if we don’t allow some heart in our day, we’ll never get to the awesome and truly, truly if you pay attention every single day has both every single day has hard and has awesome when you can allow one you get the other you can drop that all or nothing thinking. Another reason is catastrophizing. So we’re running away with all of our stories that we have. It’s like all or nothing thinking. But I mean catastrophizing where we look at a situation maybe our kids aren’t listening to us or their room isn’t being clean, or they’re fighting. And we just get stuck in our stories about how bad it is. They’ll always be like this, I’m doing it wrong. They’re doing it wrong, I don’t even know anymore. It’s pretty hard to have fun When Everything Feels so hopeless, right. And this is kind of another reason it’s hard to have fun when we’re in a self protective state. It’s hard to show up for fun when you’re stressed. When you’re feeling negative when you feel worn out. Because when you’re in that situation, you feel deep down inside, you feel unsafe. When you feel unsafe, you are not going to connect with the people, especially the people you associate these emotions with this unsafe feeling with it’s hard to show up. It’s self protective.
It’s also hard to have fun when you’re worn out when you need a reset. So really paying attention to yourself and knowing when you need to step back for a moment. When you’re running away with your own stories in your head. When you’re building up stress mountain. You need to step back for a moment, find some calm, maybe explore what’s going on for you explore the thoughts you’re having the feelings you’re having. Get a little bit humble and acknowledge how you’re acting and where that’s getting you and then decide to redirect What do I want now what are my values? What
Do I want to be happening? When the kids were home for COVID, a couple of years ago, I found myself turning to like a 3pm timeout for myself where I would put on like the abide app. It’s like a meditation app. And I would just go lay in my bed for five to 10 minutes. And I would let my kids know, I’m going to be alone in here, five to 10 minutes, they would generally respect that if they did come in, they would just lie there quietly. But I had to calm myself down, I had to, like reset myself. So pay attention to how you’re feeling. And asking what you need right now, maybe you just need a rest, maybe need a glass of water, whenever try and make a plan on how you’re going to care for yourself as well. A big reason we don’t have fun that I hear often is we’re too busy. And a lot of you tell me about how you get wrapped up in chores and the to do list. I’m going to cover that more in a bit. And also, here’s another one, we just don’t think about it, we just stop thinking about it maybe. So in my own journey of realizing I wasn’t enjoying my kids anymore, I realized I would stay stuck in punishment mode and stress mode. And I wouldn’t even be open to the idea to the notion that in my day, happiness is still available to me. So I try to keep a spot in the back of my mind open. That’s constantly asking, How can I make this fun, which this is a weird question to ask yourself when you’re in times of discipline or heavy conversation. But sometimes it actually works. Sometimes it actually changes the whole thing. I remember a situation where I was walking my kids to school. And my son, my youngest when he was about six or seven, he just wanted to run like leave us and just run to the school and get there to play with his friends. And it was turning into this, like this frustrating thing for me, where he wasn’t walking with us. He wasn’t walking safe. And he was just taking off. And I feel like I always made it such a heavy thing. Like you listen, and you do this and you hold my hand and, and then one day I was like I’m so sick of being a nag. I’m so sick of making it like this big heavy thing. So I decided to race him and I said, Alright, I’m gonna beat you to the school. If you’re running, I’m running faster than you and it turned into something funner instead of it being this big, heavy, divisive thing between us, it turned into something that was fun to do together. Of course, we still to work like overall on road safety. But in I just wanted to break up how it was happening so that we could move on from it. So I’m trying to keep my mind open, I’m trying to like, I don’t know, do things a little bit more proactively leave jokes for them in their lunch or notes in their bed or make us little scavenger hunt for them. That doesn’t take a long time, when things feel like they’re getting heavy and hard in the home. That’s just something quick and fun I can do to get them up and get them moving, put on some good music and dance. Maybe get out the Nerf guns just being more fun being more playful. These are some of the hurdles that we’re up against. These are some of the roadblocks. So I think it really makes sense that fun isn’t happening easily, spontaneously, we we rely on spontaneity a lot for fun to happen in our day. And these are the roadblocks we’re up against to making that happen. Right. So let’s talk about how to have fun on purpose. And with all lady nerd things that I propose here, it starts with making a list. Make a list, it’s like my solution to everything. So make a list and include your kids. Because there’s going to be fun things that your child wants to lead you in, there’s going to be some fun things that you can lead your children. And when we were living in isolation times of COVID, we were making a lot of lists. And I recently was cleaning out my office and I found a big list that we had made together about things we could just do like something we could pick off the list and just do that day to have more fun. I’ve also been working on compiling a massive list that I had crowd sourced from Pinterest from other moms. And I’m going to link that in the shownotes. It comes with a free printable of over 50 ideas on things you can do with your kids that are fun, or simple and easy activities that you can set up for them so that they’re having fun. But when you’re making a list, one important thing to consider is what fun looks like to you. Because I want you to be excited about it. Right? I want you to choose those things too. Don’t feel like you only have to do what your kids want to do. But make a balance between what everybody in the family enjoys. Like I don’t play video games. But we got a video game machine, a video game machine, how old am I?
We have a video game machine. And my boys are just all about that they’re playing games with their friends. They’re wanting to do it all of the time every day. Like that’s fun for them now. So I try to go and be part of that fun. I’ll sit there and I’ll watch and I’ll ask questions. And actually last night, my son was like reading a magazine about a video game and I asked him a question about it. And he was like, Oh, Mom, you’ve been paying attention. And I was like, yeah, like how how much listening do I have to
Do about this video game before it sinks in, like I’m paying attention, man. And they’re doing stuff with me that I know is not totally fun for them like going on a nature walk and identifying plants and birds not totally fun for them. But we’re still doing things that we both think are fun. And the best things are things that we think are all fun as a family things we all love. Like our favorite shows our favorite board games, we love to go swimming, we love to go to water parks, we love to go on like trips to see our family. Some things that we turn to when we need some fun, our Dude Perfect videos on YouTube, especially their stereotype videos, we all seem to enjoy that. We love to look through old photos, old videos, my kids are just they love that so much. They love seeing their tiny little selves. And one thing that I tried to focus on is having fun without sugar. Because that’s harder than it looks right treats are the easiest way to have fun. Add in a donut, add in some ice cream and some candy. Instant fun, right? But the long term outcome that I worry about with that is conditioning ourselves to seek treats in order to bond and feel happier. So when we want a sense of connection, when we want to feel happy when we want to feel rewarded, we’re going to turn to those things later in life if we’re setting up that habit cycle right now. So I need to really look at my list and try to broaden what’s on my list of ways to have fun. That’s not all about treats. So then you look at your list and you plan it and I’ve become a big planner, as a parent, I’m going to link that in the show notes as well. Just schedule something in your week, you know, plan it for days, you know, you’re going to need it or they’re going to be harder days that you’re going to need something fun in the day. I personally have learned to schedule things earlier in the day. Because if my kids know something fun is happening, they are just maniacs all morning, they’re restless, they’re agitated, they just want to go do the fun things. So I like to do that earlier in the day. And it often helps set the tone for the rest of the day. A great way to plan it is to set rhythms where you have a weekly routine or regular traditions. And the best thing about it I’ve talked about this in family rhythms before I’ll link that in the show notes is you don’t have to think about it. Now. It’s a built in routine, like Friday night movie, or a standing coffee date with each kid or the summer family reunion, you don’t have to think about these things. And the routine, the tradition that you’re creating in your family is so important in terms of creating a sense of security, stability, a sense of belonging, a sense of unity within your family. So make a little bit of a plan, get it on your calendar, maybe buy supplies for it, if it’s something that you’re going to need. I wanted to plan something fun for the kids last day of school last year. So I bought them these water shooters that you like, suck up water in and then you lift it up and then you you push the water out. So my husband and I were home and the kids got home, and we filled up a kiddie pool of water and we hid these guns around the backyard. And we kind of it was all surprised they didn’t really know what we were doing. And then we’re like you’ve 10 seconds to find those guns, fill them up, and then we’re going to destroy you. And it turned into this huge fun water fight. That of course, my husband took way too far.
No mercy, no mercy.
But you’ve got a planet, right? Planet, if you if you want to take one of your kids out, like it’s so important. If you have more than one kid, to spend one on one time with each of your kids, it doesn’t have to be every week, right? But schedule it in your calendar. So you’re taking a kid out every month or so that it’s like a standing date between the two of you. So these are the ways we can have fun, we can have fun. By planning it. We can have fun, spontaneously and hope it just happens. We can have fun by trying to shift the mood, and redirecting everybody. And I think as you go through the process of planning fun making a list, keeping your mind open. So you have now this mental habit of looking for possibilities. You’re starting to add routines into your day, it’s going to be more likely that fun will become part of your family culture, it will become more spontaneous and easier for you. And if you want to bring in more spontaneous fun, get nerdy with me again, write another list. Here’s a helpful list. What are common times in my home that are hard, like what are hard times maybe it’s getting everyone out to school in the morning, maybe it’s like, right when they get home from school and they’re just worn out from the day and they’re cranky, maybe it’s bedtime. So think of some times in your home that are a little bit tough. And now what’s one shift you could make that makes it a little bit more fun. There was a time where our kids were whining a lot like a lot of whining was happening. It was kind of grading us as parents. We would try to tell them not to do it. But that wasn’t working. So my husband decided to make all of our kids sing their complaints and requests so if they wanted water, if they wanted more of something if something wasn’t working, they had to sing it in
And he’s just so playful. Like, that’s what it is to me. He’s being playful. And I really tried to take those cues from him and be more playful to my cousins told me a fun one when they were on road trips, and there was like four of them in the backseat. And they’re fighting and they’re bugging one another. And their stepdad, my uncle would just start laughing and laughing and laughing, not saying anything, just laughing. And they told us that it stunned them. And then soon everybody would be laughing too. Like, it’s such a good redirect. Because what can you say at that time, right? Like, I’m sure you’ve told your kids a million times, to not bug each other to get along in the backseat. A hard time I’ve noticed in my home is when my kids I’ve mentioned this are waiting for something to happen. Like they’re waiting for an event, they’re waiting to go somewhere, they’re waiting for something fun to happen. And they start getting restless, they start bugging each other. So we were waiting for the kids to go to a hockey game. And they were kind of all laying on the couch, and bugging each other. And my daughter picked up an old phone and was taking slow motion videos. And I said, you should take a slow motion video of you trying to spin a hole one at like stand where you are, jump up and spin and see if you can do it. And the slow motion video will tell you if your feet landed where your feet started. And it turned into like half an hour of us in the whole family taking turns trying to spin one ad watching these slow motion videos together. And it became like a family fun thing. Now, I do want to give a word of caution about having fun with siblings. And that is don’t make it a competition in everything I’ve read in everything I’ve experienced. And now in everything I personally believe I try to avoid sibling competition at all costs. Because I think it creates a competitive stance between siblings. And that creates rivalry and that creates resent and that creates a one up and a one down situation where one has to be better and one has to be lower and nothing good in my experience has ever come from Sibling competition. So you’re not going to hear me say do it faster than your sister or try him beat your brother’s record. Or let’s keep this away from your little brother, I switch it around. So they’re competing against me. So now they’re in a Team Stance together, like keep it away from mom or try and catch mom or try and jump higher than Mum, I want them to learn to be a team unit to seek the good of one another to encourage one another to understand that when they’re strong. Their whole unit is strong. This is like a whole other episode.
Sidenote, right. So we’ve made some lists we planned for fun. And now we have to do it, we have to do the fun thing, which can be tough. If people aren’t cooperating or being kind or helpful in the house, we really still need to stick with it. Because even when you don’t feel like it, even when people are having a rough day, it can be tempting to withdraw this privilege to withdraw this fun thing as punishment. I mean, there are extreme cases where that’s warranted. But most of the time, we still need this fun thing. We still need to bring in this activity that’s going to bring us back together we need to stick with it. And when we do, we’re when we’re teaching our kids that you know what, even if you aren’t awesome, I still love you. And I still value you and want to experience fun with you. Like not everything hinges on on who you are and how you act right, we can still move past this. And it’s also teaching us that when things feel tough, we can move on, we can find something we find enjoyable. This is called behavioral activation. And this is when you choose things that choose activities, that you find pleasure in activities that are in line with your values, or activities that give you a sense of mastery. And you do them in times when you struggle with low motivation as a way to change your emotional state. So yes, our emotional state impacts our physical state, right? When we feel low motivation, we do less and the less we do, the less awesome we feel, the less motivated we feel, the less energetic we feel, that can become a cycle we stay in. But if we can do something to help us jump out of that loop, if we can change our physical state, often it helps us shift our emotional state. Not always but often right. So sticking with the plan is important, still doing it still doing this thing that we’ve committed to this thing that is going to bring some level of enjoyment into our lives.
And then when we’re in it when we’re doing the thing when were on the picnic when we’re on the family outing when we’re at the waterslides when we have this costume party family dinner, when we’ve made up family game night, we need to show up for it right? What is all of this worth? If we’re going to show up and we’re going to be cranky and controlling and nagging and distracted and correcting people and feeling this pressure that we need to go do all the dishes. So this is a topic that I deep dive into in Episode 138. I talk about the ways we withhold from ourselves, how we might think that we need to earn fun
or how we often wait until conditions are perfect in order to allow ourselves to have fun. So I would consider Episode 138, a companion to this episode, make sure to check that out too. But the common struggle I want to talk about here is all of the other things that take your attention away, I hear it so often, I want to have fun with my kids, I want to be present with them. But I can’t focus. I don’t make time for it, I, I got all these chores, I got all these errands, I have this work, it pulls me away from doing this thing with my kid. And one solution you could try here is to consider how to make this important. Because underneath it all fun probably doesn’t feel important to you. And that’s okay, right? Because maybe we were never raised with bringing fun and and bringing enjoyment and presence into parenthood, maybe we were never raised with that. Or maybe we feel like we actually have years and years to have fun with our kids to connect with our kids like, time seems endless to some extent. Or we find that our attention just goes to the urgent thing, the right now thing, our attention goes to the things that make us feel productive right now. Like, I’ll feel so much more productive. If I can clean the kitchen, more than if I’m going to sit on the carpet with my kid and watch them play cards for 15 minutes. Sometimes I think I would be conserving my energy, like I wouldn’t do the fun thing, because it was a lot of work to get everyone backed up, get them to the park, you know, run around with them at the park. It’s a lot of work. I would rather spend that limited energy I have on doing laundry or making dinner. So I was really conserving my energy and not stepping into like, I was in a scarcity mindset. I was not stepping into an abundance mindset that that could actually energize me somehow. Overall, it’s really natural that we seek things that are urgent, right? Gotta get it done. Things that make us feel productive, and things that feel like inappropriate use of our energy. So how can we make this important enough for all of that? One good question you could ask is, okay, how can I look at my definition of success as a mother and bring in having fun, like how could fun be part of my success in motherhood. Another approach you might want to take is considering how productive it is to invest in fun with your kids. So if having fun times, as a family increases, our bond increases our closeness makes it easier to work together. So having fun together, maybe that’s just another life skill, another family skill, like it’s another development skill I am teaching them. So consider ways that this would be important to you as a person to bring into your motherhood. Because having fun on purpose, to me, it is important. It’s a life skill. It’s a window of opportunity that we have, well, our kids are under our roof. And most of all, in my opinion, it makes your experience of motherhood so much more enjoyable.
So I would love to hear about the ways you’re having fun on purpose, because I know that you do have some fun. I know there are fun things that you guys do sometimes. And maybe there’s fun things that you’re planning, I want to hear about it. So post about it in the Facebook group. Remember that Facebook group is your space to share your thoughts, your questions, your ideas, your takeaways from the episodes. That’s your place for accountability. And I want to see you use it if you’re in that group, I challenge you to post something that is your place to do it. So share a post in Facebook, or take me on Instagram and let me know if you’re doing something fun shared in your stories. Whatever take me on Instagram, I would love to see this episode in action for you. So stop by the shownotes there are a lot of posts a lot of episodes that are related to being intentional and motherhood intentional as a family and just having fun overall.
So as we wrap up, I’m going to share a simple pleasure with you. Yes, I remembered this week, I’m proud of me. I want to share with you a email newsletter that I just signed up for. And I’ve shared this account before. Her name is Katie Frey. And her Instagram account is this librarian is reading. And Katie is one of my personal friends. And she is inspiring. She is thoughtful, she’s insightful. She is constantly exploring the culture that she was raised in. She’s challenging it. She’s reading a lot of great books and sharing her thoughts on it. She brings so many books into my life that I would never have found and never have read. So if this is something you’re interested in, I’m going to link in the show notes a link to her email newsletter. I would recommend signing up for it. I’d recommend following her on Instagram. She is just such a lovely person and I always call her the real deal like she is the real deal in building community and showing up for community. I just love her. She’s so fun. My kids call her taco Katie because she loves tacos. So that’s really all you need to know about her to know how awesome she is.
All right, friends, I would love it if you would also leave a review in your podcast player today. And I hope you have a great week and go do something fun on purpose.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai