Looking for ways to have more fun in motherhood and BE more fun as a mom? I have asked myself this question too.
Inside of our FB Group – Simple on Purpose Community, there comes a great question. The question was in essence, I can DO fun things with my kids, take them to swim, skate, and stuff, but how do I HAVE fun with my kids?
How do I BE fun?
In this episode, I’m going to elaborate on how I responded to that question.
When motherhood becomes too serious and the fun mom you once were disappears into the background, it’s time to take an honest look at the things that are stealing the fun. These days, there’s a lot of pressure on us to be both extremely involved and the perfect amount of detached. And while we were thinking about how to manage everything, there is one thing we seem to be missing — FUN.
We are all different types of moms, we all have different values we want to bring into motherhood. And let’s be real — sometimes we are in no mood for fun.
If fun is one of those values you want to be working on, don’t miss this opportunity to learn some tips and ideas on how to make things more fun as a mom.
In This Episode You’ll Learn:
- What are the things that make life UNFUN [ 02:18 ]
- The TOP TWO hurdles to having FUN [ 04:27 ]
- Some ways and ideas on how to become a FUN mom [ 07:17 ]
- Why FUN is a personal value [ 14:00 ]
Feature In this Episode:
- Join our Facebook Group
- When Did I Stop Enjoying My Kids? (and my journey back to enjoying them)
- 47. My husband’s take on setting vision and goals together
- 67. Making motherhood harder than it needs to be (Mom Martyr)
- 129. Does your ‘to-do list’ overwhelm you? Expectation overwhelm and how to handle it.
- 112. Are you parenting the wrong issue? (Power struggles and problem-solving)
- Mothering Through Anxiety
- 46. Listening to your life (part 3 of SHOW UP FOR YOUR LIFE)
- Spotify playlist: Kitchen Dance Party
Get in touch: email@example.com / Get Coached
Hey friends it’s Shawna, your nerdy girlfriend and life coach from simple on purpose.ca and welcome to the Simepl on Purpose podcast. For those of you who are new here, welcome. I’m so glad that you’re joining us. I’m Shawna, I’m a mom of three kids right now they are 10, nine and seven. Living in small town, Canada. I am a minimalist, who discovered intentional living, that’s living life on purpose, and is also something that I’ve been life coaching women or women all over the world who want to live with more purpose, peace, presence, and passion.
Let’s talk about the passion today, let’s talk about having fun with our life. Specifically, being a more fun mom enjoying motherhood enjoying your kids. And this is funny, because I had a whole bunch of different episodes half drafted, I keep this running list of all the ideas that there’s never a shortage of them. But I didn’t really feel like I wanted to talk much about anything in particular. And then this question came into the Facebook group, the simple on purpose community group. And I thought that is what I want to talk about.
The question was, in essence, I can do fun things with my kids, like, take them fun places, swimming, that kind of stuff. But how do I have fun with my kids? How do I be fun? And if you’ve heard over the years, I’ve shared that there was a time where it hit me, I don’t enjoy my kids anymore. I’m not enjoying them. And it kind of hit me with this huge conviction that I want to change this, I don’t like how this feels. And I spent the year actively enjoying my kids. I’ll link to that post in the show notes if you want to go read it.
And since that time, I have made fun one of my parenting values over the years. So every year, we set out mostly may not always Connor. But sometimes we set out our vision and values for the different areas of our life. And so every year I’m kind of thinking about the values I want to bring into parenting and fun has been one that I’m wanting to bring into it. And I’m still working on it. It’s still my value right now. So we’re all different types of moms, we all have different values we want to bring into motherhood. And if fun is one of those values you want to be working on. Then I want to help you with that I have some tips, some ideas on how to make things more fun.
So let’s talk about the ways that things become unfun. Specifically in motherhood. I think the biggest way is that we become martyrs. We feel like victims, to our life to our kids to our home to our job. And whenever we’re like the victim, whenever we get into that victim mentality, we instantly disempower ourselves. It feels overwhelming, it feels a bit hopeless, we start to get resentful. And you can trust me I’m a professional on this recovering mom martyr. There’s an episode 67 all about that making motherhood harder than it needs to be. Another way that we make things unfun is we get stuck on a negative thought loop. And this is really normal. Our brain has a negativity bias. That means it’s constantly what I call scanning for danger, scanning for danger, what could go wrong, prevent the danger. And it’s it’s just one of the ways that we are wired as humans to spot the danger prevent the danger. But the more we’re in that mindset, the more we focus our minds on what’s going to go wrong, what is wrong, what could be wrong, the stronger that thought loop gets. Donald Hebb is a neuroscientist and he has a famous saying that many people use neurons that fire together wire together. So the more we’re thinking about the negative, the more this becomes a mental habit that we are coming into our life with.
Another one is we’re into do mode we are the taskmaster where have the plans. We have the checklist. We’re nagging and nagging when you catch yourself doing it, you’re instantly like I’m the least one person in the world. It is not fun to be someone who negs. So kind of being stuck in that role of being the one who’s managing all of the pieces and all of the pressure that we put on ourselves for that. Another thing we might do is tell ourselves, we don’t know how to have fun. Maybe we used to be fun, and we’re not fun. So let’s just drop the I don’t know how, whenever we’re saying I don’t know how we’re just telling our brains don’t even bother figuring it out. Because we don’t know how. So let’s drop that and open up a little bit to what are some ways it could be fun.
Ultimately, I think our top two hurdles to having fun are these two things. The first one is we have conditions on when we will let ourselves have fun. So we kind of say like when everyone else is having fun, when the chores are done, the house is clean, when I feel good about how I had my day. And what we’re doing to ourselves is we’re withholding fun. We’re withholding fun from ourselves for a lot of reasons that are often out of our control, or things that are kind of an extreme expectation. So it’s really up to us if we want to drop those conditions and stop withholding fun from ourselves. And the other main hurdle is that we are so
serious. I think this kind of goes along with the last point. We think that in order to allow fun, it almost has to be earned. Like the kids need to be behaving, they need to pitch in, they need to do what they’re asked. We make everything really seriously, we make people kind of earn it. And I think we also make things really heavy. We put a lot of importance on things like during COVID, something I was coaching on a lot was the heaviness we were putting on homeschooling, or a common struggle that we’ve had in our own house. I’ve shared it on this podcast before is the kids not eating dinner, like we make it mealtime this really heavy thing. Or when we’re on a road trip, and the kids are messing in the backseat, that’s one of my personal, like, struggles is I make it really serious on how they’re behaving. And we make things series, we make things heavy, because it feels necessary somehow, a lot of us equate being serious with caring, like if I don’t take this serious, if I don’t worry that it means I don’t care. Or we take things seriously because we tell ourselves nobody else is. Or we take things seriously because we’re so concerned about our kids status, and if they’ll fall behind or fall out of line. And in our day to day life becomes this really high stakes game at putting a lot of pressure on how everyone’s behaving.
But I just want to open up to the idea that we can care really deeply and still lighten up. We can direct our kids and still lighten up. We are allowed to have fun. And one thing you hear me saying often is this is your life, you should enjoy it. And I really mean it, enjoying your life. Everything. I feel like I’ve been learning this over the years of after having a lot of not fun. In the early years of motherhood and marriage. You’re allowed to enjoy parenting, your job, you’re allowed to enjoy chores, you’re allowed to enjoy your marriage, you’re allowed to enjoy your friendships. You’re allowed to have fun, if you want to like if this is something you want. I personally want more fun in my life. So I’m going to tell you how I responded to this Facebook question and I’m going to elaborate on it. To give you some ideas on ways you can have more fun in motherhood. The first step is to watch your kids what your kids having fun. I learned this over my year of enjoying my kids. I was letting myself be drawn into them into those songs that they were singing, getting the lyrics wrong, or making up songs into their jokes. Like they just learn what jokes are. And they think they’re the best thing in the world I listened for when they’re giggling and kind of like, oh, what are they laughing at. And as I watched this, then I start to let myself join in a little bit.
It’s not instantaneous. But as I’m watching it, I find ways that I can like add a line to their song, or go down the waterslide with them. Or maybe I’m going to Google jokes and write some jokes in there lunch. Kids are really our fun guides. They’re here for the fun. They are here for what is fun, they’re not here, for all the seriousness and drama of everything. They are here for fun. And we can really learn a lot by watching them. One really cool thing I’ve noticed is in looking for the ways that my kids are trying to have fun with me. And it changes with age, like you know, when they’re smaller, they try to dress you up, or they show you their tricks like mom Look at this, or this. Or they try to tell you a joke. Or they might just start laughing really hard. They’re trying to get you involved. My oldest who’s 10. Now he’s really into inside jokes. And I I’ve just watched him in his past grade of grade four, I think that’s socially kind of something that develops in them is they make inside jokes with one another. But I just love that he wants inside jokes with me and my husband and my family. Like he’s not too cool for us yet. He’s ready to like have inside jokes with us. The other day, I was washing the windows in the house. And he was following me around and going on the other side of the glass and just like being really silly, trying to get me to laugh. And I thought like, oh, he just wants to have fun with me. Like, that’s kind of cool. He’s 10 How long is this gonna last for? JOHN Gottman calls these bids for connection. And we do them with one another like with our spouses, our spouses, do them with us. But our kids are doing them often. They’re trying to get our attention and draw us in to come and connect with them. So when your kid is trying to get you to act silly or to laugh with them, they’re actually offering you a connection point. My husband one of the reasons why I was drawn to him is because he’s fun. He’s a fun guide. And then we had kids and I started getting jealous of how much fun he was or just frustrated at how fun he made everything like doesn’t mean No, we need to be serious right now. Like, why is he putting the kids to bed? What does he get to be the fun one. And over the over the years I’ve decided like, I get to have fun too. I can find my own ways to be fun and ultimately doing this has given
be so much more appreciation that he is someone who brings fun into things, especially the things that I think are unfun. And they usually suck the fun right out of them, like road trips, or as all in a trailer camping together, I will make that really unfun. And I look to him to kind of step up and be the fun in those situations. The other suggestion that I gave to this question in the Facebook group was to watch for ways that we personally are making things heavier than they need to be. This is really been my emotional project over the summer. And I share it if you’re part of the simple Saturdays email, if not, why not go join it, go to the website and sign up for it. I shared in that newsletter in July, that I realized summer had just begun. And I was already being really unfun with my kids, specifically and how I was talking to them. And the reason that I noticed this is because I was volunteering at a summer kids camp that my church was a part of, and I was having so much fun with other people’s kids. And then I got into the track after that first day. And I was like, oh, there’s a contrast between the fun I’m having with other people’s kids and the fun I’m having with my own kids and how I’m talking to them. And it really hit me. Like that was a moment of like, Hey, I don’t want this anymore. It was like, convicting in a way, but also really motivating. Like, this is my project now for the summer. So this whole summer, I’ve been checking in with myself regularly. I’ve been checking in with myself while I’m driving. Well, we’re getting kids out the door. Well, I’m just walking through the house as well and cooking dinner. And one way that I check in with myself is sounds so silly. But I’ll ask what’s my face doing right now?
Because I don’t think I realized how often My face looks grumpy to my kids or to my husband. And he’s told me like, what’s happening with your face right now you look really upset. And I’m like, it’s just my face, I can’t manage it. So I’m just like checking in with my face. And then I kind of asked myself, okay, it’s clear, I’m not like totally fine right now, where am I on this scale. And I just want to check in and kind of monitor my attitude because I know when I let things go on default, on autopilot, that my attitude will become negative in the day to day of being at home with the kids. It’s like a garden that fills up with weeds. If I don’t go and do some weeding, they’re going to take over
something that next thing I do, and this is lame. I’m very aware, this is lame, feel free to roll your eyes. Because sometimes I roll my eyes at myself. The thing that I do is I make myself smile. And there is science out there that says smiling changes our attitude, the movement of these facial muscles kind of tells the brain we’re in a good mood. Now I don’t do this when I’m actually not happy. If I’ve kind of done like an emotional check in. And I’m stressed things are not going well. There’s a problem. Totally different strategy. But what I’m noticing when I do kind of this attitude scan is that things are generally good. I’m just being a grump. Because I have taught myself over the years that parenting is hard. Kids are hard chores are hard. And that entitles me to being a grump. So I’ve made it my emotional habit to bring grumpiness into motherhood. So I’m aware of that. And I know it’s not what I want is not making me a better mom. It’s not the mom I want to be. So I put a smile on my face as lame as it sounds. And again, I only do this when I’m like, hey, there’s actually not a problem. So what do I want to do now? And I asked myself, how can I lighten up a little bit right now? How am I withholding fun for myself right now. Because I can’t control the fun other people have, I can’t control all the conditions that I put on the fun. And I don’t want to keep withholding fun. Because there’s connection and fun. And I don’t want to withhold that from myself. This is why fun is a value. It’s a value. It isn’t frivolous. We think that people who have fun, don’t get things done in life or they’re not being realistic. But I think it’s almost a posture of humility to have some fun. And it’s a value because we can have more connected relationships, we can feel more lively and being who we are. And I think I do more. Because if I have fun in what I’m doing, I’m naturally going to do more. So this is one of my values. And ultimately, I believe that we are meant to enjoy our lives. I hope these tips have helped you. If you have liked this episode, I encourage you to share it with a friend. And if you share it on Instagram, please do take me there as symbol on purpose.ca. So let’s wrap up with a simple pleasure. And I’m going to give you one that’s going to help you have fun and that is the kitchen dance party. I don’t have to give you any research that says good music and moving your body makes you feel good. Anytime you do it. You just know it’s true. So we’ve been having kitchen dance parties. Since our kids were teeny tiny. I mean our living room and kitchens all lumped in
So if there’s music on and there anywhere around, they’re probably going to be dancing to it. And I have very, very precious memories of how my oldest son would dance and sing to shake it off when he was three year old that is just forever woven into the memories of my own motherhood. So the dance party is just if I’m in a bad mood, and I’m like cake, I don’t want to be in a bad mood anymore. Things are actually fine. I’m gonna put on some good music, we’re gonna move around. I try to encourage my kids to use this as a way to help them to when they’re feeling totally in their feelings, not to dismiss their feelings, of course, but if they’re like, Hey, we’re ready. Like, let’s let’s find a way to move out of this kitchen dance party. We actually have a Spotify playlist that we’ve been compiling over the years of songs that we love to dance to as a family. I’m going to link that in the show notes. If you can ever not find the show notes, go to simple on purpose.ca. Click Listen, all of the episodes are there, all of the shownotes all of the links, you can sign up for simple Saturday’s email there. And another hot tip about the simple on purpose website because it is years years old, it is full of content. It is full of posts from over the years. If you’re on your iPhone, I believe you scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page. There’s a search bar there and just put in anything in that search that you feel like you want some more information on. We’ve talked about habits motivation, minimalism. decluttering, capsule, wardrobes, anything meal planning gluten free. There’s just a lot of blog posts there if that’s something you’re interested in, just use that search button to find what you’re looking for. All right friends, I hope you have a great
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