Sure, there are responsibilities – but what makes being a mom fun?
Connie Sokol, author of “Motherhood Matters,” shares a few ways to
rediscover joy in the role.
Alexandra Stoddard, author of Living a Beautiful Life, challenged women to
rate their “Fun Factor” in daily life on a scale of 1 to 10. Often for moms it
doesn’t even hit a five. Not that life needs to be a string of giddy events but
too often we mothers walk around furrowed brow and missing the joy in the
journey. So let’s find the fun!
Create a Fun Basket. Choose a beautiful basket that appeals to you
then fill it with fun things you love to do, enjoy, eat, etc. Use it daily in some
way—sometimes it will be a little thing, sometimes a big thing. I put in my
favorite books, thank you cards (I love writing those!), chick flicks, decadent
European chocolate or treats, candles, bath salts, etc. They are all meant for
pure fun, nothing productive. So after the children are in bed and you say,
“Gee, should I put in more laundry OR do something fun for 15 minutes?” go
for the fun!
Find fun in daily dos. Actively look for, and if necessary, create
those moments or experiences that add sparkle to the sometimes mundanity
of motherhood. Years ago as a zealous (and somewhat desperate) mother, I
tried to help our children get jiggy with chores by starting our own “Dino
Store.” Nothing fancy, we decorated a refrigerator box and filled it with
simple toys, books, and treats. We printed Dino Dollars that they received for
doing chores and could then redeem for fun things at the “store”. They loved
it! That being said, you don’t have to do something like this forever (I think it
was less than a year) and it doesn’t need to be a production. An impromptu
yard picnic after folding laundry, or a trip to the park after cleaning their
zones—do whatever lifts the spirit and brings relaxation.
Be the Favorite Aunt. A friend of mine gave a fabulous gift to her
sister-in-law who had just had a baby: she spent three days caring for the
other children. But, she did something extra magical that hit me. My friend
spent that time focusing on fun with the kids—getting on the floor, playing
Uno, goofing with them as kids love to do. She said, “It was like I got to be
the favorite aunt!” And beautifully discovered that she was also energized by
it! So choose an activity, a day, or a chunk of time to take off the Mama hat
and be the Favorite Aunt. Get on the floor or the wii, play, dance, and be silly
with them, even if only for 10 minutes. We recently did this with all eight of
us, 18 down to 6, playing a family game of Pit. After 15 minutes of intense
screaming “Two-two-two” and falsely dinging the bell, we laughed so hard I
was crying, with my big belly bouncing up and down.
So this week, take a moment for fun and try being “The Favorite Aunt”: enjoy
something beautiful, find the daily fun, and get on the floor to let yourself let
down with your children.
Connie Sokol is the mother of six—expecting her seventh—and has just
released her newest book, Motherhood Matters: Joyful Reminders of the
Divinity, Reality, and Rewards of Motherhood. For tips, columns, and
products visit www.8basics.com.