Five things you need to ditch to have more fun
We all want to be a fun parent at least some of the time, right?
It's all too easy to turn into a rigid mumbot who only talks vegetables and bedtime, but who wants to hang out with her?
And here's the real kicker; you don't have any fun because you're always dealing with the sticky end of parenting (time outs, brushing teeth, sibling fights) all the while not realising that upping the fun factor would be your trump card. Children are generally a lot more amenable when you've actually met them at their level for a bit.
So here are five things you need to ditch to bring fun mum back to life.
1) Your phone
I didn’t promise it would be easy! We constantly stress about our kids and screens conveniently forgetting how long we spend hooked in ourselves. Just because you're answering emails doesn't make it any better.
Nothing is more distracting than the ping of a facebook notification. And the message it sends to your child? This is more interesting than you. Ouch. My daughter has been known to take my phone out of my hand and hide it so I think the message for me was pretty clear.
2) Your pride
Playing means being silly, giving overdramatic, ridiculous responses and taking the role of village idiot. It might even mean getting dressed up and not in an attractive girls’ night out kind of way.
There is nothing your child loves more than seeing the person usually giving the instructions letting go of their inhibitions. So, don't say 'quieter' or 'careful’, play louder, faster and funnier. Kids love slapstick. Their laughter will be your reward.
3) Your lack of imagination
Here's the thing - you're a little rusty at this play business. Have you ever noticed that to children most adult fun looks like talking and drinking tea (or is this just my life?) No wonder they think we're boring!
Playing takes a little practise, you might need to follow your child's lead for a bit before you get your play back on. Don’t be constrained into playing by the rules. The funniest games are often totally made up. Kitchen obstacle course made of pillows anyone?
Release your inner child and see what happens
4) Your lack of time
We're all busy. Maybe a little too busy.
Is your schedule so jam packed with jobs and activities that there isn't time for any spontaneous fun? Are you so busy driving children to different places that it feels like you only have a chat in the car before it's onto the bedtime routine?
Remember one day you'll be able to do as much unpaid overtime as your heart desires but you won't always have a five year old who still wants to play with you.
5) Your anxiety
About them eating their vegetables or getting muddy or hurting their knees from all the jumping. Control freekism is the enemy of fun.
Can you remember being five? Did you care about muddy knees, eating broccoli or wearing shoes? I’m going to go out on a limb and say I guess not, and you still turned out ok.
Maybe if you stifle your inner Monica and let the small stuff slide the world won’t end?
Think I'll leave my phone and go and find some muddy puddles right now actually...