No Time to Be Fun

February 7, 2012

no time to be fun with kids

Settling the kids into school, and into a different routine, has been pretty full on.  It’s been hectic, and I’m left with a heavy anxious feeling after I drop the kids to school. I’m not necessarily worried about them — they are doing okay — it’s the after affects of pulling it all together in the morning.  It’s not just the normal stuff — lunches, uniforms — it’s trying to be patient while my daughter (with some special needs) adjusts to the new routine, and how this impacts on our family.

It’s a strange thing: I know what is ahead so I get up-tight, and my stress affects her, which makes it worse, so on, so forth. Not that strange I guess. So the merry-go-round is spinning right now.  The anxiety is sapping some of my strength but I know things will get easier as we all settle into a routine.

That all brings me to this post: No Time to Be Fun.  You know, I think being fun with your kids is not defined so much by the activities you do with your kids, or even what large chunks of time you spend with them, but how you invest in the moments as they happen. How you invest, not in activites, but life. I’m becoming more and more convienced of this truth the longer I parent. I don’t always do it well but I’m aware of it.

Here are some of the ways I incorporate fun things into my everyday life as a parent.  It means I still can be fun when it’s not that fun, you know?

1. Touch

I’m very affectionate with my kids. I put my hand on their head when they come stand at my side. I kiss them randomly, and often. I hold their hands. We tickle. And hug. I make a point of making physical connection often.

2. Attention

I work on giving my children my full attention for the 10 seconds they ask a question or make a comment. Just 10 seconds. 10 seconds of absolute, I’m-looking-at-you-right-in-the-eye attention. I can try and do that. Yes.

3. On Their Level

I get down on my children’s level as much as I can. When I talk to my 4-year-old son, I crouch down so we are eye to eye. Getting down on his level is something I’ve come to enjoy. I do it so often now, it’s like a habit and I often get down low; the view of the world is different from down there. I like it.

4. Words

I love words and using them in my parenting. Here are some examples: The Not So Serious, Serious Word and Words as Concepts. I also use weird jingles the kids will most probably outgrow someday…and when they do, I hope they still humour me and let me do it.  One of my favourites is Quick Stick, Bees Knees, which means “Hurry up.”

It’s nice when the kids start to get humour and I can get away with being sarcastic with them. For example: when my 10-year-old is whinging about something really minor, I’ll say, “NO. WAY.”  She will laugh and say, “MUM! I’m serious!” Ah yes, a bit of humour goes a long, long way.

5. Quotes

My son has a Transformer…doll? Is that what you call it? A doll? Anyway, it says, in that techno voice, “Auto-bots, roll out.”  Sometimes, when we get home, I’ll say, “Auto-bots, roll out,” as the children get out of the car.  It’s silly, and I usually get a laugh from the kids. I want to connect the things in our lives, and what we do as a family, with the moments we have. Thanks to my husband, Star Wars quotes are often used in conversations at our place too. We one of those families who can have entire conversations through Star Wars quotes. HA! It’s sad really.

6. Imagination

My kids constantly remind me how amazing it is to use imagination. We can pretend the car is a plane on a long trip or imagine the bit of dirt in the middle of the lake is a Pirate’s Island. At one of our favourite parks, right next to a lake, there is an island (pictured below). We named it Misty Island and we often talk about what could be over there (even when we are not at the park).

how to be a fun mum

7. Expression

Thumbs up. High five.

Big grin. Bright Eyes.

Soft smile. Small jump.

A word. A hug.

There are million ways I can encourage, give and love through how I express myself, and it really doesn’t take any extra time.

8. Smiling

I make a point of smiling when I greet my children after school. “Hi Beautifuls! How was your day?”

9. Inclusion

I can’t include the children in everything I do but I try when I can. The older 2 girls take turns at pushing the trolley when we shop for food; the younger 2 love helping me with dinner. Those sorts of everyday things can be fun for kids.

10. Share Life

I want to walk beside my kids as we journey through life together.  I want to share who I am with them and learn more about who they are. It’s about togetherness.

It all adds up, or so I hope to think. Investing here, giving there. Grasping opportunities and living deliberately.  All the little things, the small things, the moments: they add up over time to create something special, memorable…and fun. Do you think?

Other Links

How to Be A Fun Mum

Don’t Try and Be the Mum You’re Not

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

LucyNo Gravatar February 8, 2012 at 5:44 am

You can make a list of all these things. I ? You Kel, for breaking it all down. This is something I need to focus on at the moment.

Yesterday, a song cam eon the radio that the kids and I all adore and have not heard for ages. My eldest strted singing. We all started singing. Despite nearly coming apart at the seams with triedness, I allowed myself to be fun. When we pulled into home, we all just continued singing. ANd then they all climed on top of me in the front seat for a cuddle.

I need to do more of this.

xxx

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LucyNo Gravatar February 8, 2012 at 5:45 am

That ? up there? Is a heart, that doesn’t want to display properly…

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BookChookNo Gravatar February 8, 2012 at 5:51 am

Having seen you and your family in action, I don’t just think; I know! Those little moments are the glue that holds your family so strongly together, and make you all such interesting individuals to know.

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Debbie @ Aspiring MumNo Gravatar February 8, 2012 at 5:53 am

I hear you on the anxious feeling after school drop-off. We have our morning routine, and plenty of time to do it, but it still leaves me feeling rushed and in a knot once everyone’s at school. I’ve been making a conscious effort to live in the moment, rather than rushing ahead to the next task. I’m absolutely knackered most days, and usually feel like the fun police, but I’m finding if I just take that time to do little things that make us “us”, then it certainly helps to create a more relaxed environment at home.

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BecciNo Gravatar February 8, 2012 at 7:49 am

Love this!
Another thing that I do when I can is sing to Miss M, she is a bit too young to join in given she can’t talk yet, but I’m hoping when she is older she will enjoy singing with me too :)

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TrishNo Gravatar February 8, 2012 at 10:20 am

Very important reminder Kelly. I love it too.

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NathalieNo Gravatar February 8, 2012 at 10:55 am

What a delighful post, it’s amazing when you stop how fun can be found in most daily moments off to share x

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Martine@themodernparentNo Gravatar February 8, 2012 at 3:06 pm

A beautiful post Kelly and even whilst reading it one of mine came up to ask me a question…and instead of continuing to look at the screen I gave them that 10 seconds! And I have very similiar conversations with my 10 year old…..it must be the age of ‘dramatics!

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LyndallNo Gravatar February 8, 2012 at 3:08 pm

That’s a great reminder of how important the time is we have together. I am starting to feel it too with Miss E starting her kindy journey… the journey to more of her life spent away from me than with me! I’m trying to make the most of the time we have together… that doesn’t always mean stopping to play games etc (oh for the time!) but trying to be more ‘present’ as we do life together. :)

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Blair ScheepersNo Gravatar February 21, 2012 at 6:55 pm

Lovely list that I must print! I also use silly sayings for my daughter that is 1. We say, reach for the stars when taking off her clothes. Now if you say it, she starts taking off her own clothes. It’s the cutest. And we sing the hokey pokey song when getting dressed.

Isn’t being a mom just the best?

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Kelly Be A Fun MumNo Gravatar February 22, 2012 at 10:15 pm

Thanks so much for visiting my blog Blair. Thanks for sharing your sweet stories. Love it!

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Veronica @ Mixed GemsNo Gravatar February 25, 2012 at 3:31 am

Thanks for sharing this, Kel. It’s a brilliant post. I’m pleased I already do acouleof these things but I need to be more consistent about being in the moment. It’s an ongoing process of training myself. It’s also about the importance of creating memories and traditions that I want my girls to remember as they grow up.

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Mini PiccoliniNo Gravatar March 3, 2012 at 1:26 am
Kelly Be A Fun MumNo Gravatar March 4, 2012 at 9:54 pm

Thanks so much for sharing my post! I’ll pop over now and say “Hi”

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GinaNo Gravatar March 5, 2012 at 5:04 pm

I’ve just found your great post on minipiccolino. First, I love it when, with the click of a button, I am in a far away land! And, second, “bees knees,” I’m going to use that! I loved your article and site. I look forward to returning.

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KristieNo Gravatar May 23, 2012 at 10:45 am

oh yes! when days are hectic i sometimes forget the little things. Today i played hide and seek while doing the washing up. it’s totally those little moments that makes life fun. I don’t need to find hours on end to sit and play with my kids, as long as i show them my love and fun side can slot in around our everyday things.

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KellyNo Gravatar May 23, 2012 at 12:32 pm

It is the little things, hey! So good to remember that 10 seconds of attention can mean the world to a little one!
I am gonna try some of your ideas today!

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Rowie HopeNo Gravatar May 23, 2012 at 2:25 pm

What a beautiful blog. Some great stuff we already do and some beautiful additions. Thanks for thinkin deeply about this mum business.

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