I am not a fun mom.
Whew! Let's just get that out in the open.
I always thought I'd be a fun mom, but life and health and personality and circumstances all conspired against it, and I. am. not. fun. Billy is definitely the more fun parent of the two of us...and I've always been okay with that. I've always told myself that it was okay that I wasn't a fun mom...after all, some people just aren't cut out to be fun in the parenting department. It isn't that I don't ever have fun with the kids...I do...but it's not my M.O.
Recently, though, through a whole conglomeration of things, God has been pricking me about this. Now...nowhere in the Bible does it say "Thou Shalt Be a Fun Parent". In fact, there are verses that could be interpreted (and have!) in the other direction. So what's wrong with not being a fun mom?
Nothing, in general. I am totally convinced that it is possible to be a Godly, nurturing, loving mom without being a "fun mom". Which is good...because I will probably never be a full-fledged, card carrying, bona fide, dyed in the wool totally cool fun mom!
But, God began pricking me about *why* I'm not a fun mom at this point in my life. There have been times in my life and in our family when being a "fun mom" wasn't possible or even appropriate, for a variety of reasons. However, I've realized recently that many of those reasons don't apply anymore, and now the reasons behind the lack of "fun" in my mom-ness aren't particularly pretty. They tend to stem from things like fear, habit, selfishness, and even occasionally just plain laziness.
Sigh. That sounds even worse in print on the screen than it sounded in my brain, and it was pretty bad in there.
So...as I said, God began to prick me and poke me and convict me that while not being a fun mom is not in and of itself a sin...some of the reasons behind my particular brand of "not fun" at this point in my mothering are. He brought this to my attention in various ways, including some completely innocent comments by some of my children along the way. OUCH.
But...when God convicts us, He also empowers and guides us. I am so thankful for that!!! Just about the time that I began to realize I needed to make some changes in my fun quotient as a mom, He sent along another blogger to encourage and gently prod me in that direction. Nancy at There is Grace began a month-long blog link-up called Fun Mommy Mondays . I read about it a while back and meant to participate...but I just didn't ever quite get there. This morning when I saw her reminder, however, I did a quick about-face.
It's Spring Break week around here. We usually don't take Spring Break the same week as the local schools, because Billy has never been able to get time off during Spring Break, and we prefer to take our time off when Daddy can be off, too. Plus, Spring Break week always falls right before our annual testing, which is really not good timing.
But although we aren't officially taking Spring Break this week, our two oldest went on a one-day mission trip with the youth from our former church today. I had great plans in their absence...the little girls and I would tackle some projects around the house and then they could have free time while I worked on desk work I needed to catch up on. I even had hopes of a nap hidden away in there somewhere.
Then I saw the Fun Mommy Mondays link and realized that my plans were not at all making the most of a prime opportunity for some very special time with the two youngest girls. My plans immediately did a 180.
We had an hour and a half between dropping the big kids off and taking the girls to the hospital for an early lunch with Daddy during Mom's physical therapy appointment. I decided that rather than trying to cross some things off my to do list during that time, we'd do some shopping. Not "here's our list, let's get this stuff and get out of here" shopping (the kind I tend to favor these days...:-/), but "let's go in and browse all the things we never have time to stop and look at" shopping. (My first thought was to go to the park, but the early part of the day was rainy and cold...hence the droopy hair in these photos. :))
So off we went. The girls were thrilled. I was stunned at how quickly the urge to "hurry them along" hit. We had plenty of time, we had nothing to actually buy, we were browsing. For fun. But my "we don't have time to stop and look at that, we've got to get this done" habit is deeply engrained.
So I practiced breathing. And stopping. And looking. And laughing. The first thing they wanted to do was try on hats. But they stopped and looked at me first, waiting to hear my usual, "Don't even think about putting that hat on your head...who knows who else has had it on and what you might catch from it!" I stopped and said a little prayer for protection from critters that live on hats in department stores and said, "Let's see what they look like on!" The "eyeballs popping out of heads" looks on their faces were priceless. We made a deal that they would scrub their hair with tea tree oil when they got home, and they had a wonderful time trying on hats everywhere we went all day.
Next on the agenda (theirs, not mine) was shoes. They were both planning to use some of their early birthday money from Nonna to buy new Easter shoes. Although we weren't ready to buy yet, they wanted to see what their options were. They both, in different stores, found the "perfect shoes" at the "perfect price". They were ecstatic.
We didn't limit our shoe shopping to the practical, though. We oohed and ahhed over the crazily high heels and even tried a pair or two on! (Well, they did. I'm pretty sure my ankles would break just trying these on, much less attempting to walk in them! That would NOT have been fun. :))
I snapped a few shots of "Granny Kitty shoes" just for reminiscing's sake. Granny would have loved these (although the faux skin ones would have been a bit on the low-heeled side for her, and she would have preferred a bit pointier toe, lol!)
Next we looked at baby dresses...just because they were cute. And made us smile. And make funny faces!
We did almost no actual buying all day (although we did scope out more than just shoes that we planned to come back for later...:)). I did get the girls each a tiny notebook as a souvenir of our fun girls' day. They have definitely inherited their mother's love of all things notebook related!
It was a simple day. It cost very little money, and we only hit three stores all day. And yet the girls raved and raved about how much fun we had. It's amazing the difference that comes of taking "Hurry up...let's go" out of the vocabulary for the day and stopping to look and laugh. Even this "not-so-fun" mom loved every minute!
Are you a fun mom? Does it come naturally to you, or do you have to work at it? What are some ways you have fun with your kids? Leave a comment and tell us all about it! I'd love some ideas for simple, inexpensive fun.
Then pop over to Nancy's and see what others are sharing for "Fun Mommy" Mondays!
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