Before your children were even born, you had SUCH high hopes about what parenting them would be like.
You’d snuggle your babies, read stories and get in tickle fights. You’d do fun crafts and take them neat places. You’d teach them to walk and swing and read, and you’d be so proud every time they accomplished something new. From their first words to their first steps to their first day of school — you couldn’t wait to experience it all.
And then, somewhere along the way, life happened.
Hi, Holy Mess readers! Today I’m sharing a post with you by guest author Brittany from Equipping Godly Women. Brittany has awesome advice to share with us. Please keep reading for her tips for moms. —Sara
Your sweet little babies started developing opinions of their own. They learned “no” and “I don’t want to.” They started demanding the blue cup instead of the red one, and that only peanut butter sandwiches cut into dinosaurs would do.
You tried to keep up with their ever-changing demands, but you got busy, you got stressed and you got grouchy. And all the fun crafts you thought you’d do eventually got pushed by the wayside in hopes of just getting little Johnny to “Stop talking for five minutes, please!”
Sometimes you feel like a failure as a mom, but mostly you just feel tired. You’re doing your best to hang in there, but this really wasn’t what you had in mind.
The good news is, if parenting your children has slowly turned into more of a chore than a delight, you are definitely NOT alone! And the even better news is, this common parenting problem is actually super easy to fix! You just have to get intentional about it.
And here are four great ways to make parenting fun again to get you started.
1. Set Aside Time for Fun
If you’re sitting around waiting for the perfect opportunity to have some fun with your children, you’re going to be waiting a long time! There are always things to do and places to be. That’s why you have to get intentional about it — by setting aside time specifically for having fun.
For example, maybe Sunday night is popcorn and funny movie night. Maybe Saturday mornings you all go out for sprinkle donuts and hot chocolate. Or maybe Tuesday nights you head out to the park to race down the slides as fast as you can. Whatever you and your children like to do!
**Not sure where to start? I’d love to have you join in my Free +Positive Parenting Challenge! With six days of encouraging emails and easy-to-implement challenges, you and your children will be having fun together in no time! You can learn more about the +Positive Parenting Challenge here.
2. Ask Yourself “Why Not?”
As busy parents, it can be SO easy to get in the habit of saying “No” all the time. But how many times do you say no when you could just as easily say “Why not?” instead?
Now don’t get me wrong, there are definitely times your children need to hear no, but probably not nearly as often as we say it.
For example, why not have pancakes for breakfast sometimes? Why not hang out in pajamas til noon on a day you don’t have anywhere to be? Why not throw the mattress on the floor and see who can jump the highest on a rainy day when the kids have too much pent up energy?
If you don’t have a good reason, why not skip the strict rules and make a memory instead? Come on! It’ll be fun!
3. Overcome Behavior Problems
Alternately, if the problem is your children’s poor behavior, it may be time to teach your children how to behave once and for all.
Yes, it can be so exhausting to set limits, enforce rules and show the kids you mean business when you’d really rather just give in and not deal with it, but when you do this, you only set yourself up for even more behavior problems down the road.
Take the time to really Teach Your Children How to Behave, however, and all of that hard work WILL pay off once you have pleasant, well-behaved kids who listen the first time. It may not be easy, but it’s definitely worth it!
4. Don’t Forget to Take Care of Yourself As Well
Do you ever make your kids three different breakfasts, and then forget to eat breakfast yourself?
Are you ever so busy shuttling your children around to their various activities and church programs that you neglect to schedule any of your own?
Do you ever stay up super late binge-watching Netflix and eating Oreos, even though you know you need to get some sleep because you have to be up early the next morning?
I’m guessing for most of us — we do things like these all the time! Even though we know we really shouldn’t. I know I do.
The truth is we moms are BUSY! And as a result, we NEED to take care of ourselves in order to be present with our families the next day. We need sleep, exercise and healthy foods to be active, energetic and fun — all the things we want to be for our children.
No, taking care of ourselves isn’t always easy. But then again, neither is lying on the couch, exhausted, with no motivation either.
So which would you rather be: the fun mom who has lots of great memories with her kids OR the tired, grouchy mom who is always counting down the minutes until bedtime? The choice is up to you!
And don’t forget – the +Positive Parenting Challenge is a great place to get started.
Do you need to put some more fun back into your parenting? Which of these four strategies would you like to try first?
A devoted Christian, wife and mother, Brittany loves helping other women grow in these roles as well. When she isn’t busy taking care of her growing family, you can find her at Equipping Godly Women, where she regularly shares real life resources to help you grow in faith and family.
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