One of my more nonconventional goals this year is to HAVE. MORE. FUN. Here are a few ways I’ve started doing just that…
I won’t lie, a lot of January was spent focusing on training hard for the half marathon that happened at the
beginning of this month. But In the past month and a half I have been trying really hard to set aside a little time each day to cultivate more fun in our day to day lives. Some of the time I have said aside is just to brainstorm ideas that have not come to fruition yet, but today I wanted to share just a few of the ways I’ve started having fun on a daily basis with my kids and spouse.
*Find ways to make meal time special: I’m about to be in rehearsals again most evenings. Which means I’m going to be missing dinner and bedtime most evenings. So the times I have both kids home for lunch- I’ve tried that one to two times a week to make lunchtime wacky or special or different in some way. Whether it be letting them help make it in some way (requires me to have an extra store of patience that day, but always makes them smile so much.) OR having a surprise picnic in our backyard or at the park instead of at our kitchen table. OR inviting some favorite stuffed animals friends to join the fun- something that we usually don’t allow and that we don’t have room for during family dinners, but perfect to brighten up a midweek lunch time! It doesn’t add anything extra to our budget, and it helps me focus a lot more on being present with them instead of using mealtime to do extra chores in a big rush while I know the kids are busy with their food.
*BUBBLES. GLOW STICKS. SIDEWALK CHALK: We have SO MANY of all three of these and for some reason my crazy type A personality has gotten in the habit of hoarding them. Part of this is probably just due to the fact that sidewalk chalks remains unbroken for about ten seconds once it is taken out of the package. But that eventually evolved to not wanting to deal with picking up the sidewalk chalk and finding myself unduly frustrated by the whole activity. And WHY?! I can’t even tell you. But I’m changing my mindset and embracing the glow stick dances and baths, the broken sidewalk chalk, and the bubbles EVERYWHERE. They are creating memories I love, and I’m finding if I go into it with the right attitude… it’s no longer frustrating, it’s fun again.
*SHAKING UP DATE NIGHT: This is an ongoing hope for this year, but for our February date night- after having a really fun appetizer hour with my MOPS crew, we took this literally. Instead of going out for dinner or drinks, we had a dessert date. We had an absurdly large “showstopper shake” that I had stared at online for months but never really brought up because it just seemed so over the top and absurd. And you know what? That’s exactly what it was, but it cost less than the price of getting two mixed drinks and we had SO MUCH FUN trying all the different elements and laughing about just how gigantic it was. And we spent the rest of our time wandering around taking silly pictures in front of murals and looking at new releases in the book store (we are nerds through and through and bookstores are definitely our happy place!)
*SILLY WALKS AND DANCE PARTIES: This is a completely free activity and it has really changed our pre-dinner slump. Any other parents know what I’m talking about? That witching hour where everyone is starting to get tired and hungry? In the past, this has traditionally been the time of caving and turning on the TV (and sometimes I still do that… especially if someone is sick which has happened quite a bit the last few weeks) BUT I’ve been trying to shake things up because my daughter LOVES to dance and my son is a total ham. So I put on some fun music and we either have a full out dance party and singalong, or we take turns letting everyone lead a variety of silly walks or sounds. The kids love it and it usually gets out enough energy that it is less of a fight to get them to play independently while their dad or I finish up dinner or to sit a little more still and focused at the dinner table. I know the time won’t last long where they think this is a COOL thing to do with mom or dad, so I’m cherishing it while it lasts.
What everyday activities bring a little more fun into your life? I’m looking forward to continuing to try new things and find new traditions as the year of FUN progresses.