5 Ways to Be a Fun Mom
By Lynn Powers
A couple years ago, my daughter told me I wasn't a "fun mom." Granted, the comment came when I was busy with something and it wasn't possible for me to drop what I was doing and play with her. But I'll admit, the comment still stung.
Of course, because I work at home, there will certainly be times when I have to say no. There is work that needs to be done and my kids need to learn that the world doesn't completely revolve around them. But, are there times when I am so consumed with my work that "no" becomes an automatic response to my kids' pleas to play? Do I need to lighten up? Have I forgotten how to become a fun mom?
As any work-at-home mom knows, balancing work and motherhood is not easy! But, at the end of the day, would I rather say I got each of the twelve things done on my to-do list? Or that I took some time to pay attention to the needs of my child?
Here are five ways you can get your work done and still be considered a "fun mom."
1. Take a Time Out. When your child is pleading with you to play with her, take a moment to consider whether she may be desperate for time with you. A child can only go so long without some quality time with her mom. Take a half an hour break to spend playing a game, drawing a picture, or taking a walk around the block.
2. Set the timer. Tell your child you will set the timer for one hour. When the timer goes off, it will be time to play. You will then set the timer for twenty minutes and play whatever it is he wants to play, whether it's matchbox cars, a board game, or silly dancing to a favorite CD. Do that a couple of times throughout the day. And stay true to your word - when you hear that "ding," drop what you're doing. Let him know he's the priority.
3. Make lunch time a fun time. Use the hour to involve your child in making sandwiches and setting the table. Leave the paperwork in the office and focus on your child. Ask her questions about things she enjoys - like what she's named her latest WebKinz or what happened on her favorite television show this morning.
4. Put him to work! We're not talking child labor, here. But, if possible, involve your child in your work. Of course, the work needs to be age-appropriate. A three-year old can put paper in the recycling bin. A five year old is able to stamp envelopes. A ten year old can do some filing. You may get more work done this way, or less, but involving your child will be priceless.
5. LAUGH! Take a moment to tell your daughter a silly joke. Relive a funny moment from the past. Have a five minute "tickling spree." If hearing your child's laughter doesn't get you started, nothing will. Besides the "fun" factor, laughing reduces stress and ups the immune system - an added benefit for you both!
Working at home and being a fun mom can go hand-in-hand. It's all about balance. But when you find the scale tipping a little too far on the work side, your child may just remind you that it's time to step away for a moment or two. And don't forget to grab that FUN hat on your way out of the office door.