Well, the Fun Mom I know is in Costa Rica right now with her kids, backpacking through the rainforest. Before she went away on vacation, each evening was an ice cream excursion where they would try out a different place and new flavor. I never knew this woman before kids, but I imagine she’s always had this zest for living boldly and taking life as it comes.
I’m not Fun Mom.
I used to be fun. But since having kids that’s all changed.
First off, there’s a gap between what I think is fun (and doable w/ the kids) and what M & GL think is fun.
Like eating candy for breakfast. GL thinks that’s fun.
Then there’s the trampoline that was at our vacation home.
At first glance, I thought we were going to find fun together…bouncing around is totally something I could get into…there’s a huge exercise factor in that.
But after getting on that thing for longer than 30 seconds it was more uncomfortable than fun.
On a long car ride recently M asked if we wanted to play 20 Questions.
Not fun is what I thought…
but instead said OK.
Turned out, it was a little fun. We got a few laughs for a few minutes.
So as M + GL get older, the gap between my fun and their fun is slowly shrinking.
It used to be that family fun was all about me watching them have fun — like seeing GL swing across the monkey bars, or M score a goal in soccer.
Now, it’s getting easier to find things we all enjoy. Like rock hopping through a stream.
The interesting thing though is what I consider fun often involves some element of risk. Yet it’s this very risk factor that makes things un-fun for me with my kids. Often their fun makes me a little nervous. Fun Mom doesn’t get nervous. She’s too busy having fun.
When we went rock hopping through the stream, it was great until they started to get further into the river. Then I stopped having fun, and started worrying what was going to happen to them. (GL ended up falling in… I knew something like that would happen.) Mom’s instinct perhaps?
So clearly, Momhood has shifted my definition of fun. But it’s also expanding it.
Watching my kids have fun can be fun for me. Okay it probably wouldn’t stay fun for an extended period of time. But for a bit their laughs and smiles can do the trick.
And as for being Fun Mom? I don’t know how she does it.
Maybe by doing different things? Or keeping an open mind, and seeing something as an adventure…no matter what it is?
I do try to get creative and figure out what’s fun for everyone. Headstanding in the park and making up songs in the car has been working lately for us.
Basically, if I lighten up and live in the moment, I may start to feel a little like Fun Mom.
What do you think makes Fun Mom or Dad stay fun?