One of the most enjoyable parts of parenting is that it offers us a chance to relive our younger years from a different point of view. We can buy our children all the toys that we wanted growing up and get to play with them, or go and see great kids movies at the cinema, and it’s looked at as great parenting! Don’t allow the stress of the demands of being a parent outweigh the opportunity to have fun. Consider the following the next time you’re feeling overwhelmed and overworked as a parent, and lighten up!
Stop Using Your Children As An Excuse
This is perhaps the greatest barrier there is between parents enjoying their role and resenting it. If you allow yourself to use your kids as an excuse as to why you can’t do certain things, then you will convince yourself that it is because of them you have missed out on whatever. Of course, things change when you have children to look after but there’s no reason why you can’t still manage to hit goals, travel, and take time for yourself. All you need to do is a plan, prepare, find balance and work as a team with your partner. If you really want something, you’ll find a way.
Kids are active. They love being outdoors and playing and you probably used to as well, if you don’t anymore. Becoming a parent is a great opportunity to tap back into that feeling of freedom we feel when we get outside and go for a run, or play sport, or even climb a tree. Find ways to have fun with your children and partner by doing team building activities, you are a team after all. The simplest of things can make us feel alive.
Buy Into It
Whatever you’re doing – whether it’s climbing a tree or playing with an action figure with your kid, buy into it! Roleplay, come up with voices, race your kid and play around. Don’t be afraid to look silly because your kid won’t think you’re silly at all (that comes later in their teen years). Tap back into that freedom of expression that you felt when you were a child and play.
Imagination is a muscle that calcifies if it isn’t used. You might take a while to get the blood running through your imagination again if it’s been sitting stagnant for a while, but becoming a parent is the perfect way to re-engage with an old friend – your imagination.
Pretend you’re a pirate while reading a bedtime story, do some ballet like a princess, fight baddies and kill monsters. Have fun, because it will fill you with an energy that you haven’t felt in years and give you a fresh outlook on life. Becoming a parent is really about becoming a child again. Yes you have new responsibilities, but one of those key responsibilities is to be a good role model for your child, so model to them how to have fun and enjoy life. That’s what we are all searching for anyway, joy and happiness.
Take Some Time Out
Every now and then, hire a babysitter and take the night off. Being a parent is a full-time job, but that shouldn’t mean you never get a break. Plan for it and enjoy the time to yourself, or with your partner. Having fun also means going out every now and then and having fun with your partner or friends. So, treat yourself and make the most of it.
Don’t surrender to all the stuff you hear about parenthood robbing you of this and that. Live your life the way you want to live it. If there’s a will, there’s a way, so find a way to do whatever it is you want to do and have fun doing it with your children!