My Mom Skills really suffer when I’m feeling exhausted because inevitably my mood turns into a funk and my creativity goes down the drain. I’m also not terribly patient when I’m tired.>
Then add to that the stress of knowing the dishes need to be washed, the laundry needs to be folded and put away, the bathrooms need to be cleaned (they are really grossing me out!), and I need to find time to clip coupons, look for sales, and get my grocery shopping done. Oops, let’s not forget meal planning too!
It’s no wonder I’m quick to fly off the handle, having a total mommy temper tantrum when my kids approach me whining “I’m bored! What fun thing can we do?” I know you’ve been there too. It’s frustrating, isn’t it?
Because I am, however, striving to improve and be a more patient and fun loving mom, I’ve been reading about the women of the bible to see what kind of mom’s they were. I haven’t been able to find anything about whether or not they were fun moms though.
The common theme so far has been that many moms were homemakers. Their primary role was to love their children, teach them basic life skills, and prepare their daughters for the future role of becoming a wife and mother. And at the age of six, the boys would start spending the day with their father learning the family business.
Even though there is no mention of these women specifically entertaining their children, as a fellow mom I think it goes without saying that they spent quality time with them showing their love. There was much work to be done so the time they had together was probably more productive learning than it was playing, but who knows. After all, God expects us to love and nurture our children, no matter what era we are living in. Well, we all know that being consistent with discipline is so damn hard.
Admittedly, the “not such a SuperMom” days tend to happen in my life more often than not. So I felt it was necessary to do some strategic planning. In an effort to be a loving, nurturing, and fun mom on those days when I’m just completely exhausted but have so much to do, I came up with a “Mom Go-To List” to keep in my handy resource box. This way I can quickly refer to it for some creative and productive fun.
Giggle Fests – This is a real mood booster for everyone. It starts with me yelling “Giggle Fest!” and then chasing the girls around the house tickling them until we have laughed so much our cheeks hurt. I just hope it won’t seriously affect my plans to finally get my secondary education degree!
The Great Laundry Toss – Here’s an opportunity to teach the kids how to fold clean clothes, and how to put their own clothes away in the proper drawers. Once the laundry basket is empty grab a few pairs of rolled up socks and see who can get the most points tossing them into the basket from a far distance. For younger kids, the empty clothes basket is also fun to ride around in. And you’ll get a workout pushing them…or pulling them (tie a short handle to it) all over the house. *Warning* Avoid this fun activity near stairs! No need to give the kids any crazy ideas!
Water Play – Have the kids pick out a few “washable” toys, grab some footstools, and fill the kitchen sink with soapy water. When their toys are all clean, they’ll be looking for something else to wash. How about the non-breakable dirty dishes? This is a great time to teach the skill of washing and drying dishes in a fun way. Kids love to help, but mostly they love spending time with mom. *Note* Water play is also a great way to soothe a highly spirited child when they are having trouble calming down.
I Spy Groceries – At the grocery store start a game of I Spy with items on the shopping list. Simply spot the item needed, then engage the kids in a game of I Spy until they find the item too and this may also help them overcome their fear of, for example, thunderstorms or darkness!
Chef Emeril, Junior Edition – Have the kids choose the next meal in its entirety. Kids love feeling like they have some control over the decision-making process and this is an opportunity to guide or teach them about planning a nutritious meal for the family. Then have them prepare it…with adult supervision, of course. Young kids enjoy pouring and mixing ingredients, helping set the table, putting ice cubes in drinking glasses, and peeking through the oven window at their creation as it cooks. My girls especially love to add their own fashionable cooking accessories by wearing their apron’s and chef hats.
The Family Nap – Kids love snuggling next to mom while they sleep. So why not have a family nap? Pick a place where everyone can sleep next to each other. This could be in mom and dad’s bed or by pitching a tent on the living room floor and tossing some pillows and blankets inside. The point is to have everyone get some much-needed rest and be together at the same time. See also this post about how a mom can let off some steam.
I hope this list gives you some fresh ideas or inspires you to create your own “Mom Go-To” list for those days when you’re feeling exhausted, cranky, and out of sorts. Take also a look at how things may help at school on a rainy day. Remember, smiles are contagious. Maybe if we make our kids smile, we’ll all be laughing before the day is over.