I have this little fear that is always with me. I fear that I am not a “fun mom.” When my oldest boys were tiny, I was most definitely a fun mom. I neglected every chore for a chance to play with my kids. After dinner, we never cleaned up. We played! We usually plopped on the floor with Little People and cardboard swords. Sometimes we sat around the table with paper, scissors, glue, and Play-Doh. When I got home from my grad school classes or teaching freshmen how to write essays, I dropped everything to play and read with my two sweet boys.
But now…there is always a chore to do, and waiting until after bedtime simply isn’t an option! I’m too tired. When someone wants to play, there is always a sibling to take my place in Candy Land. And brothers and sisters are more fun than me anyway. When we go on an outing (pre-COVID), I’m the one shouting out orders or making sure nobody leaves a hat or water bottle somewhere. I’m not the fun one.
I also have this little voice in my mind that tells me that because I’m with my kids almost 100% of the time anyway, they don’t need my direct attention. I’m a mostly stay-at-home-mom, so they certainly get more of me than they would if I were working. Right? I’m learning that the answer is WRONG. A mom who scurries around cleaning all day or has her face in front of a computer is not the same as a mom who looks into her children’s eyes, puts on silly costumes, and plays endless games of Go Fish. That’s the mom I want to be.
I’m trying though! I want my grown children to remember that they were more important that clear countertops or an empty sink. (Besides, my countertops are rarely clean anyway! Who am I kidding?)
I said YES to sledding when we had a nice big snow before Christmas. I insisted that Charlotte take pictures to prove that I can be a fun mom, too. This is important! It is as important to me as anything else I do to create a healthy, safe, and memorable childhood for my children.
I am trying to embrace my kids’ interests, even going as far as joining Fletcher in his sword lessons (which I love!) and having a lovely hand-me-down flute refurbished so that I can learn along with Charlotte. I am trying to show my whole family (husband included!) that being with them is better than any task I could complete. If COVID has shown me anything, it has taught me that home with my crew is my favorite place to be. Now I need to simply demonstrate that with real action that they can see and feel.