Posts tagged #fun

Being the "Bad Guy"

"You spoil all my fun, mummy!"

"You spoil all my fun, mummy!"

I’m a naysayer, a wet blanket…I am officially a killjoy.

I had not anticipated the impact on my state of mind that being the ‘bad guy’ would have.  “No” is not a word I like, and one I rarely needed to use pre-children.  Now it seems it’s in every other sentence that comes rolling off my tongue. 

There are times when I just want to cry because it feels like all I’ve done for 12 hours is take things away, say no and put the brakes on anything that looks remotely like ‘fun’. 

I know it’s all part of the gig.  You have little lives in your hands…you can’t very well let them run around with scissors, eat chocolate for breakfast or test their new wings from the roof of your two storey house.  But it is really hard not to let it get to you! 

I’m an optimistic, easy-going (mostly!) person by nature…but at times it becomes hard to separate your personality from your parental responsibilities.  It’s difficult not to absorb the negative rhetoric.  You start to feel irritated and frustrated when it seems like all you’re doing is putting up barriers.  It’s tough not to begin thinking of yourself as a blocker, a naysayer, a wet blanket, a pessimist, a killjoy …

But I guess I’ve just got to suck it up and take this one on board.  If I wasn’t being the ‘bad guy’ sometimes, I wouldn’t be doing my job, right?  I’m providing safe boundaries, I’m teaching them valuable life skills…and I’m keeping the alive.  I think I just need to remind myself of these things when I sense an impending tail spin at the end of a long, hard day of saying “no”.

The Up Side

The Up Side Mama Pyjama

I am often reminded of the quote: “While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about”.  Like the other day when my three year old said to me, “I’m happy with what I’ve got…Are you happy with what you’ve  got Mummy?”.  Or today when he stood gazing down our humble, semi-suburban street and turned to say, “Look at the lovely view mummy.  Isn’t it just lovely?”.  He says and does this sort of thing often.  We call him an old soul.  We say he’s beyond his years.  We stand marveling at the depth of his understanding, the magnitude of his empathy…put simply - the way his mind works.

This is one of the wonderful gifts that parenting brings.  It's the ability to see through the eyes of the young.  To view the world again as if for the first time.  To be reminded of what’s really important and what really warrants our energy.

I talk a lot about the challenges of parenting in my blog, so this week I’d like to focus on the great things. 

Here are six things that my children have taught me:

  1. Self-awareness – aided even more by my 3 year old’s new found love of mimicking me.  There’s nothing that brings about self-awareness faster than hearing your words come out of the mouth of a toddler.
  2. Another way to love – a little corny and a little obvious but it can’t go unmentioned.  The ability to offer unconditional, uninhibited, pure love – no matter what.
  3. Where each and every one of my buttons are - and how to push them!  My children have triggered a great deal of personal development! I thank them for that.  I am a better person because of it.
  4. Fun doesn’t require money, alcohol, parties or presents - all you need is your imagination and the ability to leave your inhibitions at the door.
  5. Forgiveness - There’s little that can dull a child’s smile for more than an hour.  Grudges serve no purpose other than to hurt ourselves and shut us off from potential new and wonderful experiences.
  6. That my limits are limitless – Through children I’ve discovered that there is no limit to have far we can go, what we can do, and what we can achieve.  Children can push you to your perceived physical and emotional limits…but just when you think you’ve reached them, you find you have more left to give.  There is so much power in this realisation.

My children have taught me a lot!

In keeping with today's theme, here are six more bonuses!  Things you can do just because you’re a parent:

  1. Dress up – whenever you want, as whatever you like, in costumes that are way too small for you.  Awesome.  Seriously.
  2. Sing – like ALL the time…anywhere...as badly as you please.  You don’t come off looking like a crazy person or get criticised for being out of tune.  You just get bonus points for being an interactive, fun, loving parent.
  3. Play – you can spend a full day jumping on a trampoline, dancing, playing with dough, colouring in, watching cartoons and building forts…and nobody’s going to tell you to grow up.
  4. Finish off other peoples’ dinner – there’s a lot of leftovers where children are involved, and guess what?  They’re all yours!  This is an especially great bonus at kids’ birthday parties or when it’s sausage roll and chips night at home.  Waste not, want not right?
  5. Talk in third person – a LOT.  It’s a great way to shift the blame ;)  That “Mummy” has a lot to answer for always wanting them to do something to make her “happy”. ;)
  6. Make fart jokes and celebrate bodily functions - complete with cheers, high-fives and sometimes even Smarties.

Identity Crisis

"I just remembered who I am!"

"I just remembered who I am!"

I remember doing a personality course and struggling to define myself.  I was asked "well what are your hobbies?”.  When I went to respond (to such a seemingly simple question) no words formed.  I stared blankly at the trainer.  “You must have a hobby!  There must be something you like to do?!”  Well apparently trawling facebook pages and ‘catching up with my friends’ do not constitute as hobbies!  I couldn’t even say “music” as I hadn’t picked up an instrument in over five years or even actively sort out new bands to listen to. 

So what DID I enjoy doing??  I didn’t enjoy much of anything to be honest.  I was just trying to get through each day.  The closest thing I had to a hobby was tackling the dinner dilemma every night. 

I remember feeling so embarrassed as I sat there listening to everybody else talking about all the things that made them happy, all the things that defined who they were.  I felt like a taco without the stuffing.  No substance.  Nothing that was just ‘me’.

What made the feeling even worse was that when posed with a further question “well, what would you like to do, if you could do anything?” I had no answer.  Not only had I lost my sense of ‘self’, I’d lost sight altogether of the person I wanted to be. 

Unfortunately, in that moment I didn’t grab hold of the reins and set about making changes.  I felt so defeated and lacked the motivation (and energy) to step up and face it. 

Besides, I had too many other things to think about and do just to keep my family functioning and my house running.  Sound familiar?

I realise now that knowing who you are (outside of your family and friends ), and making time to do some things for yourself, to follow your passions, to stand as a person in your own right, is just as important to your family as being there for them when they need you.  If you don’t follow your own dreams and feed your own passions, how can you possibly be the mother and role model you want to be?  You end up like I was…a shadow.  Sure, I was doing everything I could to ensure that my family was cared for, but what was I teaching them about happiness?  About desire?  About charging ahead in life and grabbing hold of as many opportunities as possible?  What was I teaching them about fun?

When people ask my children who I am, I don’t want them just to say “My Mum”.  I want them to say “My Mum, the best trampoline jumper in the world, a musician, a really really bad lion, a writer, a worker, really good at colouring inside the lines, a faster runner than me, fun…”