Guest post from Jennifer Deshler. I was planning to write a post about Proverbs 14:1 today. But I’m not feeling much like a wise woman at the moment. Parenting is hard, ya’ll. #justkeepingitreal
Knowing I’m not the only mama who probably needs to shake it off today instead of reading about how to build the perfect home, let’s talk about having FUN.
I didn’t grow up in a fun home—it was loud, but not a fun kind of loud. In my early elementary years, I remember daydreaming about things I’d do with my kids when I was a parent. Experiences that would tell my little ones I loved them in fun ways.
Have you noticed that humor and levity are often traits we most enjoy in our friends? When we think about the people we want to spend time with, it’s the ones who are easy to get along with. They smile, they laugh, and they have adventurous spirits.
Often we have to fight to make space for fun in our homes. We’re nursing babies, changing dirty diapers, separating siblings when they fight, navigating the choppy waters of teen hormones, and being a rock when hearts get broken. And there are lunches to pack and dinners to make, laundry to wash, and stories to be read. My muscles tense just thinking about it all.
Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength- Nehemiah 8:10
Our kids won’t remember the dishes or the laundry or the errands we run. But they will remember that we made them laugh. They’ll hold tight to every late night Dairy Queen run and each spontaneous game of Go Fish, and those after-dinner contests to catch the most fireflies. Because, no doubt, in every one of those memories, we’re smiling. And more concerned with creating a special moment than cleaning the house.
A happy heart is like good medicine. But a broken spirit drains your strength. Prov. 17:22
The best part about making space for laughter and joy in our homes? We all reap the benefits. There’s less tension. We’re willing to offer more grace to each other. And those giggles and smiles raise our serotonin levels (how awesome is God that He created a chemical reaction inside us that makes us feel better when we smile?!) Fun offsets the hard work of parenting.
If you’re having a tough time with motherhood, just leave the dishes and ignore the to-do list, and go have some fun with your family. Listen for deep, happy belly laughs from your kids—tuck those away for the tough days. Pause at a stoplight and cherish the fact that every kid in the car is asleep after long hours of playing together. Let your family see the silly side of you, and remind yourself she’s still in there.
Here are some of our favorite ideas for making fun memories:
Having a hooky day from school for no reason. Eating ice cream for dinner. Announcing surprise vacations upon arrival at the airport. Using an accent at the grocery store to see how people react when they walk by.
What about you? Share your ideas in the comments below!