Much is said about the challenges and stress of parenthood. However, there is little emphasis placed on the joy of being a mother, celebrating who you are as a woman and including fun in our daily lives. With our busy lives often overflowing with work and household responsibilities and hours spent in the car driving children to and from childcare and/or extra-curricular activities, time for anything else, including fun, often drops to the bottom of our lists.

In addition to this, sometimes the burden of responsibility and seemingly never-ending demands of parenting means there is little time or energy left for fun. However, kids young and old need to have fun.

Prioritise time for fun

When was the last time you had fun? How do you feel after you’ve done something you love or enjoy? What do you need to do to stop rushing around, caught up in the ‘busy-ness’ of modern life, and prioritise you?

Take time out to think of simple and easy ways to include fun in your daily life and celebrate the small stuff, such as ‘me’ time, catching up with friends, spending special time with your children (together and separately), partner and loved ones, and creating family traditions. Brainstorm ideas for ‘fun-spiration’, write them down and keep them handy for everyday use.

Plan time in your diary, even 10-15 minutes each day or at least once a week to simply enjoy a fun activity with your children, partner, friends or even a quiet moment alone to think, breathe and unwind. And if you don’t have or use a diary… buy one today and write down time for your top one-three priorities each day – it will transform your life!

The benefits of fun

The importance of including fun in our everyday lives is often overlooked due to our busy, demanding, sometimes stressful lives. However having fun and being upbeat and positive helps us focus on the present and feel re-energised, refreshed and recharged. Having fun and a sense of humour can diffuse a difficult or tense situation, help us cope and feel better, and feel confident in our ability to deal with and overcome life’s challenges, whether small or large.

Having fun takes things back to basics, allowing you to simply enjoy the moment. It can also improve and strengthen relationships, build life-long memories and minimise stress, conflict and feeling overwhelmed by focusing on what really matters: you and your family

Being a fun mum is good for us: it improves our overall health and well-being, ensures we are being great role models for our children, and helps us live and enjoy a well-balanced life.

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Karyn Riley is a time management and life balance coach, author of “How to Keep the YOU in Mum”, inspirational speaker, writer and mother of two. For more information see www.rileylife.co.nz

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