We are all getting to the point of too much closeness with the ones we love these days and although it is a huge blessing to spend that much “quality” time with your kiddos, we still find ourselves with that overwhelming “MOM GUILT” at the end of the night. Why? Because we could have done more, been happier, not yelled as much, and enjoyed this time with our kiddos more. Well, yes that’s true but we honestly did do our best and gave it our all that day, so what can we do to effectually be that mom we have always wanted to be? Well, first cut yourself some slack because if you are asking yourself that question then you are already a super awesome mom. But since we are here, let me give you some tips on how to crush this mom thing today. Alright to give this list of mine some validity, I would like you to know that I have thoroughly tested each point with a vast majority of neighborhood kiddos that vary in age, gender, and culture and I can honestly say that hands down this list helps produce the feeling of mom greatness you all desire.
Create games SO THEY DON’T FIGHT
One main topic of conversation I have with my mom friends is how stressful it is day in and day out when our kids fight and lately it is a daily drain. Fighting takes all my energy and puts me in the worst mood and that fun mom is no longer in existence. I yell at my kids and them everyone is unhappy. Until one day I woke up and decided to have a plan and create some things to do so the kids stay busy so that fighting was not an option. I have boys and we live in a full boy house so looking within my four walls for some easy setup games was easy. We would do Nerf gun battles, trick shots, scavenger hunts, and pool noodle tag for the social distancing groups of friends. (this is where you take a pool noodle and every playing uses that to tag each other instead of their hands.) All these ideas have loads of resources online for you to copy and set up but believe me you will be pleasantly surprised at the fun and happy outcome your day will unfold if you spend some time setting these up or introducing these ideas to the kiddos.
Invite everyone over and create moment makers like The NICE Candy Store
This social and emotional act will teach your children how everyone is welcome and how kindness can give you life. One thing I started to do in my neighborhood was a NICE candy store where you pay with compliments, not money. This is a fun way to build up the kiddos within your circle of influence. You simply buy some super fun candy from the store, add a table, create a fun sign, and then invite everyone to get some candy. This activity created happiness and giggles among all the kiddos. The most interesting thing was that most of the kids had a hard time thinking of something nice to say until they received a compliment themselves. The smiles will fill your bucket, fill your kid’s bucket, and create special memories that will last forever.
Let them be silly, wrestle, and make a mess
This one is hard for most of us, but the payoff is huge. It’s going to get loud, messy and that is OK. The way this works within my comfort zone is finding a time where it is ok to make that mess. Build that fort that takes up the entire family room and that uses all your sheets. Embrace it and have a snack in there, read them a story with a flashlight bring all their stuffed animals in there but go big or go home on it! Let it get messy and the memories will follow.
Schedule it, rock it out, and then take a mom break
Let’s face it 2020 was not the year to invest in a really nice planner because it feels like everything has been canceled. That is why scheduling activity time with your kiddos helps. When you schedule something you do it, you prepare for it, and you mentally know what to expect. This helps you and your kiddos look forward to something and for you to muster up the energy you need time. Scheduling helps and putting a time frame to it will allow you to take that must have MOM break! I tell my kiddos every when I am on a mom break. This is time away from my kids where I can be quiet, read, watch, work out, or do whatever refuels me to take on the rest of the day. Take them daily, often, and make sure your kiddos know what they mean and what to expect when you are on a mom break.
Music, crafts, cooking, and water fun
Never underestimate the power of a dance party! When I have run out of ideas, I turn up the music and start dancing. Sometimes I’m alone at first but once you start it’s amazing how your kids tend to join, and the smiles pop out. This is also true for cooking. I know my kiddos love to help cook and bake something yummy. Now prepare yourself that if they help, the outcome will not be as perfect as it would have been if you did it alone, but the fun memories will make up the difference. Let them use their hands and get messy. It all takes the same amount of energy to clean up so let go and enjoy. Lastly, looking ahead for the spring and summer: water activities. The hose can save you and it can be the start of giggles you have needed to hear all summer. Get out the hose, the sprinkler, and fill the old birthday balloons with cold water for some big fun.
Having fun and letting go of the stress we put upon ourselves as moms is one mind shift away. When you put yourself in the position to create memories, I believe you will go to bed with no mom guilt but with the feeling that you rocked your day because you ARE an amazing mom!