I don't know about each of you, but personally, I think being a parent can be pretty hard at times. It just is. From the moment you find out you are pregnant, for the rest of your life, you are responsible for and deeply emotionally and physically engage in caring for your little loved ones as they grow, day and night, year in and year out. And at times, with all the other pressures we juggle, it can feel like family life is not that fun except for a few precious moments here and there each day that we relish. Now that a New Year is just beginning, I think it's a great time to resolve to take back ALL the fun that family life can bring to your world, despite all the work, the stress, the effort, the difficult emotions and tasks that are attached. Because when you're having fun, life is just naturally a whole lot easier. Even the stressful parts become easier to deal with, honestly. So here are some ideas I have to help you resolve to have a whole lot more fun with your whole family this New Year, and I hope you'll add your own ideas to share too!
· Laugh more: Think of things that make you and your kids really giggle and enjoy more of it together with them. Is there anything better than the whole-hearted, belly-shaking laugh of a kid having a great time? I don't think so! Whether it's doing the chicken dance, watching silly movies, singing funny songs, or just taking time to play tickle their toes every day or peek-a-boo, enjoy their laughter and spread it as much as you can.
· Make light of things that go wrong. Next time someone spills milk or forgets their keys or your kid draws on your checkbook or forgets homework, take a moment to take a deep breath, or five, and look at the incident from an outside perspective, as if you were on the moon looking in to your life. And really, isn't it more funny than aggravating or sad, when these little things happen? Don't let the little things in life stress you out; they just are not worth it. You won't remember them next month or next year. They really just don't matter. Shrug them off and move on quickly, and you'll have more time for fun, and feel happier and less stressed all around.
· Try new things together. Whether it's cooking new types of food, going new places, trying new hobbies, learning a new language or joining a new organization or group. Just go out on a limb and see where it takes you. Life is always more fun and interesting when there are new things to look forward to and get excited about.
· Take it easy. Our lives are so hectic, these days, with cell phones and laptops and all the technology around us all the time, and all the kids' activities and our own endless hours of work. Resolve to make time each week, if not each day, to unplug your lives and just hang out as a family and play games or ride bikes, read or just relax, the way people used to. Slow down and smell the roses, in other words, and life will be a whole lot more enjoyable for everyone. Just like that.
How do you have the most fun with your family? Do you wish you all had more fun each day?