Being a mom can be the best job and the hardest job, depending on what’s going on, your current sleep situation and whether there are groceries in the house or not.
Trust me, I’ve been there.
And some days it really is a run out the clock situation. Let’s just get to bedtime already.
But, really, when those little animals that I call my kids are finally asleep and I can sit in the quiet of the house, I have the chance to think about what kind of mom I want to be and what relationship I want to have with each of them.
And as it turns out, I want to be a good mom. Not a mom who is just surviving but loving this life I’ve been blessed with.
I want to be present, I want to have fun with my kids. And I know that’s what they want from me too.
So in the spirit of that thought, here are my top ideas of how to easily be the fun mom. With limited time, money and intention. You got this, mama.
1. IMPROMPTU TEA PARTY
Kids love this. A party without a reason, other than to just have fun with your kids.
These work great on your normal grocery day. Just add some kind of treat to your list and grab it while you’re there – it can be little cookies and some pink lemonade, for example.
Something easy and pretty cheap. It’s actually not that hard to impress your kids and get them excited. Really, most anything along these lines that is outside of the norm for your family will work.
If you really wanted to take it to the next level, you can even turn it into a tea party picnic. And that’s as easy as grabbing a blanket and plopping right down on the floor of the kitchen or living room or anywhere.
I’d choose a hard surface floor, wherever you have that so you know that clean up if there’s a spill will be easy. Once you’ve got all of the food set up, give everyone new names and make sure you use a funny voice for your character.
Start a conversation and see where it goes. The last time I did this with my kids, I was the lunch lady. I talked in a funny voice and actually threatened them (in a funny way) about eating the food I had prepared for them.
It was actually during dinner, not a tea party but I’m thinking it’s time the lunch lady invited my kids to a tea party picnic. I think we’ll be doing that this weekend.
2. USE A PUPPET
Everything is better when it comes from the mouth of a hand puppet. We made a sock puppet a couple of years ago that the kids love.
Anytime fun instructions need to be made, the puppet can come out and be in charge. The kids can’t keep themselves from laughing. They love it.
It’s so super easy – it’s literally the difference between saying something to your kids and saying something to your kids with a puppet on one hand. And speaking of easy, the sock puppet was so simple to make.
We bought some brightly colored, fuzzy socks and used felt and hot glue to add a mouth, nose and eyes to one of the socks.
It’s one of those projects where you can find all of the supplies in one trip to Walmart. Easy peasy.
When I’m ready to take things to the next level, I’m going to upgrade our sock puppet to an actual puppet and see how the kids love it. Try it – kids are actually really easy to entertain.
And their laughter will make you laugh. Almost as much as that random cat video on youtube. You know what I’m talking about here.
3. I SCREAM, YOU SCREAM
This might be the simplest idea on this list and certainly the one that takes the least effort.
Surprise your kids with a trip to the closest drive-thru fast food restaurant for ice cream cones.
You don’t have to take kids inside, which means they stay strapped in their seats, no one needs shoes (does anyone else have this problem of showing up to a public place with kids in the back of the van that “forgot” to put shoes on???!) and its only about a dollar per kid.
You can even use the time in the car to talk to them about their day and let them tell you what they want to.
My kids are pretty happy to talk to me when we get away from the distractions of the house. Try this and tell me your kids don’t absolutely love this simple surprise.
4. WEEKLY TRADITIONS
You’re in charge of your family and you can actually set whatever family traditions that you want to.
This might mean that you go to Grandma’s house every Christmas and you spend the 4th of July at Papa’s cabin at the lake.
Your kids will love this and remember it always.
But keep in mind that you can set small family traditions that can happen each week.
Like a dance party every Thursday night before bed. Or a movie night every Friday with the whole family. Or a pancake breakfast each Sunday morning.
To make it easy on yourself, you’re going to want to choose something that is pretty easy to implement and stick to, so then the kids know they can count on the tradition each week. Or once a month.
Whatever you choose will work for your kids. And whatever it is, they’re going to love it.
It can become one of those memories that they have forever and something they might choose to do with their own kids one day.
5. PLAY WITH YOUR FOOD
Make funny faces or animals with their food on their plates before you serve them. This is one idea I haven’t actually tried with my kids here at our house very often.
We do have a couple of sandwich cookie cutters that make elephants out of their bread, and they love this. We also have a little bear face cut out that I’ve used with cheese toast in their lunchboxes but I’ve seen some very cute ideas that you can do at home.
Pancakes are a pretty easy food to turn into a face or an animal. Use the pancake as the base and add different fruits or nuts and chocolate chips to add a face.
Have you seen this done at IHOP before? Listen, IHOP isn’t the only place that can rock your kids’ world with a funny face pancake. You can do it too.
And if the stars align, it might actually get your kid to eat more of his food. And everyone wants that, right?
Try it on your next Sunday morning pancake breakfast – you’ll instantly be the best mom on the block. Trust me on this one.
You’re already a good mom.
You love your kids, you keep them fed and dressed.
You try to limit screen time and to get them to read a book once in a while.
You tell them you love them each night as you tuck them into bed.
You’re already rocking this mom thing.
But if you want to mix things up with some fun ideas and make some great memories with your kids, you can try these ideas.
I think you’ll find that they’re indeed very easy to implement and will be just as fun for you as they are for your kids. What ideas would you add to the list?