09 March 2015

For Those Who Aren't Fun Parents

Something I struggle with on a daily basis is being a fun mom. Playing patty cake, ponies, or thinking up creative learning activities for Miranda does not come naturally to me. This sounds terrible, but I much rather be doing the things that I find fun and entertaining; however, when I devote too much time to doing the things I want/need to do, Miranda gets left out and I get left feeling terrible at the end of the day.

My husband, Lorin is such a good example of being a fun parent. In fact, he is so good that I get jealous of him at times. When he gets home from work every day, he has no problem spending time with Miranda and participating in lots of activities she enjoys. One time I asked him how he does it, and he said, "I just realized that any fun that Miranda gets to have depends on us. If we don't take the time to do fun things with her, she is just going to be bored. I don't always enjoy doing the things she likes to do, but I just try to have a good attitude about it. Seeing her happy helps me have a fun time too."

I went through about two weeks of being really down, and I didn't feel like doing anything. I just cleaned the house, made meals, and worked. I would try to include Miranda on some of the chores I did, but mostly she played by herself or watched movies. I felt so bad for her and I felt like a lame parent. I didn't feel like I was making any effort to help her learn and grow. I guess I hit a low point, because I decided I needed to change.

Last week, I tried something new. I made a conscious effort to do one activity a day where I knew Miranda would have fun. I didn't go all crazy and plan extravagant activities I saw on Pinterest, but I just started out small. Here is what we did:

Monday-Decorated and wrote a card for her cousins in Hawaii.
Tuesday-Did an exercise dance routine together.
Wednesday-Took her on a play date to see her friends.
Thursday-Put on boots, went outside and splashed in the rain.
Friday-Took her on a play date to see another one of her friends.
Saturday-Took Miranda out to get donuts.
Sunday-Took Miranda to the park.

Some of these activities only took 20 minutes, but it was 20 minutes of quality time where Miranda was having fun.

Miranda used to always say that Daddy was her best friend. Since I started focusing on spending more time with her this past week, she now says that Daddy AND Mommy are both her best friends. This is a title I will hold dear and will fight to keep.

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