The importance of fun as a mum

A couple of weeks ago, I posted on Instagram about how that day I had done a dance workout for a change from my usual Pilates, and it got me to thinking that I don’t often do things for fun.

I make sure our family is having fun. We go for fun days out. I buy things for them to have fun in the house or set up craft activities they will enjoy.

And don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the days out and the things we do as a family too, but I mean specific to me fun.

There is a lot of things I do that I really enjoy doing – like reading, Pilates, going for walks, going on the treadmill, listening to podcasts, even baking and cooking come into that category for me sometimes.

But what about the more PLAY fun type things?

The things that make you just feel joyful, and carefree, and maybe want to laugh out loud?

Or maybe something that challenges you but that you enjoy? Like rock climbing, or an arrow word or a puzzle or trying to do the monkey bars in the park with your kids.

That doesn’t happen that often. Life tends to take over.

Back in September, for our anniversary we went for a date day, and it was about a million degrees and we walked along the coastal path between two villages and decided on the way back to just get in the sea – and it was just so…fun!

I didn’t need to stress about the kids with the sea (my anxiety and the sea DO NOT go well together!) and it was just such a spontaneous out of character thing for me to do, especially since having kids (my doing not theirs), and I realised just how much I miss just doing things for fun.

When I asked on instagram stories what everyone else does for fun, there were a few examples but on the whole everyone was saying that either they didn’t know or that it was a really hard question.

I think that certain things some people see as play, and other people don’t see that as play – for example reading or doing a dance workout.

It doesn’t mean it’s right or wrong – if it makes you feel full of joy then you are heading in the right direction!

Why play is important for mums

It’s easy in motherhood to stop feeling like ourselves, to forget what we even like doing.

And the issue with that is that when we are not doing things for us, things that make us joyful and happy, we run the risk of burning out.

We need to do things for us so that we can feel like ourselves again.

It doesn’t have to be something huge, start small.

Add in little moments of play into your day until you start feeling the benefits of it, and work out what it is that you like.

There is going to be some trial and error!

Reasons to play

Studies on play in adults have shown that there is so many benefit, here are a few:

  • It boosts our overall well-being
  • It makes us more creative.
  • It makes us happier and more excited about our life.
  • It gives us a higher sense of hope.
  • It improves our sense of humour.
  • It makes us happier and more satisfied with our life.
  • It makes us physically healthier.
  • It makes us mentally healthier.
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Ways you can play

So you have decided you need to bring more fun and play into your life, but where do you start?

A good way to start, is to think back to when you were a child what did you enjoy doing?

Was is playing outside and climbing trees? Did you enjoy racing your friends? Was it reading? Was it writing stories? Was it going on expeditions and adventures? Was it drawing or collecting stickers or stamps? Was it making shows and plays for your family to watch? Was it gymnastics or football? Playing an instrument?

Whatever it was that’s a good starting place. Grab a journal and start writing things down, you’ll be surprised what comes up.

Can you do any of those things now?

  • Tree climbing could become rock climbing.
  • Maybe you could join a choir or an adult sport team.
  • Racing your friends could become park run or signing up for 10k races etc.

Still stuck?

There is a quiz you can do if you click this link here – that will help you to find out your play personality and will give you some suggestions of ways to play based on that.

Ideas of things you can do for fun

  • Colouring with adult colouring books
  • Bullet journal
  • Write a letter (there are a few penpal websites to find one)
  • Paint
  • Read fiction books
  • Join a sports club
  • Join a workout class
  • Dance
  • Play some of your favourite games from when you were a child – like super mario or Tetris.
  • Play a computer game
  • Do a jigsaw
  • Sign up for a new class – pottery, flower arranging, photography – whatever sounds fun to you
  • Gardening
  • Try a new craft – embroidery, cross stitch, hand lettering, make candles etc
  • Do an arrow word or a crossword or wordsearch
  • Go for walks and hikes in new places
  • Play an instrument
  • DIY projects around your home (only if you love doing it!)
  • Write a book
  • Have a board games night
  • Have a movie night
  • Next time you are in the park, get on the swings too
  • Make a scrapbook

Hopefully this list, alongside thinking about what you used to do as a child, will help you to get some ideas flowing!

Let me know in the comments what you used to enjoy doing as a child and what you are going to try for fun next!

Beth x

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