Left to my own devices, I would be an all work/no play kind of gal. The older I’ve gotten, the stronger I have felt this pull. Our life is very intentionally full… our home is a shared home, and it’s a place we serve lots of people. My natural inclination is not towards rest. There is always something to be done around here-laundry, counters that need de-cluttered, rooms that need cleaned, floors that need to be washed…you know the drill. Every once in awhile (like, oh, every day maybe) I will get a glance from my husband that says, “Hey-you need to sit and be with the people that are here.”
My husband is the kindest, most caring man I know. He also knows how to have fun. He’s the one who can look at our backyard and figure out an obstacle course for our girls to run through by using a hula hoop and the play equipment we have set up. He’s the one who has taught me to look for fun and engage our girls in it. Because of the nature of our life, we have to be so careful that we don’t allow our daughters to shoulder burdens they shouldn’t. All three are very caring, sensitive girls and pick up on needs and want to meet them. But they’re 11, 8, and 4. They need to just be kids, too.
All of this to say, we try to take our fun pretty seriously around here. We love to vacation-our parents bless us with a few trips each year where the kids get to make memories with us and with their extended family and let loose. We go to my family’s cabin, we go to the mountains or the beach with my in-laws, we have even done our own overnight at a nearby hotel with a fun indoor pool. Getting away, getting a break-terribly important.
Last night, I took our youngest two to our county fair. My husband and oldest daughter were away for the week on a missions trip, and the week had been pretty intense around here. So I had someone come to stay with Grandma and Grandpa, and we went to the fair. The girls each picked a ride and a snack, saw every single one of the animals, and got to play a silly game. For me, it’s easier to focus on the kids when I’m not at home. Getting away from the house (which, for any stay at home mom, is their workplace) is so key. I’m not resting my eyes on the piles or the dirt or worrying about anyone but the kids. Watching the girls giggle and run and giggling with them-that was some good stuff for this mama.
Harder for me is sitting to play games with the kids. It is not something I love, but the older they get, the more I realize just how brief these windows will be open. So we play games and read books and bake and watch movies. I am grateful for girls who want to serve and meet needs where they see them, but I also want them to know that resting and laughing are just as important. They see my husband and I sit with our Bibles open, discussing what we’re reading through, and I want them to see us laughing and creating those spaces for them as well.
What are your biggest challenges when it comes to having fun? How can you create space for fun? What might need to wait so that you and your family can make some great memories together? Or, how do you already create that space? What are your successes in this area? I’d love to hear your ideas!