I Used To Be Fun

That’s what I kept thinking the other night. As I reflected on my day of homeschooling 3 tornadoes I cringed at my serious, harsh, controlling tone that ruled the day. I snapped at my oldest, scowled at my boy, and talked impatiently with my 3-year-old.

I used to be fun.

When I was a camp counselor, I was the most carefree mentor around. I was goofy, playful, warm, and I smiled more. I was a relaxed Sunday school teacher and I could work the room at any social gathering.

I thought for sure I would have this whole mom thing locked up. I thought I would have more fun with my kids. Why wouldn’t I when I had so much fun with everyone else?! What I didn’t account for was the effect of worry on my ability to relax.

Worry steals my fun. I stiffen up when I feel the need to control things. I get serious and tighten up mentally and emotionally. I have expectations of the mom and person I want to be. When I don’t live up to them, I worry that I’m letting everyone down, especially my kids. And that’s when I’m no fun. 

Homeschooling is revealing new worries percolating in my mind. I feel the pressure to get everything done. I have windows of instruction available before I have to race them to writing class or home school group.

I worry that I’m doing them a disservice if we don’t get our work done, and clean something in the house, and get dinner done, and connect socially with someone, and meanwhile, all I can think is

I used to be fun.

So right now I’m working on one simple step to diffuse the “no fun bug” that lurks behind my worry.

Smile.

I heard a wise woman encourage moms to simply smile at their kids and loved ones. It was a physical reminder to lighten up and enjoy the gifts God has given. I personally think it’s impossible to smile as I’m in the middle of another scowl…but it is helpful to smile at other points in the day.

Like when I give them breakfast – just a simple smile.

Or when I see my hubby walk in the door – stop and say hi, and smile.

Maybe when we’re in the middle of a lesson – look in their eyes and smile.

Smiling reminds me to stop and look at them. To remember that I’m not just driving through the day to get a task done; but I’m engaging precious souls most dear to me.

SMILE

A simple smile can be therapeutic for you and the person at whom you smile…even if you don’t feel like it. According to research, your brain can’t tell the difference between a fake smile and a “real” one. Therefore it releases happy neurotransmitters regardless of real or fake.

There are a ton of other benefits to smiling (excerpted from here):

  • Stimulates dopamine response and creation of endorphines (feel good neurotransmitters)
  • Lowers stress hormone production
  • Boosts immune function
  • Improve physical endurance

It’s mind-boggling that our body experiences the aforementioned just from a smile. I wouldn’t mind a good helping of those benefits!

So I’m gonna get my smile on – and maybe I’ll even start to have some more fun 🙂

Happily linked with:
Raising Homemakers
A Wise Woman Builds Her Home
Grace and Truth
A Little R & R
Messy Marriages
3-D Lessons for Life
Pat and Candy

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5 thoughts on “I Used To Be Fun

  1. I remember feeling like a task master. Just trying to get through the day and get it all done. Head down, full steam ahead. Then rushing out the door for the next thing. I now try to stop in the middle of the day sometimes and just read a book to them for fun. Or sit at night and play a quick game of charades. Thanks for the reminder as I’m currently in a very busy season and have to make sure I stop and smile at the little blessings 🙂

  2. I love this Brandy! I have whispered the same thing to myself many, many times. Now that the kids are older, instead of a whisper, it actually comes out as a whiny “you know, I USED to be fun”. Which seems to imply that I am no longer fun because of them…Oh parenting, it IS a humbling thing. Thank you for posting this AND for the encouragement to keep smiling!! Hugs to you mama!

  3. It’s not unusual for me to start the day smiling. But after several hours of life’s demands, I find myself frazzled and frowning. I appreciate this simple encouragement to smile – to count my blessings, remind myself of God’s gifts, and just SMILE! Thanks so much for sharing this with us at Grace & Truth. This will be my feature at A Divine Encounter on Friday! 🙂

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