In the event that you hadn’t noticed, I have a typical first born personality. I tend to like things ordered and tidy, I like a plan and like things to go according to that plan. I do not enjoy messes or chaos and because of these tendencies I tend to not be a very fun or spontaneous mommy. Honestly, it boils down to me being selfish when the children make requests, I say no because I don’t want to deal with a change of plan or the hassle of cleaning up. The good news is that I know this about myself and can work on becoming a “yes mom”.
I have a rule for myself that helps me to say yes more often. When the children make a request I stop and ask myself these two questions; “Is there a real reason to say no (dangerous, destructive)?” and/or “Are they supposed to be doing something else (chores, schoolwork)?” If the answer to both of these questions is no, then I smile and say, “yes”.
This rule has led to a lot of super fun memories and my kids actually think that I am a fun mommy (sometimes). The children have created an indoor snow storm (complete with snow angels) with Styrofoam, they dance outside in the rain, eat ice cream for breakfast, sleep on the floor, ‘wade’ (up to the tops of their heads) in our very muddy creek
catch and keep all sorts of critters, and use mud as make up (only did mud make-up once, did you know that mud can be quite irritating when rubbed into facial skin and left to harden?).
We require hard work from our children and this focus on giving them the opportunity to experiment and the freedom to try new things is a good balance. We still have limits and rules. The children are required to pick up whatever mess they create if possible and they have to get permission rather than just doing things without our knowledge, but hopefully they will not feel oppressed by their sometimes, OK often controlling mother.
So are you a fun mom or do you struggle as I do? How do you strive for a balance of responsibility and allowing kids to be kids? What are some of your favorite “crazy kid” memories?