Be the fun one
Not long ago the lovely team at Micro Scooters did a little interview with me around the topic of “Be the fun one”. When I first heard this I couldn’t think of a more relevant topic for the life of myself and my two kids, because sometimes I feel anything but that. For many of you playing along at home, you’ll know only too well that I’m a single mama. I have been for five years, give or take a year I tried moving in with a boyfriend. Let’s just say I was effectively still a single mum the whole time and it didn’t last out the year!
My children’s dad lives up in the Macedon Ranges, just over an hour away (on a Sunday, don’t even ask about peak hour). Pretty, yes, convenient, no. But at least I won’t accidentally bump into him if I’m out on a date! From Sunday night till Friday the kids are with me near school, and they visit him 2-3 weekends a month. Unfortunately that means I’m the one doing most of the domestic stuff. “Do your homework, eat your veggies, bath and shower, get into your school uniform, eat your breakfast, brush your teeth, quick we are late for soccer practice, quick we are even later for school, stop teasing your sister, do your readers, etc, etc.“ I’m telling you, it’s bloody exhausting just thinking about it. Then Friday night’s or even Saturday morning during soccer season, Dad rolls up, dying to see them and is all hugs and happiness. I’m pretty sure they think he is the fun one!
I’m guessing things could be different in your house, or maybe not. Sadly most women still get lumped with a lot of the domestic childrearing tasks regardless of dad being around and can feel they are constantly nagging, not enjoying, their kids.
So what’s a mama to do? Well the simple answer is “Be the fun one”. That’s what we have to do. Think about ways we can make our children’s lives more enjoyable and think about more things we can do and share together so when they think about us we are fun, not annoying!
For me the need for this started a long time before Micro gave me my funky adult sized scooter so I could be “fun” with my kids (granted they think I’m pretty bloody cool on it). Twelve months ago my kids hated MamaMag. No amount of perks could sway them. “You want tickets to Disney on Ice, no problem. Bag full of toys from the Toy and Hobby Fair, I’ve got you covered.” But no amount of freebies could win them over. All they really wanted was for their mum to not be working all the time. When you child asks “Mum, how long are you going to do MamaMag for?” you know it’s time to make a change. I wasn’t going to give up the mag, hell no, it’s just getting good. So I took out some office space 1km from home, which I now affectionately call MamaMag HQ. I didn’t do this to become all professional and to stop me working in my jammies. Hell, the team loved working at my dining table whilst patting Tessa cat. I did it because I simply needed to separate my work from my kids. Yes I still take my laptop home and I work till 5pm each day ( it’s a nicer option than putting them in after school care), but then it gets shut till they are asleep in bed.
I’ve introduced Tuesday date night. Nestled in between Mon/Wed soccer training and early enough in the week that if they have had a fun filled weekend with dad, I redeem myself quickly! It doesn’t happen every week and it can be a large or small adventure. The point is I’m showing them I’m taking time out to do something with them that we will all enjoy. We started off with a movie at V Junior which was met with huge success with our front row recliners and half time entertainment. Who does mid-week movies with kids? I won some points there. Just last week we did the Lego Discovery Centre at Chadstone for free (#MamaMagPerks). Lachie almost refused to go, not being a Lego fan anymore, but he had a fabulous time in the end and we stayed till close. Some weeks it is a simple scooter ride to the local sports ground, a kick of the ball and a few cartwheels at the park (yes this mama can do a fabulous cartwheel much to Milla’s delight) or a trip down the street for frozen yoghurt. But the important part is it makes them feel special and we are having fun together outside our usual routine (and it means they are not home near their iPads, but that’s a story for another time).
You can check out my Micro Scooter interview here. #bethefunone