It's Time to Let Your Silly Out
Ask my kids what kind of mom I am and hopefully after they are done telling you how mean I am, they’ll also tell you how goofy I can be.
It’s true; I’m a giant nut. There are many times though that I’m too caught up in mom mode to remember what a nut I am. I think motherhood fully changes you, whether you like it or not, expect it or not, or even want it; being a mom can sometimes suck the funny girl you once were right out of you.
Still, even though I spend much of my days juggling afterschool activities, chores, homework and bedtime rituals, I still like to find time to reach deep down and pull out the stuff that embarrasses my kids but lets them know that mom still has a bit of silly left in her. Here are my tried and true tips for letting your funny mommy out:
Make a face and mock a little – I do this to Bebe all the time. She likes to get overly dramatic about things. Everything is a HUGE ORDEAL to her. When she breaks into her my life is over and no one cares routine, I like to mock her a little. I know it’s childish and it seems a little rude but if I throw my hand to my forehead in a 1920’s silent movie damsel in distress manner and make my favorire “Woe is me” face; the girl starts to giggle between telling me to stop making fun of her. Effective? Yes but only if you’re sure your child can handle it.
Share your favorite childhood movies with your kids – There are movies that I saw as a kid and tween that my kids have never seen. Thank God for DVD and on demand movies. They’ve now seen many classics such as The Sand Lot, Ghostbusters (all of them), Monster Squad and the list goes on. Want to up the silliness factor? Pick movies you can quote and then do it. Enthusiastically even. There’s nothing better than asking the TV “Where do these stairs go?” as Dan Aykroyd stares at a stair case that seems to go to the sky and then answering in unison with Bill Murray, “They go up.” Yeah. The kids will stare at you and love you a little more. I promise.
Play a game – We have family game night in our house and with the exception of Peanut, everyone opts for “big kid” games like Yahtzee, Monopoly or Sorry. Throw the kids off and play a game that will totally frustrate you, yet get everyone giggling at the same time. Games like Hungry Hippos, Don’t Wake Daddy and Don’t Break the Ice all come to mind. Want to put yourself in pain for a day or three? Play Twister.
Play your “Mix” tape – Stop looking at me like that. You know the one I’m talking about. The cassette tape you made back in the day from all your favorite songs on the radio. I still have my first ever “boom box” and love to pop a tape in every now and then just to rock out while I clean. If you ditched your boom box and your mix tapes when you had kids, create a playlist for your iPod and rock out on the way to school. Two of my favorite places to customize my music online are Blip.fm and Pandora.com. Shorty is a fan of some old school hip hop and I think Bebe might revive Debbie Gibson if I let her.
Teach your kids a line dance – While we’re talking music, let’s not forget the days of hitting the Clubs and dancing to the Electric Slide or Depeche Mode (I hear they’re still played in some clubs. Who knew?) I have fond memories of Personal Jesus and friends lined up on the dance floor. It wasn’t a good night out till the DJ played a line dance song. Teach your kids a line dance, or three, and let the giggling commence.
When you let your silly out, the kids get to see a side of you they probably don't see enough of. Plus, they get a glimpse of what mom was like before she had kids: the fun, laid back, no bedtimes girl. Not only do kids love to see this side of you but they need to. They need to know that there is more to mom than rules, homework help, and bedtime enforcer.
Your silly side is what makes you you and what you hope to pass on to them.They'll remember kicking your butt to Hungry Hippos, they'll remember dancing in the living room with you and most of all they'll remember the freeness and joy of it all.