Becoming a Fun Mama

If you follow me on facebook or twitter, you’ve likely seen me talk about earning “Fun Mama” points. This little batch of recent photo booth silliness earned me 6 Fun Mama points, which brought my total for the day to 9.5 (on a scale of 1-10); that makes this my highest scoring day of Fun Mama-ness yet!

Mother Daughter Photobooth Fun

Being a Fun Mama does not come easily for me. In my house, I am the Responsible One, the Voice of Reason. I’m the Reminder, too; I can’t NOT remind the kids to make their beds, put away dirty cups, and so on…

But I don’t want to be the Nagging Mom. I don’t want my family’s only memories of me to consist of something along the lines of, “Mama kept a clean house and taught me the habit of making my bed every day.” That’s all well and good, but not very conducive to heart-winning — and heart-winning is exactly what is needed in my kids’ lives.

I’m still learning what this heart-winning looks like with Lindsey, but we’re making progress. However, I’ve learned the formula for winning Kathryn’s heart, and it’s being a “Fun Mama.” Thankfully, this doesn’t require anything as drastic as back-flips or roller coasters or anything of that sort. It simply requires letting her know by use of my time that she is important to me.

A few ways I earn Fun Mama points:

  • reading aloud
  • doing an art or handiwork project together
  • snuggling on the sofa
  • styling her hair (or even her doll’s hair!)
  • playing a game (extra points for wii since she knows I don’t like video games)
  • painting her nails
  • posing with a penguin
  • surprise trip to our favorite frozen yogurt place

I quickly lose Fun Mama points if I’m on the computer too much. She understands that I do need time to write, to edit photos, and to catch up on email, etc., and she’s okay with it as long as I show her that she is a priority over all of that.

We’ve also talked about how she can help me have the energy and enthusiasm left to be fun: things like doing chores without me having to repeatedly remind her, not arguing or having a bad attitude, and cheerfully doing her schoolwork.

When I lay down with her for a few minutes each night at bedtime, I ask how I did that day, and she gives me a “Fun Mama rating.” Before I began this more intentional heart-winning, she says my typical day’s score was about a two. Ouch!

Now, most days I earn at least a 5 or 6. We began all this Fun Mama stuff (including the rating system) was a day when Ken and Lindsey were gone all day and Kathryn anticipated an awful, boring day. Instead, we read, snuggled, talked, played games, and drank hot chocolate. That night, she told me I’d earned a 9 for the day.

Already this little girl of mine has becoming a young lady, and as the years go by, I want to remain a much stronger influence than friends or media or boys. That will only happen if I’m intentional about our relationship NOW.

“… walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time…” Ephesians 5:15b-16a