Rule 19: Do Fun Stuff

Lisa Plummer is a single mother of four children and one grandchild. She has degrees in Theology and Christina Leadership and is working on a Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy. She is a Medical Instructor at Western Career College.

As a single working mom, money and time are both scarce. It is easy to get so caught up in the daily essentials so that we miss the little things… if we are not careful. Yes, we are with our children all the time. But do we really enjoy them? Do we remember to do fun stuff?

Sure, when they were little we pointed out every new milestone and marked it in the baby books. We called our mom or mother-in-law to let them know what new and amazing feat they had accomplished. What about now when they are older? Sometimes it feels like all of our interactions are instructions, directions and reminders (with the exception of the required, “How was school today?” to which most kids say “Fine.” End of discussion.) I’ve found that I enjoy my children more when I give myself time to be with them and do things that we all like to do.

Any holiday is a great excuse to get creative and spend time doing things that are just a little bit our of the ordinary. My oldest daughter, now a mother herself, has great memories of spending time with me preparing goodies for her classmates. My son who is nine years old still likes to take treats to his class. You can stuff goody bags with inexpensive treats like holiday themed pencils, erasers, stickers and candy from your local Dollar Store. Purchase plain sack lunch bags and let your kids be creative and decorate the bags. Baking goodies is a wonderful activity to enjoy with your children. Make cupcakes, cookies and even ornaments (not only for Christmas) and pick colors that fit the holiday and allow your children do the frosting and decorating.

In our family, one of our favorite fun things is movie night. Ours is always on Friday, and the kids and I really look forward to this time together. They get to pick the movie and our dinner. We call it our “munchie” dinner and it can be anything…homemade chicken strips, taquitos, pizza or nachos. Of course, we always have popcorn!

Although we may not always be able to afford to take vacations with our children, we can still afford weekend get- aways. A simple camping trip even as close as an hour drive from your home is a fun, affordable and wonderful way for you to unwind and relax from a busy week. The kids can run, yell, swim, climb trees and get dirty (not much better than that if you’re a nine-year-old boy.) It is wonderful to be able to watch them enjoy themselves with a sense of freedom they don’t always have at home. Invite some friends to join you, and it’s a portable party.

Tradition is a word that is over used but cannot be over emphasized. All of these activities are great opportunities to create tradition in a world that seems to be losing touch with traditions. These special family times we spend together give my kids (and me), as well as ourselves, something to look forward to and plan on.

The years with our children go by so quickly. I’m not only talking about the years when they are small. Remind yourself what great kids they are. Spend time doing creative things, make up games, go camping. We only have them for a little while…. so remember to do fun stuff.

As excerpted from "42 Rules (tm) for Working Moms" Super Star Press 2008.

About the Author
Laura Lowell is the executive editor and author of "42 Rules for Working Moms." She has gathered practical advice and information from working moms all over the world to share with others. She lives and works in Silicon Valley with her husband and two girls.

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Over 20 years office work experience, six years completed college coursework, background in print media and communications, recognized for exceptional attendance and received merit increase for past job performance, self-published author and part-time entrepreneur, Internet marketing and social media experience. Interned for non-profit organization, women's group and community service business. Additional experience: teaching/training others, customer service and sales. Learn more at Nicholl McGuire and Nicholl McGuire Media

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