I became a parent well before I became an aunt. Yes, I know! Life isn't fair. When I became a parent I thought that this meant I will never be able to be the fun aunt I always imagined I would be. Because how can I also be a parent and also be the irresponsible carefree spur of the moment aunt I had dreamed of?
So I dived into the life. I made sure all of my children's physical and emotional needs were met. Every. Single. Tiresome. Day. And you know what I discovered? That I was definitely not a fun aunt. Or a fun anybody for that matter. Because I was wiped. And because I had no idea how I could be both a good parent and a fun one too.
The thing is I already had an arsenal of FUN tools from my pre-parenting days. Working with teens and adults, running workshops, being a camp counselor, doing my national service. Why not implement those skills in my own parenting experience?
WHY NOT INDEED. (I wrote that with a thick Brittish accent, hope you read it that way)
Today, I want to give you three small tips you can start implementing RIGHT NOW to start having more FUN with your family. Ready? Set...
If you want to have FUN you need to go all in. This means you need to be ready to enjoy and give yourself permission to let go of other things in order to make it happen. You may have small children who make big messes, or teens who might not want to do anything without complaining, but that is not going to bug you. You are committed to doing something nice and fun and you are going to make it a priority in your life.
2. MAKE SPACE If you want to have fun, you need to create a welcoming environment. This can be both physical- this is the place where we can hang together and have a good time, and emotional- I am now available for this FUN we should be having together and won't be distracted by anything else! When the people around us see that there is a space to hold the FUN, they are more willing and available to participate. This is something that takes practice, but is totally worth it.
3. PUT IT IN THE CALENDAR
I WISH we were all spontaneous! But we ain't. So schedule it. Pick a time and date and pencil it in your calendar. Make an announcement on the family whatsapp and confirm no one has a prior commitment. This goes for all types of FUN. It can most definitely be AT HOME FUN. Schedule it just like you would schedule a doctors appointment and make sure to show up. If you can make this a recurring FUN slot even better, it will get your family used to the notion that FUN time is a very serious thing in your family.
This is just the tip of the iceberg, I know. But we all have to start somewhere! Maybe one day I will be able to reconcile with the loss of not being a fun aunt first, but I for sure know that today, aunts and uncles aside, I'm a pretty FUN parent. For my children, but also for ME.
If you would like to chat about this some more, shoot me an email at email@example.com and in the meantime- go have some FUN!