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Here's the Problem With Being the Fun Mom

Photograph by Twenty20

Listen, just because we are moms and do a lot of the heavy lifting, like bossing our kids around and forcing them to eat their veggies, doesn't mean we don't like to take them out and have a good time. After all, it's essential to family bonding, our well-being and, contrary to popular belief, we really don't like being in boss-mode all the time.

Every mom can agree we want nothing more than to have fun with our kids. But here's the problem with being a fun mom: Showing our kids our fun side or being spontaneous and treating them to a special day out causes even the most well-behaved kids to want more.

And more.

And then another serving on top that.

I love letting my kids have friends over. I enjoy making them their favorite treats, dancing around the living room with them and surprising them by zipping off to the movies on a Friday night when they're already in their pajamas.

And I don't want to lose this side of myself because it's special to make memories and throw some magic into their childhood. But I may have to, or a least cut back a bit.

Last week, I took my youngest to the fair. I could tell he was excited and thankful on the way there, but as soon as we arrived, he spent a lot of the time wondering how long we were going to stay and asked me several times if we could come back the next night. And this happens more often than not with my children.

I know it's normal. I know they're kids and get caught up in the excitement. But when our kids are constantly asking us what we are going to do next, right in the middle of doing something extremely exciting, it's exhausting and makes moms of the world want to cancel all the fun plans for the rest of their childhood.

And we want them to live in the moment and enjoy it for what it is and not wonder what's coming to them next.

Kids are experts at sabotaging a magical moment for fear we are never going to have fun ever again. And I kind of get it—it's hard enough for adults to live in the moment, much less expect our children to do it.

I'm not saying their behavior is excusable. It certainly doesn't want to make us rush out and try something bigger or better in hopes it will make them realize how great we actually are and that they should cherish these moments because before they know it they are going to be adults and life will get much harder—that's impossible.

But we can hope that maybe next time, they'll try to take it in while the actual fun is happening, because they realize how fast a good thing can disappear if they don't mind their attitude.

I see mothers struggle all the time with this conundrum, myself included. We want to have fun with our kids. We want to play with them on the playground without them bugging us to play more when we need a respite. We want to take them out for a treat without them acting like assholes as soon as we set foot in a public place.

And we want them to live in the moment and enjoy it for what it is and not wonder what's coming to them next.

Maybe it will never happen, but we certainly bust our asses trying, don't we?

And I don't know about you, but until then, I think I will enjoy movies and special treats by myself a little more often.

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