I'll be the first to admit that I am not a "fun mom."
It's not that I don't want to have fun with my kids, it's just not something that comes naturally to me. I love order and calm and I'm not very spontaneous or good at pretending. I have a hard time sitting still and doing anything else when I know there are tasks that need to be accomplished. Obviously, these aren't characteristics that are particularly conducive to what kids consider "fun."
Despite the fact that I'm lacking in a natural penchant for fun, I still keep trying to make it happen. I'm constantly pinning ideas to my Pinterest board titled "Fun for the Little Ones" and then getting frustrated when I try them and they A) Result in an epic mess and/or stained clothing B) Cost a small fortune or C) Completely flop. Why does it seem like everything "fun" for kids is so un-fun for Type-A moms like me? Trying to be fun is kind of exhausting and I sort of gave up on it for awhile.
But recently I started doing something with my kids that's injected some much needed joy into our days. It's something that (miracle of miracles) is fun for them and for me. It isn't messy, there's no glue or glitter involved and the cost is minimal. Even better, it gives us all a chance to have a bit of calm in our day. So what is this super simple, fun thing I started doing with my kids?
One afternoon, it just came to me. Post-nap is usually a rough time of day for us. It's usually between 3:00 and 4:00 p.m. and just prior to when the witching hour is upon us. My two and four-year-old typically wake up groggy, grumpy and HUNGRY. The low blood sugar is for real.
It's been great to have a daily excuse to simply pause and just be present with my kids.
Then one day I decided to surprise my kids with tea and a small cookie as their snack when they got up from their rest time. And life was forever better.
I set out special little mugs for their tea and got them each a cookie from my secret stash. I heated up the kettle and laid out a few caffeine-free tea drinking options for them to choose from. When they came out they wondered with excitement what I had planned for them. I told them that we were going to have tea time together and that if they liked it we could do it every afternoon.
Because it was a nice day, we took our tea outside and sat at our picnic table. The kids felt fancy drinking out of their non-plastic cups and were super excited at the prospect of choosing their tea flavors—my daughter chose hibiscus and my son chose ginger peach. We chatted about the day and what our favorite things had been, but mostly, we just enjoyed one another's company.
Because it went so well, we did it again the next day. And the next. And now it's kind of become our thing to have afternoon tea. Some days we read books while we sip, some days we color, and other days we just talk and laugh. And you know what? It was something super easy to do and, better yet, fun.
It's been great to have a daily excuse to simply pause and just be present with my kids. It doesn't really take any extra time or effort. but this way I'm turning a necessity like snack time into something that will translate into very special memories for my children. I'm already having visions of cozying up in front of the fire with a mug of tea when they get home from school as they grow older and having more engaging conversations as time goes on.
So there you have it. Tea time. The perfect activity for turning an un-fun mom into a fun one.
I don't know why I never thought of it before, but it's absolutely brilliant. Those Brits were definitely onto something!