I'm pretty sure it was a combination of being frustrated about our house drama and realizing that it is just in my nature to be a bit more uptight and orderly than not- but somewhere in the middle of summer I decided to start having more fun with my kids.
Maybe that sounds silly to you? I really do like to have fun and we always do plenty of laughing and playing around our house. But I'm always cautiously considering what we're going to do next, how much of a mess something might make (and then, is it really worth it?), how rowdy we're being, how many meltdowns or potential tantrums an outing might create, etc etc. I like to set our days up for success and really, there's nothing wrong with that.
Unless it means I'm missing out and truly focusing more on maintaining and maneuvering than on enjoying and experiencing and being present. Which, honestly, was becoming the case for me. So I decided to intentionally make small changes to be more relaxed, take more chances, and have more fun with my kiddos.
Know what started it all? Cow Appreciation Day at Chick-fil-a. That is something I would usually hear others talk or share pictures of and think about how fun it seemed, but would skip out on. Justin probably couldn't be caught dead dressing up like a cow, so its always been something I would have had to take the boys to on my own and it always seemed like a lot of work (our Chick-fil-a is a madhouse on any random Tuesday, let alone a day they're offering free food!).
And you know what? It was a lot of work. I think Caleb had lost all of his spots by the time we reached the front of the line to put our order in, pretty sure I spilled tea on myself and Tyler and I didn't have a chance to eat my salad until at least an hour after we got home. BUT it was a ton of fun! Caleb loved being dressed as a cow and seeing the other cows at the store- he talked about it for days. We laughed the entire way there and back in the van as we made cow sounds. We did something out of our normal routine and we loved it. And hey, free Chick-fil-a!
I had a stranger take this silly photo of us so I can remember that having more fun and being more present is always worth the hassle. My kids won't remember or care about how long I let dishes sit in the sink, how great all my rules were, or how few paint-stained shirts they owned, but they will surely remember laughing with their mom and playing outside every morning and dressing up like cows in the name of free delicious food. And you know, ever since we dressed up as cows, I've noticed it's becoming easier and easier to just have fun. Thanks, Chick-fil-a!