How to be a parent and still have fun!

How to be a parent and still have fun! Becoming a parent is a hard transition, even tho Lil’ Duck is two now, I feel I haven’t fully settled into the parent role yet at times. However, it does get easier with time and as he isn’t quite so needy and sleepless. Here’s some things that help me to enjoy being a parent and save my sanity:

  • Trips to Starbucks! Yes, I take the little guy, and yes, he is always usually good – something about getting your own cool cup of soy milk with whipped cream AND a slice of pumpkin loaf has a calming effect on even the crankiest mood of the toddler. I can sit and sip my latte and just enjoy his chatterings and happy grins, also enjoying his observations of the mundane items that are so fascinating to his little mind.
  • Relaxing and not doing it ALL today. Just slowing down and watching the little one play can help me enjoy him for all the sweet little things he does right now, as I also marvel at how he knows so much already! The cleaning and the errands can wait, but they grow up in an instant.
  • Generally try to keep a happy attitude – for myself, I have so much to be thankful for, little things that I take for granted that other people really don’t have. It helps me get through the messes and the tantrums and the rough days.
  • Take some time for yourself – even a nice hot shower alone can work wonders (ideally, some time out alone or with my husband, but that really rarely happens around here). I focus on the little things, the 5 minutes of peace while he discovers all of Daddy’s CDs (ha ha ha) or the few pages of a magazine that I got to read before it is taken over by a toddler who LOVES the photos…..
  • Taking extra time while doing errands to explore things at his pace. Today we went to the grocery store, and we had enough time to marvel at the many different cake designs in the bakery, to feel the pineapples in the produce section, and puff at the fish balloons in the meat section. He’s a much happier little guy and I enjoy shopping a lot more when we can take a little time and play around with things (who knew a pineapple was so interesting, right?).
  • Walks – even just around our place here, there is a lake and a pool and a nice open meadow where he loves to run around. A little sunshine always helps too ;).

84 Responses to How to be a parent and still have fun!

  1. Jen September 30, 2006 at 10:57 pm #

    I regurlary frequent Starbucks with my 3 month old. It definately relieves me when I fall into a “I need to get out of the house” mood. Thank goodness for decaf while I am nursing too! :-)

    Great tips. I just wanted to add that my hubby and I also go to the drive in with our baby. Even if he starts crying it won’t disturb anyone else. We also like to frequent the park with baby either in stroller or in a sling. Although we don’t eat out much, many restaurants now offer take out…like Applebees…so you can get the feeling of eating out without the hassels of dragging Jr. along.

  2. Jason September 26, 2006 at 12:49 am #

    I definitely agree with taking time out for yourself! As parents, our lives get so busy between taking care of things that need to be done it’s very easy to feel guilty for not spending every minute possible with your little ones. But I’ve found taking time out for yourself really does enhances the time I do spend with my son, simply because giving myself a break allows me to feel recharged.

    One additional suggestion I’d like to add is to go somewhere or do something that’s new with your child, even if it’s the most mundane activity for yourself. Seeing children experience something for the first time is so amazingly pure, you can almost share that newness and wonder all over again. I suppose there’s some tie-in here with your “let your child explore things at their own pace” point, with the idea being that there’s value in doing something just for the experience itself however that unfolds.

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