Have We Stopped Having Fun?

Do either of these weekdays sound familiar?

Work all day, gym, get home, do chores, cook dinner, prep for the next day, check work email, sleep.

OR

Wake up to screaming children, get them breakfast, get them ready, drive them places, return home, clean, slurp from a cold cup of tea, prep dinner, pick children up, give children dinner, get them to bed, check social media, sleep.

Do either of these weekends sound familiar?

Wake up, exercise, groceries, lunch, cleaning, gardening, catching up with family, sleep.

OR

Wake up from large night on the tiles, lament the world, regret behaviour from the night before, mope around all day, eat fried food, sleep.

If any of these routines sound like your life - firstly, you’re not alone. Our to do lists are a part of our reality.

We’ve made career, family and lifestyle decisions that have led us to these day to day movements. But a couple of elements shine through with these routines:

  1. We are determined to keep control of our lives.
  2. We neglect to include any fun in our days (or we save it all up for Friday night when we can finally relinquish the tight grip we’ve held on our lives all week).

Back in this post, I mentioned that over the last year fun has become a huge priority for me.

I was finding myself caught up in the minutiae of keeping every aspect of work, home and health together and never really taking time to enjoy my day (other than when it resulted in an enormous hangover).

So what can we do to bring fun and joy back into our lives?

Create a fun list

Start a running list of everything that you enjoy doing. From taking a bath to visiting a museum to going for a walk while listening to a podcast, this list is going to serve as your idea catalogue.

Some category ideas to help you get started could include - friendship, romance, adventure and relaxation - and let me know if you’d like a peek at my list.

Schedule something that brings you joy EVERY SINGLE DAY

Yes, every day!

Why do we hate Mondays? Why is Wednesday called hump day? Why do we have Sunday night blues?

It’s because we have nothing to look forward to on those days.

The night before each day (while you’re doing some of that humdrum prep we already talked about) look ahead to your calendar and see if there’s anything you are looking forward to the following day.

If the answer is no, go to your list and choose something you’d like to do, no matter what time of day you can fit it in.

Focus on your most dreaded or boring days

As I experimented with this idea, I noticed that Mondays and Tuesdays were the days where I was lacking the most fun.

I’d had my fun and prepped for the week on Sunday but Mondays and Tuesdays were about getting serious and churning through work and a couple of gym sessions.

Now I have regular fun booked on these days.

On Mondays I always take myself out for lunch (with or without friends) to a new cafe in my work area. Previously I would have brought whatever food I’d prepped on Sunday and raced back to my desk to keep working. Now Mondays feel special because of having this scheduled in the middle of the day.

And now every Tuesday night my husband and I go out for dinner to try a new restaurant near home. We share the responsibility of choosing a place and always have a great time - chatting about our week and mixing up a somewhat boring weeknight. It doesn’t have to be expensive ($10 pho and ramen anyone?) and I highly recommend it.

If you’re already having a blast every day then more power to you, but if you’re feeling like something is missing in your daily routine, adding fun could turn things around.

And I’m more than certain our best memories are not created while cleaning or working late at night - they’re created in moments of joy and happiness.

How do you include fun in your day to day life? Let me know in the comments below.

How To Support New Mothers

I’m not a mother myself but have been around lots of babies in the last few years, as friends and family members start to procreate. Apart from my intense fear of holding babies until they can control their necks (who’s with me?!), I’ve always tried to be as supportive as possible as the women in my life go through this life-altering time.

Below are a couple of my tips looking in from the outside, and I also enlisted the help of a mother of three with this advice.

Bring food

My #1 tip is to cook for the new mum and dad. 30 minutes of your life making a lasagna, casserole or whatever dish can easily be divided and transported, will make a huge difference to the life of their family. I usually recommend cooking something that freezes well, but have had numerous testimonies from friends that they eat pretty much whatever I bring them that night, rather than saving it for a busy day. As every day is a busy day now right?!

Forgive them

New mums have told me that they no longer feel like their head is in it - that they’re being a bad friend, host, partner, sister etc during the first months of having a baby. I’ve found this really never to be the case, but even if they are being hopeless, just forgive them.

A new mum’s friend became irate with her because she was always so distracted and was never available to listen to her friend’s problems. And proceeded to tell her so.

Making someone who is going through an intense time feel bad seems pretty low to me. Wait it out and try some empathy.

And the visiting advice from a mother of three?

  • Offer to cuddle the baby while mum has a shower
  • Offer to help mum have a walk around the block or sit with the baby while her and her partner do
  • Run a vacuum over the lounge floor
  • Make her bed
  • Come for afternoon tea (but bring the coffee and the cake)
  • Play with any other children
  • Talk about the 'outside world'
  • Leave your small children at home if you can
  • Offer to pick up groceries for mum from the shops on the way to visit
  • Hold the baby!
  • Don't stay too long
  • Food, food, food!!! (especially for dinner that night) Ed: Supporting my theory above!

Are you a mum? Tell me the best help you’ve had after bringing your new baby home.