When I first became I mom, I was prepared for the hard work, the lack of sleep, and the lack of glamour that surrounds dirty diapers. As my kids grew, the temper tantrums and toy-based clutter were no surprise.
What I didn’t expect was the vague feeling of being trapped on a merry-go-round, watching the same scenery pass by over and over again.
I didn’t expect three months where every day felt like a carbon copy of the day before.
It wasn’t the laundry or the clutter control or the dishes, although those certainly qualify as boring repetitive tasks. It was the ten days straight of making an identical peanut butter and jelly sandwich for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
I didn’t expect to find motherhood boring.
For whatever reason, I didn’t expect to have the exact same conversation with my child every single day for six months until he finally quit putting his shoes in the dirty clothes hamper.
When my kids were in diapers, I found myself resenting the boredom. I felt like I was withering under the burden of monotony. And I knew something had to change. I wanted off the merry-go-round.
Clearly, my kids weren’t going to be the ones changing. They actually LIKED that merry-go-round feeling. That left me. I knew I had to change my heart.
Instead of numbly riding around in circles, I decided to get creative. I tapped into that small part of my brain that is full of mischief and rebellion. And I began to have fun.
Instead of a merry-go-round, my life as a mom began to resemble a road-trip. When I get tired of the scenery I just have to change directions.
I still make at least two PB&J sandwiches most days. But it’s not boring. For a time, I raced the clock to see just how quickly I could make the sandwiches without making a mess (90 seconds for 2 sandwiches, can you beat that?). Then I played with creative sandwich shapes. Currently, I sing the Peanut Butter Jelly song and try to get the kids to dance around or sing with me.
I still fight the shoe battle. He no longer hides them in the laundry basket, but he does tend to leave them in the entry hall right where I walk. I’ve taken to playing “hide and seek” with his shoes. I’ve also been known to stuff them with all the Legos I find. I’m contemplating leaving ALL my shoes in the door to his bedroom to see if he gets the message.
I learned that bringing a spirit of creativity, playfulness, or sometimes just plain mischief makes a HUGE difference in my attitude. When I’m bored with the pure monotony of motherhood, I’ve learned to spice things up.
My approach has led us down unexpected paths. Wrapping homemade hamburgers in fast food packaging? Check. Competing with a friend to see who could do the most laundry in a day? Check. Racing my kids to see who can get dressed before the timer dings? Check. Punctuating a boring raining Tuesday with a “birthday party” for the cat? Yep, we did that too.
When I gave myself permission to be a creative mom, I tapped into something huge and powerful. I can’t exactly explain why, but I know I’m a better mom this way.
Houston Mom Blogger Susan Baker writes at ThisHappyMom and has a passion for encouraging weary worn out moms to find joy in everyday motherhood. She has two elementary school boys, one engineering husband, and one cat. She has a strange fascination for eggs, socks, and books. She spends far too much time on Social Media and at Target. She is crazy in love with her family. She serves an amazing God. She lives an ordinary life filled with wonder.