I am a married woman of two children under 8-years old, have limited funds but want to have maximum fun (without my kids) – how can I do this without spending a fortune and without feeling guilty?
Craving fun is normal whether you are a parent or not, but the feeling of needing fun seems to feel stronger when you are. Try to remember that fun doesn’t have to mean mad nights out, flash holidays or drinking to oblivion (a thing of the past for a lot of us), you can get your kicks in other ways. Have you thought about joining a club? Perhaps revisiting something from your youth that you loved could be just the thing. Think netball, singing lessons, book club, dancing lessons or what about something like a running club, I know! I know! Running might feel like hell-on-earth, but these things can be fun. What about setting yourself a challenge, like a half-marathon? OK, I might be getting carried away with the exercise theme here – hope I haven’t frightened you half to death – but what I am trying to say is being part of a group of people who are like-minded creates connection and connection is fun!
I can’t speak for you, but for me music is one of the biggest connectors in the world. How good does it feel when you meet someone who loves the music that you love? These days (wait for the geriatric bit) gigs can be pricey and you said that didn’t want to spend a fortune, so how about, yes! I’ve got just the thing; A (day) FESTIVAL. No kids, no responsibility. Go with a good friend, dress up, chuck glitter over yourself, eat, drink and be merry and if staying over isn’t in budget or desirable – I mean who really wants to sleep in a tent? – then sleep in your car! The kids need never know. Music and dancing are such fun and you leave an experience like that feeling alive. Of course the buzz wears off, the responsibilites of being a parent, as Ulrika Johnson rightly calls them, to the Ungratefuls comes back in a flash but the lovely thing about dancing and music is that the fun you experienced comes back as soon as you hear the the music again – and that is easy to do nowadays with spotify, youtube, etc.
On the subject of mum guilt, where do I start?
Guilt is such a draining emotion but let’s not pretend we don’t feel it. The majority of women who feel mum guilt are putting the guilt onto themselves because of the way society has placed unrealistic expectations around mothers to be a good mum, and in turn ignoring the fact that they need to be an individual, too. Parental guilt is bigger than ever these days with more women working and doing the dreaded juggle. It’s full-on and remembering that you can’t do it all is essential. The saying ‘done is better than perfect’ highlights so much when it comes to feeling guilty as a parent. Ask yourself why you feel guilty, whether it is a healthy feeling and how the feeling is helping you and your family.
If you love the idea of a festival or a gig, but can’t get to one for whatever reason then KITCHEN DANCING is the next best thing. Get rid of the kids for a few hours or overnight if you can, get some friends over, throw on something sparkly, apply a swipe of bright lippy and dance dance dance. Dancing is free and it makes you feel wonderful.
Good luck and do let me know how you decide to put the fun back into your life.
Geriatric Mum x