Guest Post: FUN- the new “F” word!

Crystal Clancy is back for another guest blog post! She spoke at Mama Cafe yesterday, and we love having her insight.  

FUN- the new “F” word!

“Yes, fun — the “F” word, my friends and I would call it, chiding one another to make sure to have some fun each day. We rarely succeeded; the needs of everyone else always got in the way”. From “A Year by the Sea” by Joan Anderson

 

This quote struck me as the way most moms (and probably dads, too!) probably feel. Why don’t we allow ourselves to have fun? Here are some excuses that I hear: 

1) My own needs come last (AKA, “I don’t have time”) Somewhere along the way, either someone told you that your needs aren’t as important as everyone elses, or it was modeled to you that that was the case. Perhaps your own mother was the “martyr mom”, caring so much about everyone else that she was constantly depleted (and probably crabby!). Perhaps someone in your life told you that doing what you like is “selfish”, which carries a negative connotation. But have you heard the saying, “If mom (or dad, or wife, etc etc.) ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy”? This is true because if your own needs aren’t being met, it is carrying over into your other relationships, whether you want to admit it or not. It is likely leaving you feeling depleted and resentful.

2) I feel guilty when I try to relax.  Similar to messages that we get from our family about putting our own needs last, we also can get messages from our families about being “productive”. We also get messages from society that we need to be getting things done: we should be working several hours a week, and when we’re not at work (if you leave the home for work) then you must be taking care of your house/kids/yard, etc. “Fun” has become a negative word that implies laziness to a point where you may try to relax, but then find yourself with eight million thoughts going through your head about what you “should” be doing.

 

3) My husband/wife/daughter/son/boss/mom/dad think that “having fun” is a bad thing. Perhaps someone in your life glares at you when you try to sit down and rest. Or you find yourself sitting for a quiet moment and your child needs you to watch them perform their new magic trick for you “right now”. Or perhaps you are relaying your weekend to your co-worker and you mention going out for a night with the girls/the guys and the co-worker says, “Oh, how nice for YOU” in a snarky tone. 

When you find yourself feeling guilty or questioning if you are allowed to do something fun and unproductive, instead ask yourself what will happen if you continue to not have fun in your life? Picture someone you know who does not allow any fun, and ask yourself if that is who you would like to be. Is that person someone who you want to model to your partner or children? Start small and find some way to insert some fun into your life- a silly song played loudly in your car (instead of returning phone calls) or reading a chapter from a book instead of washing dishes right that moment. Graduate to bigger things, like a night out with your partner, friends or on your own!! Ask yourself how you feel after, and if it is refreshed, not resentful and even MORE productive, then it was worth it.

clancyheadshot.jpg

Crystal is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Divorce Mediator and Parenting Consultant in Apple Valley, MN.  She specializes in reproductive mental health- infertility, loss, stillbirth, postpartum mood/anxiety disorders. She is also a divorce and post-decree mediator and parenting consultant.

Crystal is the Associate Director of Pregnancy and Postpartum Support MN (ppsupportmn.org). More importantly, she is a wife, mother of two, and a survivor of infertility and postpartum depression. She blogs at The Shrink Rap.

Veronica Jacobsen, BA, CD(DONA), CLC, CPST, LCCE, FACCE

DONA-Certified Birth Doula, Certified Lactation Counselor, Child Passenger Safety Technician, Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator, Fellow of the Academy of Certified Childbirth Educators

Opening BabyLove in September of 2011 has allowed me to build a space where all families can come to get good information in a caring, welcoming environment. I have found that not only do I love teaching more than ever, but I also really love running a business. Hopefully my passion for every aspect of BabyLove shines through.
I live in Richfield with my husband, and I am a mother of a two great children. When I can steal a few free moments, I love to go on adventures with my family, cook, garden, thrift, can, and craft.

BabyLove in Texas!

Back in November, we found out that we were chosen to be winners in the Holiday Cheer program that was being presented by Sam’s Club and the SCORE Foundation.  We were one of the two businesses in Minnesota that were selected.   To be honest, we were floored and honored.  As winners, we received support from Sam’s Club that allowed us to update out old, very, very slow computer that had less than 1 GB of free space left on the hard drive, as well as a few other updates we really needed.

The other part of the equation was that one of us would go to Dallas, all expenses paid, to learn about marketing from industry experts.  So last Wednesday, I got on a plane in the wee hours of the morning, and flew off to warm, sunny Texas.  I stayed in a nice hotel room, where I got to choose which bed to sleep on, and got a bathroom ALL TO MYSELF.  I mean, that in of itself would be awesome.  But starting in the afternoon, we were all welcomed into the conference center and greeted by SCORE staff.  After the initial hellos, we were off!

We learned about marketing from an exec from Sam’s Club, who told us about opportunities for getting new products into the clubs.  After that, we were dismissed to the next room over, where we were welcomed with open bar and appetizers and got a chance to mingle with other small business owners.  I was THRILLED to meet a woman from Nebraska who is an IBCLC with MilkWorks.  She used to be a Lamaze Educator too, so we talked shop for a bit.  Also, since both of us are running independent centers, we traded notes on what was working, what wasn’t, and talked about recent changes brought on by the Affordable Care Act. When we went back to the first room where we were welcomed by this:  

dinner.jpg

And this:

dessert.jpg

After dinner, we heard from Ron Cates, a marketing guru from Constant Contact.  He was funny, he was interesting, and he said a lot of stuff that made me think.  I came away with new plans and new ideas for using social media to stay in touch with our BabyLove families.

The next morning, we had a 7am start.  After breakfast and networking with my tablemates, we jumped right in to the next session. It was a long one, featuring Rieva Lesonsky from GrowBiz Media and Minnesota’s Terri Shapiro from the Deluxe Corporation.  Although it was long, it was very engaging, interesting, full of so much info my head started to overheat from all the thinking.  It also was good to have them divide out the information in a way I had a good idea what would work for BabyLove.

After a roundtable session with my tablemates, we moved our conversation over to the 2nd room.  We were served lunch, and then given a talk by Tom Patty, author and marketing exec. He was FABULOUS, and a great person to end the whirlwind conference. And then?  We were done.  I was on an airplane back to MN a couple of hours later.

We do want to thank Sam’s Club and SCORE for being chosen. It was an honor, and we are working on some new things as a result of everything we gained from the Holiday Cheer program. I brought home some sweet swag to share, a couple of fun gifts for our SCORE mentors, and a bunch of new ideas that make me feel less like a marketing klutz! Fabulous!

Veronica Jacobsen, BA, CD(DONA), CLC, CPST, LCCE, FACCE

DONA-Certified Birth Doula, Certified Lactation Counselor, Child Passenger Safety Technician, Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator, Fellow of the Academy of Certified Childbirth Educators

Opening BabyLove in September of 2011 has allowed me to build a space where all families can come to get good information in a caring, welcoming environment. I have found that not only do I love teaching more than ever, but I also really love running a business. Hopefully my passion for every aspect of BabyLove shines through.
I live in Richfield with my husband, and I am a mother of a two great children. When I can steal a few free moments, I love to go on adventures with my family, cook, garden, thrift, can, and craft.