Sometimes we’re so busy checking off our to-do- lists as moms or performing our obligations as parents that we forget to have fun with our family. Something different happens when you enter the fun instead of just watching your family members have fun from the sidelines. Our guest contributor, speaker and author, Arlene Pellicane shares about "Not Just Watching the Fun" at The Empowered Mom Club

Participating in the fun. Rollerblading anyone?

One year, I got a very interesting (perhaps controversial) Christmas gift. I wasn’t really surprised when I opened my beautifully wrapped present from my husband James – a spiffy black and pink pair of rollerblades. I knew he had ordered them with high hopes I would someday be able to glide down the boardwalk with him and the kids. I didn’t share these hopes. I received this gift with a weak smile and a grimace. I knew it would take determination, time, and a lot of ibuprofen and ice to use my gift.

I did give rollerblading a try. I laced on those skates, put on a helmet, wrist guards, knee pads, and even tucked an extra t-shirt in my pants to pad my bottom. My simple motivation was to have fun with my family. The kids took to rollerblading much faster than me (no surprise there). As they sat waiting for me to catch up, they chanted “Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!”

It may require work. And an ice pack!

Having fun as a mom at times requires a bit of work, a dose of humility, and occasional ice packs. I try out-of-my-comfort-zone things once in a while because I believe it’s worth it to make fun memories together as a family. Now I must admit, I never really got the hang of rollerblading, so I’m saving my skates for my growing girls. But I suppose it was worth it to try. I have found many of my fun memories involve me trying something new and figuring out what I really do enjoy with my active family.

I like camping better now than I used to and actually look forward to our overnight backpacking trips. I like biking because I feel a lot more secure on a bike than I do on rollerblades. Amusement parks are always fun for me, as is bargain shopping and thrift store hunting, and hiking in national parks with the family. I’ve found that I don’t have to be particularly good or skilled in certain sports since my shortcomings provide humor for our family of five. I just have to be willing to show up for the party.

More fun than the sidelines

Something different happens when you enter the fun instead of just watching your family members have fun from the sidelines. We live in such an activity-driven culture from ballet lessons, soccer, softball, or swimming. As parents, we’re often spectators but we rarely participate in activities together with our kids. We decided to find something the whole family could do and we landed on martial arts. The first time James and I showed up with our matching t-shirts to tae-kwon-do class, believe me, it was funny! We joined the kids class and never looked back. I have made some amazing memories sparring with my daughters and wrestling with my now teen son.

So what’s going to be your thing? Don’t worry – you don’t have to do martial arts if you don’t want to!

What fun traditions and activities will you enjoy in your home? And what fun things will you do purely for yourself?

Not everything has to be about dying to self like me strapping on those rollerblades of doom. You can have a hobby that’s just for you. I love meeting friends for lunch, reading, watching chick flicks, napping (my personal favorite), and traveling.

My husband James who loves being outdoors and skiing, rollerblading, etc. also understands that I enjoy different things to rejuvenate myself. He gives me space to do my thing. My things tend to be much calmer and safer. Whoever gets hurt while reading or shopping right?

So get out your calendar and schedule in some fun – both for your entire family and just for you. You’ll be glad you did – and so will your kids!


LAUNCH WEEK GIVEAWAY DAY # 4

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PARENTS RISING BY ARLENE PELLICANE (5 COPIES)

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Arlene Pellicane is a speaker and author of several books including Parents Rising, 31 Days to a Happy Husband and Calm, Cool, and Connected: 5 Digital Habits for a More Balanced
Life.   She is also the co-author of Growing Up Social: Raising Relational Kids in a Screen-Driven World (with Dr. Gary Chapman). Arlene has been a featured guest on the Today Show, Fox & Friends, Focus on the Family, FamilyLife Today, The 700 Club, and Turning Point with Dr. David Jeremiah.  She writes regularly for Proverbs 31 Ministries and Girlfriends in God. Before becoming a stay-at-home mom, Arlene worked as the Associate Producer for Turning Point Television with Dr. David Jeremiah.  Arlene earned her BA from Biola University and her Masters in Journalism from Regent University.  Arlene lives in San Diego with her husband James and their three children.  To learn more, visit www.ArlenePellicane.com

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