Just when I’ve run out of ways to say, “Don’t just read this website, DO some of the activities!” I read Meagan Francis’s post about how motherhood doesn’t have to be boring, although it is admittedly filled with boring moments.
She urges her community to take action, to take responsibility for their own happiness. I asked her if I could share her tips here and she was pleased to be able to boss you around.
By the way, Meagan is the author of Table for Eight: Raising a Large Family in a Small-Family World. She’s got five children.
Here are five things she suggests:
Choose challenging media.
Yes, with hundreds of cable channels offering countless reality shows and celebrity scandal recaps and thousands of blogs (some great, some good, some…well, not) it’s easy to get lost in choices and just stick with what’s easy. There’s something to be said for brain candy, but just like real candy, if it’s all you consume you’ll get bloated and squishy. The good news is, you’ve got a lot of great options at your fingertips. If you’re looking for drama and romance, try the History channel. Join a virtual book club or read literary blogs. Subscribe to a newspaper or weighty magazine and force yourself to sit down and read an entire article without getting up to check your email or Tweet.
Instead of mindlessly watching the Food Network for hours a day (guilty!) try buying those exotic ingredients and-gasp!-making something with them. Or if you’ve been zoning out on home-improvement shows, actually hammer a nail into a piece of wood or slap some finish on a piece of furniture. Shake things up. Don’t just passively watch or read–try doing.
Check in with a daily source of inspiration.
I’ve been following the blog Mental Multivitamin for years because her “Hey, you: do something with your brain already” attitude is a nice no-nonsense kick in the pants, and her blog offers a lot of jumping-off points and inspiring ideas.
Learn something new.
Brains get dull when they re-use the same old circuitry over and over. Working to master a new skill or learning new information literally re-wires your brain, creating new connections and making you smarter. So maybe you don’t have the time or funds to take guitar lessons right now–you’ve still got options. Check youtube for free tutorials, subscribe to a magazine, or join a group for enthusiasts. Even if you can’t jump in with both feet, you’ll learn something by osmosis.
Don’t have time to write, or paint, or do yoga, or practice the piano? Baloney. Look how much time you just spent reading this! Hey, part of happy motherhood is learning how to work with the five- or ten-minute blocks of time you’re granted throughout the day. If you wait around for eight undisturbed hours a day to fall into your lap before you can start working on that novel, you’ll be waiting a long time. Look at it this way: a year is going to go by whether you exercise, or write, or draw, or start your business, or don’t. You may as well devote every bit of time you can to the things that really matter to you. Yes, your kids are a big part of that, but they don’t have to be–and really shouldn’t be–the entire enchilada.
Are you inspired? What are you going to do now?