Accepting That Women Can Have Fun Without Judgment
Like so many women, I struggle with allowing myself time to play, have fun, and rest. And learning to accept that women can enjoy their likes without judgment for me has been difficult. I know, it’s something I put upon myself. Yet, I know I’m not alone.
I want anyone reading this to know and accept that you can have fun. Learn what it is, what you like, and what you look like while you are doing it. Stop judging yourself or allowing others to smother your joy. Today, accept that you can have fun and it's okay. This is what you are doing to live your best life.
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I took a long break to rediscover how to live my best life. I read a bunch of books that inspired me, including Untamed by Glennon Doyle. I don't say this lightly, but this book rocked my life. From there, I read books on anxiety, and I am undoubtedly the Queen of Anxiety. And I spent a lot of time trying to discover why I always felt that if I was having fun on my own, I should stop that and go back to being productive, mothering something, or guilting for the pleasure of my life.
When life was good, and I found myself doing the things that made me laugh out loud or feel happy, I also made excuses as to why I should be allowed to feel that way. I made sure to explain that I did that thing, but also, I just finished a big project or did something for charity that made me feel like I was worthy of joy.
Why Can't I Have Fun?
Looking back, I've never been “fun” or carefree. I don't have that in me. I don't know how to let it all hang out and let go. I've had a long life filled with judgment by others telling me that lazy people rest, successful people carefully manage their time to be the most productive, and worst… to put my family before my own needs.
Even before becoming a mother, I was the girl on the side watching my friends have fun. I was the girl clapping for my boyfriend's motocross skills, the kid on the bleachers watching the other kids play sports. I did not do sports and didn't understand how to be fun. This did not help me to make friends, which made me sad. Sad kids are not fun.
When I had children, I loved watching them play. I enjoyed their full engagement in the world of play. I participated in “play groups” and stood with other mothers as we watched over our children. I knew it was important for my kids to have these fun experiences. However, I hated play groups! It was just women bragging, rehashing their birth stories, and reducing their lives to motherhood. And it drove me bonkers. I was NOT having fun. This made me not a fun person, and soon I wasn't invited to join playgroups anymore. Welcome in guilt; now you've taken away something the kids love because you aren't fun. Sad again. ( I later learned that anxiety and depression were actually the ones whispering to me this BS about who I was and if people liked me or not. )
Once the kids got older, we did cheerleading and other family activities. And I settled into a life of watching everyone play and experience their best lives. My job was to ensure everyone got to their activities, jobs, appointments, and a healthy meal to come home to at the end of the day. This must be what having fun as a wife and mother must be.
Letting Go And Having Fun
I HATE being asked what I want to do on the weekends. It's an intimidating question because I am then in charge of finding an activity that meets the “fun factor” for everyone. So, it's not just about what I want to do, but what I can think to do to make everyone happy. That is hard.
I usually go with brunch and shopping. Because saying: Let's go into the garden and stare at plants for an hour, then when I get hot and fussy, I want to have a cold fruity drink followed by sitting for a while. After that, maybe we can stroll through quaint little shops, buying things we don't need and end up with food somewhere that doesn't make me think too hard about what others in my group might want.
So, I usually go with…. Brunch and errands.
Jealousy of Strangers
How often have you looked at social media and thought that you don't like someone based on how much fun they seem to be having? You don't have a real reason not to like them. You feel like you want that life and are envious.
So why don't you live your life with joy and do the things you enjoy?
I get it; we can't all get on a flight to Fiji or buy a boat and sail off. But we can stop judging others for their fun and learn to appreciate learning what joy looks like for other people so we can be inspired to try things for ourselves.
I want to be the type of woman who laughs in the rain, who takes time to walk with my bare feet in the garden.
I'm done with feeling guilty for making excuses as to why I'm successful or able to rest when I need to take time for myself.
I am choosing to let go and live my best life without judgment because I deserve to feel good about myself.
Today I want you to start normalizing joy and happiness for yourself and others. Where do you get your happy feelings? Is it in the garden, listening to music or reading?
Make a list of things you want to do that make you feel like you are having fun and something you enjoy. I hope you will leave me a message or comment on our Instagram with your thought about finding out what you think is fun.