How to Be a Fun Mom, When You are Tired


I want to be a fun mom. I’m kind of known for being a fun mom. However, I get tired. And these kids have to be at school. And then, homework, and then they want dinner. And life is just busy!

Just because I pin 100 fun ideas doesn’t mean we are doing them all.

Do you have find this constant tension between the mom you want to be and the mom who feels so guilty when her head hits the pillow?

Believe ME – I know, because I have those days too.

Here are a few things that have helped me be a “fun mom” even when I am tired, busy, cranky, etc.

1. Set Yourself Up To Succeed

We often promise our kids or ourselves WAY more than necessary. I have finally starting using the word NO. And, it is freedom. The Best Yes is a tremendous resource for learning to say YES and NO in life. If we want to spend all of the Christmas holidays giving and serving – that is awesome. It might be reality that we do 2-3 things as a family. Or, ONE! You know your family and what you can handle during this season. We are more fun, when we are less stressed. Set your house up to succeed. Less pressure starts with us. (Preaching to myself – the queen of overcommitment here).

And my favorite is to make zero promises and just surprise them. Like on Valentines or last day of school – just fill the car or their seat with something unexpected. It takes just a few minutes and warms their hearts.


2. Let Go of High Expectations

I have such beautiful visions of what fun might look like as a family. It never turns out that way – and I finally let that stop ruining the fun. Let those kids leave in the weird outfit. Take the cookies on the easter plate during Christmas. It’s the thought! We can have more fun, when we LOWER THE BAR! Lower those expectations for yourself and for each other. We are making things way way cute out there, but they just don’t have to be every time.

This is not my best photo – but it proves a point. They asked, “Mom! Can we draw you?” And my answer, “Sure!” completely shocked them and made their day! I don’t always say “yes,” but I try to for things like this. Especially if they take the “no’s” well on the other days.


3. Schedule It

We have started scheduling Uno every night before bed. It has become a ritual and we all LOVE it. It really helps our family come together at the end of a long day. Sometimes, if I KNOW I want our kids to do something generous (like this weekend for Veteran’s Day) – I have to schedule it. “We are leaving at 11:00! And it won’t take long family! Come with me!” I am typically the ring leader of these activities and every time – they end up loving it and they get in the car and thank me for making them go.

For both of my girls, when they are “off” – I know they typically need alone time with me. I sense it and we take them on a date. Nothing fills them up like one-on-one time with a parent.


4. Fun For a Purpose

I have to really be careful about this word “fun”- does that mean our kids should just enjoy their home and think we are cool and silly? Nope, I’m not always going to be liked or their friend or the good cop. There are many days they are quite mad – because their mom often has to say “no” or have them do homework or keep them from something harmful. Fun to me is more about the way we do life. The way we experience each day and week. The way we teach. Breaking up the bad mood cycle, so that we don’t just get stuck on auto-pilot. So, that we look back and say “yes, those were long days, but such sweet, fun years.”


If you ARE NOT naturally silly, fun or creative – do not fear.

If you ARE fun, but motherhood has wiped you of all brain cells and energy – do not fear.

Try your very best not to compare yourself to me or anyone else.

Look to your heavenly Father for guidance and discernment for your family’s time and commitments.


Are you enjoying your home and your kids ?

What things could change to make that happen, if you aren’t?

What are some small ways you could infuse joy or fun into the regular routine of your day?

PHOTOS: They are old as dirt. I have been catching up on old photo books and laughing and crying. They grow so quick. Do not try the coffee table band – as I am certain someone was hurt shortly after that photo was taken.

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  1. This right here is why I love coming here. I know all this stuff in my head but you have a way or communicating it that gets to my heart and just refreshed my soul. All of it is good to hear and claim again and again. I AM a fun mom. I AM tired. I have an I AM who will make it all good. I need reminding and I get back to me again. Also, while I am thanking you – I just finished the book. Love it. Kept pretending to be taking a little longer putting the baby for a nap so I could sneak another chapter! Gave copies to my sister in law and best friend. Thank you.

    1. Sarah – your encouragement means so much. After blogging for several years now – it can get tiring and you wonder if it’s resonating with anyone. So, comments like these keep me going. I always have a prayer/goal of one mom! If the post helped or encouraged ONE mom – worth it. Hooray for my one today! God is good. I also appreciate your encouragement on the book. Someone other than my best friends and family finished it?! That is just thrilling.

    2. "I actually worked on Real World San Diego.  People were constantly shouting at them "Go back to the fake world!", which I thought was pretty funny."lance, i actually work "in" the real world, and people are constantly shouting at me, "go kill yourself, shidiot", which i think is pretty fuckin’ funny.

  2. I needed this one today!!! I want to be fun but I am tired too! Gotta try harder to make the little stuff fun because that is what they will remember not going to see Annie!

  3. such an awesome read for a monday morning! coming off of a weekend (overscheduled of course) it’ s nice to take a deep breath, know you are not alone and just say today i will do better!
    thanx for being you – for being tranparent and authentic! such a major blessing!
    happy monday!

  4. Thanks so much for this, Courtney. Some days I don’t even know where the bar is. No need to lower. 🙂 Its probably stuffed in the book case with Tyler’s left sock. I’m trying… I promise, I’m trying. The holidays threaten to mock me. So I close the Southern Living Mag, I power off Pinterest and I grab everyone into a “gwoop hug, gwoop hug!” and thank Jesus for my life.

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