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Bystander or Participant?

Do you ever feel the weight of responsibility to make sure everyone has a good time while feeling that you totally miss out? Do you ever give yourself permission to have fun?

A few years ago we went out with some friends “sea biscuiting”, which is water skiing on an inflatable tube. I watched for hours as my kids were flung all over the ocean on a tiny inflatable mat being towed behind a boat all in the name of fun! They were laughing and screaming with joy and I was so thrilled they were having fun. Of course, I was there should anything go wrong and also to immortalize the moment on film!

The real challenge came when I was offered a turn. My first reaction was to say, “No. I am guarding the bags! Someone needs to be the safety person! I am the photographer!” Then I saw my child turn and walk back to the boat obviously disappointed that I would not join in. At that moment I stopped myself and had a little conversation. I had to convince myself that it was fine for me to participate!

I want to encourage you to give yourself permission to have fun!

It is important not to let the weight responsibility overcome us to the point that we lose who we are.

I take parenting very seriously, which is good, but it is also good to breathe out and have some fun. When my children were little I would be trying to exercise and get back into shape, however, the minute I would lay on the ground in the sit-up position two rambunctious toddlers would be climbing all over me squealing for joy! Needless to say, I didn’t get much exercise in! But what I did see is the excitement on their faces as I joined their world closer to the ground!

Being a parent is a huge responsibility that brings with it many challenges. But it is important not to let that responsibility overcome you to the point that you have lost who you are. Your family won’t lose out from you doing this, in fact, they will benefit from seeing a parent who can be responsible but who also knows how to have fun!

So I chased after my family and got back in the boat. Donning my life vest I climbed, not so glamorously mind you, aboard the sea biscuit alongside my husband. I experienced a mix of terror and exhilaration as I was flung around behind the boat. Looking towards the boat I could see the joy on my kid’s faces as they asked the driver to go faster and turn more sharply in an effort to bump us off. Although my sides hurt from laughing and although I lost all circulation to my hands from gripping on so tightly I did manage to stay on for the entire ride and prove to my kids that I can be a super mum!

If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed by the responsibility of your current role, whether as a mother, in your job, or as a caregiver, I would like to encourage you to give yourself permission to have fun and take your hands off the wheel once in a while. You never know? you might just see a side to yourself you have never seen before.



Thank You for the responsibilities and commitments You have given me. Please help me to see opportunities to have fun and enjoy the lighter side of life.


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