Shake off the Shoulds! {#wholemama}

So it’s summer!

img_20160604_123333.jpgIt’s the season for swimming, hot weather, sunscreen, growing things, early morning hiking, camping, exploring, normal life, and often anything to escape the heat.

We just had our first glimpse of summer weather: 90F and above. With three little kids we have to do something to get outside everyday. They for some reason don’t appreciate the beauty of staying inside with a good book.

Summer is the time of intentional play. Nothing changes too much for me since my kids are too young for school right now, but I do have to be a little bit more purposeful in finding those activities that are best for the summer heat and using the cooler morning hours a more carefully.

So we play.

And I play a little more and it’s good for all of us.

I often feel like I should play with my kids more. And I should do more of this and less of this and then the shoulds go on and on. But maybe there is a way to play with them that doesn’t require mommy being high on caffeine or sugar for fun to happen.

Emily P. Freeman mentioned something in a podcast recently that Annie F. Downs says about choosing what social media to use. Annie says to “chase the fun”. You do you. You do what is fun for you because that is where you can have the most impact.

I think that’s true when it comes to playing with your kids as well. Chase the fun. Do what is fun for you, (and maybe sometimes you’ll give in to the begging to do what they want you to do, because kids and love and you’re a good mom, etc ) but don’t feel like you have to make all the Little People or stuffed animals talk to each other always if that is not your thing. It means seeking out those things you can share with them that all of you can enjoy.

For me, that means swimming. I can supervise them in our little inflatable pool from the shade or jump in with them to spend more energy all around.  and cool off. And maybe get tan. Swimming is something I enjoy and can gladly jump into with a playful attitude.

We also draw with chalk, play cards in the tree house (yes, two year olds can play uno), blow bubbles, read lots of books, have tinker toy car races down the driveway, and bike time in evenings.

Shake off the shoulds and play.

I find myself wanting to try this in other parts of my life as well. What am I doing simply because I should and where could I reengage in my life by chasing the fun? Where could I chase the fun in my writing life? Maybe I could writing more or less formally or reread some old posts for inspiration? Or in my housekeeping? Could I pair podcasts with laundry or seek out different methods for staying on top of things? Or my spiritual life? Could I lay aside the shoulds and embrace the grace and joys a little more?



The possibilities are exciting and might just change how you look at things.

So let’s chase the fun this summer! Choose whatever area sparks your interest most and start there. It might be easy or it might be harder than we thought, but let’s embrace the opportunity to choose and fill our time with more fun.

What is most interesting to you?

And: *Duhdadah!!* (<—that was a trumpet, btw)

I’ve been looking for ways to play with the ideas behind #wholemama a little more in my real life. Would you join me on instagram with the hashtag #wholemamamoments? I will be posting moments that make me breath a sigh of relief, feel less crazy, help me acknowledge the crazy beautiful, or just let me think a little more purposefully about what it means to be a wholemama in my day-to-day.


So join me there and I will be sure to find and follow you so we can encourage each other, have a glimpse into other wholemama lives, and just live more fully engaged.

<3 to you all! Happy Summer!



Write on the word “play” and link up with us below! The linky will be live until June 21st.

If you’re curious about #wholemama, go here!

Or to our #wholemama Facebook group to get on the insider’s loop. :)

Our next prompted linkup is on June 21 with the word ‘Challenge’.

Find me on FacebookInstagram, and Goodreads!

4 thoughts on “Shake off the Shoulds! {#wholemama}

  1. “What am I doing simply because I should and where could I reengage in my life by chasing the fun?” “Could I lay aside the shoulds and embrace the grace and joys a little more?” Erika, I think you must have written these for me. :) It’s so easy to get caught up in the shoulds and forget all about enjoying what we do. Thanks for your inspiration today! One of the things I consider “play” is when I write poems. For me it’s fun to play with words and see what patterns and ideas come out of it. So, if you don’t mind I’ll be linking up a post that includes a poem, because it’s something I do for fun! Blessings to you!


  2. So many times I’ve needed this reminder! It’s funny–I can (mostly) shake of the shoulds in other areas of my life–work, hobbies, etc–but when it comes to parenting, I can always think of 100 shoulds. Thanks for the reminder to enjoy the things we do well and be willing to let others go.


Your space.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.