Girls just wanna have fun. People just wanna have fun, even mommas in their 30’s. This past year, I’ve done a lot of soul searching. You may call it a midlife crisis. Brene Brown would call it a midlife unraveling. But I call it a midlife awakening. As I slowly creep toward 40 (I still have over a year until I get there), I’ve been focusing more on my needs, desires, feelings, purpose, and all the things.
As I continue to uncover myself, I’ve realized that over the past few years I’ve lost part of my creative side. I’ve lost the sense of wonder and imagination that made up my childhood. As a kid, I loved writing stories, playing music, and creating art. Exploring in nature was a given, especially since I grew up on a horse farm. I often felt wild and free, as if I was uncovering treasures outdoors or in the barn that no one else had ever found. Even a dead mouse was a treasure!
As I grew older, I still had my creative outlets through music, writing and art. My career led me to photography and graphic design, then to videography and digital content creation. But at some point, these things stopped being fun and started to be only about work. I had deadlines to meet, whether or not inspiration hit. By the time I’d make it home in the evenings, my creative spark was gone.
Hello parenthood. Goodbye fun.
Then in May 2017, our three girls came home with us. I was in survival mode for the better part of a year, which meant my creative side took a back seat. People may just wanna have fun, but this woman needed to focus on her three little humans. Becoming a parent to three kiddos who had a life before calling me Mommy was a full-time job.
All attempts at creativity and fun were poured into the girls. By the time they would go to bed at night, I hardly had enough energy to keep my eyes open. Do something fun? Yeah right. Give me a drink. Turn on the tv. And let me fall asleep on the couch.
Even though I stopped having fun, I made sure my girls had a childhood. Chris and I wanted to let them be kids. We wanted them to play, have fun, be silly, get messy, and enjoy life. But somewhere along the way, I forgot that these things are also important for me to do.
Roller skating + baking = Fun in your 30’s
Girls just wanna have fun. But once you have kids – especially if you adopt kids, adopt a sibling set, adopt older kids, and adopt kids of a different race than yourself – fun can be difficult to make time for. Fun is usually the last thing on the list, if it’s even on the list. I’m pretty sure that fun for myself wasn’t on my mind for the first three years of parenthood.
Finally, in the fall of 2021, I decided to make time for myself. I kept hearing people in their 30’s and 40’s – especially women – talk about how they didn’t know how to have fun. They didn’t know what fun was. But they knew fun was important. So I began to think about what could be fun for me.
The first thing I did? I bought roller skates! And not just any roller skates. I bought mint green roller skates with wheels that light up in rainbow colors. Hell yeah!
I began roller skating in my basement back in October 2021. Then, on January 11, 2022, I took fun to a whole other level. I began recreating music videos on roller skates! Ridiculous? Yes. Silly? Absolutely. But fun? You know it! Check out my Instagram reels to see my music videos @lindseyrwillard.
A couple videos of my skating progress
Rolling through life is the best medicine.
Once I realized how much more I enjoy life by having fun, I decided to add something else to the mix: baking! Ok, ok. I realize baking isn’t fun for everyone. But there is something about kneading dough and making something from scratch that fills me like nothing else. Plus it’s fun to bake something delicious that I can feel good about eating.
I’m on a new kick of making delicious breads, muffins and pastries without refined sugar that still taste amazing. I’m replacing sugar with coconut sugar, honey, or maple syrup. Butter is often replaced with applesauce, olive oil or ghee. And dusting off my rolling pin has brought me more joy than I could have imagined.
Maybe I’ll even start sharing some of these recipes on the blog. I’d love for you to try them out and let me know what you think!
You only need ten minutes a day for fun.
Maybe some people have fun all their lives. But for me, I’ve had to make time for fun. I’ve had to consciously decide that I’m going to have fun each day. Even earlier this week, I realized at 5pm that I had only worked and done chores around the house all day. I immediately laced up my roller skates and skated in the basement for ten minutes before cooking dinner.
Let me be real with you. I also had to quit my job in order to have fun. Hopefully it’s not that extreme for you. You may even have fun at work. I know plenty of people who do. But for me, work was stressful. Life at home was stressful. And I needed less stress and more fun in my life. So back in August 2021, I quit my full-time job and decided to take some time for myself and my family.
Yes, there’s a lot of privilege in being able to quit your job. But there’s also a lot of healing in having fun. I’ve been working on healing myself this year from a global pandemic, the stress of parenthood, and from unlearning all the things society tells me I should be doing in life. I’ve thrown productivity out the window and have replaced it with rest, healing, and fun.
If you haven’t had fun today, what could you do for only ten minutes that would bring you joy? How can you make your own joy, friend?
Life forever changed for Chris and me in May 2017 when we became a family of five. We are forever learning how to be parents, support our daughters, and navigate this thing called life as a transracial family through adoption.
We’d love to have you on this journey! Subscribe to the blog to learn when a new blog post is up, how we navigate being white parents to black children, and parenting tips discovered along the way.