A Mom’s Guide to Making a Day At The Playground Fun

A few weeks ago, my kids had a long weekend off so we went to a playground that we don’t normally get to go to.

I was so excited, because in my mind I pictured it to be much bigger and to have some really cool features that most playgrounds don’t have. I thought they would be so excited. We did have a good time, but it didn’t really go like I expected.

I had to pee immediately after we got there, but of course the bathroom was really far from the playground. I tried to hold it for as long as I could, but I was so uncomfortable. Eventually, I had to drag my kids with me to the bathroom. They were so upset with me that you would have thought I was taking away their favorite toy.

Despite this little mistake, I can still say that I’ve learned a few things over the years about what makes a playground fun. I’ve also learned what not to do. Of course, like most things in parenting, there’s always room to learn more!

So here are 7 things to do to make sure your kids have fun at the playground: 

1. Drink Lots of Coffee 

Drinking lots of coffee before an outing with your kids is really tempting because you need energy to keep up with your kids. When taking your kids to a playground it’s especially tempting because they’ll want you to play with them. Even though you might be bringing your kids to a playground so that you can get a break, they WILL want you to play with them.

Drinking at least 3 cups of coffee will ensure that you have enough energy to do this. It will also mean that you will need to pee. You’ll have to drag your kids with you to the bathroom, because of course you can’t leave them there to play unsupervised. Your kids will be so happy that they’ll forget they’re even at the playground!

2. There Can’t Be Bathrooms Nearby

Since you’ve fueled up on coffee, no matter how many times you pee before you leave the house you’ll need to go again once you get there. Our bladders as moms went through the ringer when we were pregnant and the aforementioned children sat on them for 9 months. It’s ok though. Moms are used to having to hold it when we have to go.

Also, if you really want to have a good time at the playground make sure to bring your potty-training toddler to a place that doesn’t even have a bathroom! This is the best recipe for fun!

3. Don’t Bring Any Snacks

Your kids will surely be hungry the minute you step foot out of the car, even though they will have just eaten breakfast. Be sure not to pack enough snacks so they’ll whine about how hungry they are the entire time you’re there.

Definitely don’t bring a variety of snacks, because your child will never change their mind and refuse to eat the food that was their favorite the day before. 

4. Don’t Pack Any Extra Clothes

This tip is mostly for the moms with younger kids. Make sure not to bring any extra clothes. You never know when there’s going to be a potty accident and your child will need a fresh outfit.

Plus, I remember the times when my toddler had a meltdown because he dumped water on himself and then no longer wanted to wear his shirt because it was soaking wet.

Older kids will sometimes need a change of clothes too. They might go down a wet slide or decide to play in the stream if the playground has one. Or if you misjudge the weather and 74 degrees actually “feels like” 59, you’ll wish you had jackets.  

So if you want to ensure a fun day at the playground, make sure you aren’t prepared for any of these situations. 

5. Choose A Playground Without Any Shade

In the summer, you’ll want to make sure that you find the hottest playground you can! That means find one without any shade. Fortunately there are plenty of this type of playgrounds around so you won’t have a hard time with this one.

6. Don’t Give A 10 Minute Warning

If you want your kids to have the best day ever, do this one thing. Be sure to grab them in the middle of their fun and tell them it’s time to go. Don’t give them a 10 minute warning so they can finish up their game or go down the slide one last time.

Kids playing on a playground

7. Don’t Invite Any Friends

Hopefully by now you’ve caught on that I’ve been giving you bad advice. So if you’re smart enough to do the opposite of what I’m saying, you’ll make sure to invite friends to meet you at the playground. This will actually solve most of your problems.

Your kids will have someone to play with and will stop bugging you to play Hide And Seek Tag. You will also have someone to watch your kids while you run to the bathroom, and you might even be able to bum a few snacks off of them.  

If you have a clothing emergency, chances are your friend will have a backup to share. Plus, when it’s time to go home, you can make sure to coordinate with your friends to leave at the same time. This is why finding your village, is such an important part of being a mom! Your mom friends are always there to back you up!

I hope you can learn from my mistakes and help your kids have the best day ever the next time you go to a playground!

If you enjoyed reading this, be sure to like our facebook page. Then you’ll be the first to know about new content.



You’re Doing It Right Momma

Last week I had back to back school conferences with both of my kids’ teachers. I didn’t plan it this way. I didn’t actually realize what I’d done until I got a reminder email from one of them. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

You see, the day prior I had one of those days where I felt like a failure as a mom. We had been at a birthday party where there was a piñata. I like piñatas because my kids LOVE piñatas. They go all out crazy anytime there is one.

My oldest takes it one step further than most though. Granted he was literally the 2nd oldest kid at the party and the tallest by at least 4 inches, but he truly let his greedy side show up to this piñata party.

Once the piñata was busted, the chaos ensued and the feeding frenzy began. After what had to have been no more than 2 minutes, my child walked away with about a pound of candy and toy trinkets. There were probably half a dozen other kids crying that they didn’t get a single thing!

Even though the competitive side of me wanted to shake my son’s hand for winning this “piñata game” and getting in there to claim his prizes, the bigger part of me was appalled.

So I did what any right minded mom would do and started grabbing handfuls of his candy to give to the less fortunate smaller kids who didn’t get any. Of course after he realized his loot was cut in half, he wasn’t happy with me and walked away pouting.

When I asked him where his goodie bag was, he said that since I gave most of his candy away he gave the little that was left to his brother and threw the bag away. This only made me feel like I had raised an even bigger brat so we left the party fighting. I complained to my husband that night and he had a talk with him about sharing.

School Conference Day

The next day, I met with my other son’s teacher first. She had only good things to say- that he’s excelling in every subject, he’s a good listener, and is a joy to have in class. She asked what we were doing, because she wanted to do the same thing when she has kids of her own one day.

Then, I met with my oldest son’s teacher and she also had glowing remarks! I already knew he was doing well academically, but it was her comment about his character that really surprised me. To be completely honest I know he’s a good kid, but I didn’t expect her to say that he was one of only a few students she’s ever had who is truly a good person.

I needed to hear these things. It’s not that I don’t think I’m a good mom. I know I’m doing an ok job, but it feels really good to hear from someone else that I’m raising such kind and considerate children. I actually felt a little guilty about getting so mad the day before. But I’ve already told you that I struggle with mom guilt. You can read all about that in my previous post here: https://momlifewithp.com/mom-guilt-how-to-deal-when-it-strikes/.

Hearing Positive Feedback From Strangers

This past weekend we were eating breakfast at a tiny crowded coffee shop in Ashville. The boys were smearing muffins into the seat cushions, standing up in their chairs, and using really loud voices. The table next to us felt so awkwardly close that I had a hard time not eavesdropping on the ladies who were sitting there.

When we were getting ready to leave, one of them looked at me and said, “You’re doing a good job. Your kids are really well behaved.” What?!?! These two? Was she in the same restaurant I was just in? I couldn’t believe she said that, but I thanked her and walked away feeling again like maybe I AM doing something right.

As moms we don’t hear what we’re doing right enough. This job doesn’t come with a yearly performance evaluation where we get a raise if we’re meeting the company’s standards. So to all the teachers out there, tell your students’ parents when they’re getting it right. Tell them as often as you can, not just once a year at the parent/teacher conference.

Husbands, tell your wives they’re good moms. It may seem obvious to you, but she needs to hear it because she doesn’t always believe it. This goes for everyone, if you see a mom in public tell her she’s doing a good job. Even if her kids aren’t being perfect angels. If they’re eating their food and not throwing it at you, she needs to know she’s not screwing it all up.

If you enjoyed reading this, be sure to join our email list below so you can be notified when new posts are up!

Subscribe Here

* indicates required

Momma, Stop Putting Too Much Pressure On Yourself

I’ve been trying to come up with the perfect blog post and I realized that maybe I should share about my experience, because maybe there’s someone else out there that needs to hear this.

I’ve always been kind of a perfectionist. When I was in high school I had straight As (except for ONE B in AP Biology) and when I went to college I remember getting my first C. I was devastated and obviously will never forget it! Yet I still got my Masters degree and had plenty of success getting jobs when I graduated.

Blogging is a lot harder than it seems and some days I wonder if it’s too much for a perfectionist like me. You have to not only write good content but also figure out how to drive traffic to your blog. That means posting on social media.

So I’ve been trying to grow a following and post consistently in my facebook group and on Instagram. I’ve been trying to learn how to use Pinterest for marketing and there’s also Twitter, but I haven’t even begun to really use that! I have a goal in my head to post a certain number of times a day on each of these platforms and it adds up to a lot!

I also put pressure on myself to try to keep the house clean, make sure there aren’t dirty dishes in the sink, keep up with the laundry, cook healthy dinners, and give my kids attention when they get home from school.

On top of that, I also want to be involved at my kids’ school. So I joined the PTA and this year I agreed to take on the role of treasurer. I’ve been feeling guilty about not keeping the records up to date and having our available balance on the top of my head to tell the President when she asks me. She doesn’t even expect that from me. I put that pressure all on myself!

I’ve also been trying to work out, because exercise makes me feel better and releases stress, but I have to find time to fit it in. If I go to the gym, that takes up a big chunk of my day, causing me to feel more pressure to fit in the other things on my to-do list in a shorter time period.

Today I went for a walk, and I kept thinking that I needed to run because I wasn’t going to burn enough calories if I walked the whole time. I was meeting a friend for lunch so I only had a limited amount of time and I could run further than I could walk in that time.

So I was running for 1 minute intervals and then walking until I felt like I could run more. After about 20 minutes of doing this, I had the thought that I should stop putting so much pressure on myself, even in my work out. I decided to walk and just try to enjoy the moment.

When I allowed myself to walk the whole way instead of trying so hard to keep up with my run/walk/run intervals, that’s when my thoughts cleared and I started to have ideas for what I could write about. I finally thought of the answer to the parenting question that was posted in my facebook group.

The reality is, I can’t be perfect at all of these things! No one can be perfect at everything. If I keep putting pressure on myself to be perfect at all of them, I’ll end up burning out and not being very good at anything. But once I took some of the pressure off myself, I was able to do one of the things I wanted to do.

Wonder Woman is my favorite super hero, partly because I want to be like her. She has super human strength and can do anything. But I have to remember that she’s not real. She’s a comic book character. It’s not realistic for me to conquer everything and to be perfect at all of it. The perfect mom doesn’t exist!!!