Was I a No-Fun Mother?

Was I a No-Fun Mother?


Several women accused me of being a no-fun mother on a post last week because I didn’t toot, burp, or take pictures with my tongue hanging out. If this is the definition of a “no-fun” mother, then it defines me to a tee since I didn’t do these things nor did I teach my children to do them.

It seems to me that younger mothers exalt being a “fun mother” above all else. So what if their home is a pigsty, they’re having fun with their children. So what if they don’t take the time to fix them nourishing food, they’re a fun mother. Let me tell you something, being a fun mother isn’t what I wanted my children to remember me by.

I wanted them to remember me by being a godly mother who loved the Lord Jesus deeply and wanted to make sure they loved Him. I wanted them to know how important His Word and His ways were to me and how much I wanted them to follow in His footsteps. I wanted them to be deeply loved, eat nourishing food, grow up in a clean home, and learn to be children who had self-control.

Did they consider me a fun mom at all? I’m not sure because I was so sick most of their growing up. They have said they never remember me complaining about my illnesses and remaining joyful in the midst of them. They know I kept my faith through all of them because it was a priority in my life. They remember me taking them to AWANA faithfully every week which they loved so they would memorize Scripture, hide it deep in their hearts, and be with other children. I also took them to a “pool party” (as they called it) most every Monday night with my sisters and their children when they were young, plus I would take them to the ocean frequently. But they know I was a seeker of God more than a seeker of pleasure.

I have no idea if my children would consider me a fun mother. I have never asked them because this certainly was not my priority as it seems to be for mothers today. With four children close in age, me being sick, and having a husband who traveled half of the year, I did what I could to raise them in the nurture and the admonition of the Lord. I was consistent and firm about them obeying me. We have films of them when they were young and they were always laughing and having a good time, however, so I know they enjoyed their childhood.

What children need to have a good childhood are parents who are committed to each other for life. They need to be trained and disciplined consistently with lots of love and affection. If this is considered not being a fun mom, it’s fine with me. Having them walk in Truth and where they spend eternity was what was most important to me and they all knew it.

Bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

Ephesians 6:4


17 thoughts on “Was I a No-Fun Mother?

  1. I have actually been dealing with this issue lately! I definitely don’t want to be religious or contentious about it but I have had a few people talk this Way to me. ( lacking integrity with responsibilities in order to put fun always at the forefront) I felt like it wasn’t a right way of thinking but I didn’t know how to express that…. This makes total sense because it is important to be joyful and have fun times but if we don’t teach our kids to have self-control and taking care of our responsibilities – they will not know how to correctly handle the daily issues of life and pass on a good work ethic.

  2. I remember the kids having fun with you. You would be on the couch in pain and 2-3 kids jumping all over and hold onto you. We were always laughing with our kids or laughing at them when they could be silly. You were not strict about how they played or nagged them about anything, but just let them be kids, except in the areas they needed to grow up.

    We had many evenings where I threw the kids around and had pillow fights. Our back yard was a child’s dream playground with the swings and slides and lots of well-cared for grass for ballet practice and playing ball.

    Our kids were not short-changed in any way, and if you want to raise exceptional kids, it comes from teaching God’s truth and the joy of the Lord. Those two things you did marvelously and I so love you for it!

    You did Monday night pool night, and AWANA almost every week without exception, even if you had to sit in the car in pain. You knew it was important to get the kids playing and enjoying life around fellow believers and being taught the Word. AWANA was fantastic for the kids as all of the loved it and it implanted the Word of God into their souls.

    I would not call you a “fun” Mom by any means as our goal was to to raise godly strong disciplined children who could bring forth the next generation of godly kids of their own. You did it babes, and you fulfilled the one thing I always thought was one of the best qualities about you. That you would be a great mother to my children.

  3. Our culture pursues fun and pleasure at the expense of everything else, namely self-control and godliness, Marie. Yes, we should be the most joyful people around but our priorities like taking care of our husband, children, and homes should keep us plenty busy plus helping out others in need. Seeking the Lord and His will for us is much more important than having fun.

  4. I was just talking to Cassi and asked her if she remembers me as a fun mom. (She hasn’t read this post.) She said, “No, you were too sick but I had a great childhood!” I am sure the rest of our children would say the same but the Lord was faithful in giving me the strength to do what He had called me to do and not what I wanted to do. I am sure your influence played a huge role in their lives too! I knew you’d be a great dad and you sure were.

  5. Great post! I always wondered about this. Being fun isn’t a priority to us in child rearing. I would feel bad when my daughter preferred being at grandmas than coming home. It is more fun and grandma can be lenient on rules. I don’t play with my kids, they work along with me on house chores, I homeschool, and I try to be kind and always greet them with a smile in the mornings and as I’m with them but I expect them to obey. We also read the Bible and one of our favorite things to do is sing hymns. I see them enjoy these things and ask for them too. But they are human and sometimes it’s easier to choose what satisfies the flesh. I hope in the Lord that one day they’ll see that following God is the best path.

  6. Lori,

    One of the signs of this end-time is “lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.” I would urge a mother today, whatever her mothering-season, to focus on the joys of living for God and move out from there, using the Bible as her Guide Book, Instruction Manual, Road Map.

    Tea time, nap time, play outdoors, puzzles and games, mealtime, making huts with bedsheets, going on trips as a family to learn some history about our country in order to instill gratitude in our children’s hearts for the cost that was willingly paid for freedom– NEVER FREE!– these are all occasions in which a mother can teach selflessness, no matter what era she is raising the next generation of future leaders. Reading to your children will take them anywhere in their imaginations you want them to go.

    Um, where DO you want them to go? Because I wanted mine to go to Heaven (and I still do!), I realized that the Highway to Heaven filled with work, toil, sweat. I had to be intentional, more intentional than my own mother was. I think we can say that, you and I and other unfun moms demonstrated a love for God, mercy, others, and His Word. Those are the pleasures we should steer them toward– the wisdom from above, integrity, living above reproach, making knowledgeable choices as a result of a multitude of wise counsel. And LISTENING to their little hearts. We can do none of these unless we listen to their hearts and then coach them, mentor them if you will, aim them toward godliness and righteousness. We can fill their lives with, “Mom prayed about everything” in pleasurable ways that impact their lives forever.

    I just finished rewatching “I Remember Mama” and reading the book upon which the movie was based, “Mama’s Bank Account.” Neither of my children are mothers yet, but when they become pregnant with their first baby, I plan to buy them the DVD and that book as very special gifts. I’ve seen the movie numerous times, but now I can rewatch it whenever I like. What a pleasure to own this delightful book. Talk about a wonderful mother. Oh, my. Nowhere in Kathryn Forbes’ mother’s story do you read about her being a woman of prayer, but her wholesome attitude left an indelible impression for good on each of her children.

    I think what you are also asking is, “How will my children ‘Remember Mama’?” The highest compliment my children paid to me was that, although they got a college degree, their “dream job” is to be stay-at-home wives and mothers. With glee I report that my first daughter to marry, our younger, went home from an excellent-paying secular job for the last time last Thursday. Hmmm. Will she be a mama soon? We’ll see! “The gift goes on!”


  7. This is a wonderful post. I’m not sure how anyone could read your post and conclude that you weren’t a “fun mom” just because you required your children to have manners. Children depend on us to teach them and send them out into the world prepared to live amongst others. My husband and I were raised with basic courtesy and we are raising our children that way. No one is having fun when they are subjected to the unpleasant behavior of others. It sounds to me like you were a wonderful and fun mom, and what a sweet tribute Ken wrote to you about it!

  8. The funny thing is, some of the most unhappy people on earth are the ones who seek fun as their number one goal. Happiness isn’t something you can get by striving for it. You can get temporary pleasure by seeking fun, but lasting happiness is a by-product of a life well-lived. Teaching children self-control and to value family, faith, and good character makes them happier in the end than teaching them to seek their own immediate pleasure.

  9. Thank you Tam. I tried to be as pleasant as I could in the circumstances I was in for “godliness with contentment is great gain” and many of us didn’t have the ability to have “fun” since we weren’t healthy enough. God is sufficient, thankfully, and gave me all the strength I needed and has blessed me with an amazing husband, children, and ministry.

  10. Thank you Kelley. I’m thinking I am going to make this into a post with Lindsay Harold’s comment since way too many younger mothers mistakenly believe that having fun is the only part of being a mother and if they’re not having fun then they are a bad mother. Blessings!

  11. Child raising is a lot of work while keeping up with all of the other chores that needs to be done. You can still raise wonderful children if you aren’t a fun mother, Carolina. Think of all the mothers in the older generations without all of the modern conveniences and wealth we have today. They probably had no time to play with and have fun with their children yet I am sure they raised good children.

  12. There is nothing wrong with good clean fun, its all about balance – being serious when you need to be and enjoying and laughing at other times. I was silly with my children and we had lots of laughters – it didn’t mean the house was forgotten or we lived in firth. Its really important for children to see a happy, laughing joyful mother and not one that was always serious and stern. Besides teaching and training our children we are also creating beautiful memories for them too. They need to be able to look back and remember happy and fun times with mum. It isn’t all about lessons.

  13. Lori,

    You are so right about Lindsay’s wise comment.

    I remember a mother telling me how she struggled severely with her firstborn. At one point she had to say to her disrespectful teen, “You’re right, sweetheart, I am not your friend, I’m your mother.” Mothering is not always “fun.” Isn’t it something that the Titus 2 aged woman is not advised to teach the younger to “have fun” with her children or to “seek pleasure” with them.

    As Lindsay states, “lasting happiness is a by-product of a life well lived.” Depth of character and stature must be taught and caught, and there is a price to pay that reaps eternal dividends… which money can never buy.

    Keep up the good work, dear mothers. You won’t get a second chance.


  14. You sound like a wonderful mother, Jo. I couldn’t be a happy, laughing mother because I was so ill but thankfully my children still remember a happy childhood. We are both blessed!

  15. When I think about my wonderful mom, I remember her engaging us in conversation and enjoying us, but she wasn’t my “buddy”. She was a mom. I would say she is a fun person, and happy/joyful, but she wasn’t a “fun” mom. I don’t remember her playing with us, but she taught us alongside her and brought us along with her as she did things, and showed us how to do interesting crafts, cooking, etc, and this was fun. I’m glad you wrote this, because I do have that condemning thought, “am I fun enough?”. This helps me remember that this isn’t my goal, but life is fun when we make it our goal to please the Lord and enjoy Him and our families/others in the process.

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