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Moms Just Want to Have Fun! But They Aren't, Survey Says

The Short of It

According to a new "State of Fun" survey commissioned by shoe brand Crocs, the state of American moms' fun is that they aren't having nearly enough of it!

The Lowdown

Is motherhood all work and no play? The answer is "yes" for 63 percent of U.S. moms, who admit they're having less fun today than they did 10 years ago.

Crocs Chief Marketing Officer Terence Reilly said in a press release, "We polled more than 2,200 adults in the U.S. and about 13,000 across six countries for the first-ever Crocs 'State of Fun' survey, and uncovered a much larger fun deficit in America than we ever imagined, especially among moms."

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As many as 79 percent of mothers are yearning for more fun in their lives, and it makes sense; what with caring for sick kids, getting far too little sleep, planning activities for the family, and endless loads of laundry—heck, endless responsibility!—mothers have 10 fewer days of fun per year versus the general population, the study found.

Why is fun in short supply for the average mom? Apparently...

  • 61 percent don't have extra money to spend on fun or activities
  • 52 percent are too consumed with a busy home life and responsibilities
  • 38 percent are overwhelmed with caring for children

Meanwhile, 90 percent of moms report feeling overly stressed. Are we mothers facing a "fun deficit" crisis?

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It doesn't take a survey to tell us more fun would mean a happier life for moms, with more smiles and belly laughs, more energy, and less stress! But the numbers support this; almost 60 percent of mothers polled say more fun would translate into less stress about life's daily problems and would mean they'd raise their voices less. So everybody would win! In fact, 64 percent of Americans agree that if mom's not happy, nobody's happy.

The Upshot

Audrey McClelland, co founder of MomGenerations.com and a mom-of-five, partnered with Crocs to offer these tips for incorporating more fun into your life, without having to spend too much money. Try some of her suggestions this Mother's Day!

  1. Get outside! Connect your kids with the outdoors early—head out to local nature trails and enjoy a family hike. Take photos, journal your experience and create a memory that will last until the leaves change.
  2. Get cultured. In many cities, cultural institutions, such as museums, science centers and the zoo, are FREE. Even better, many have dedicated children's sections to help your kids better connect with the arts and science at a young age. Plan an arts or science day out and explore the free institutions in your city.
  3. Farm to table. Who says farmers markets or rural farms are the only place to get fresh produce? Help your kids understand the food cycle by creating a flower garden or vegetable garden in your backyard or neighborhood. You'll be creating fun for the entire summer!
  4. Kid chefs. Using what's already in your pantry, help your kids get creative their own baked creations.
  5. Construct a fun zone! Let your kids sketch out the dream fort and with their help, build a fort in your living room with blankets and pillows.

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I agree given how hectic life gets with a job and three kids, fun can be hard to come by. But I try (try being the key word) to stop and enjoy the little moments that make everything worthwhile, whether it's my toddler saying something totally hilarious, my 5-year-old just hugging me out of the blue, or my second-grader teaching me some silly song she learned on the bus. For me, it's about finding the fun amid the chaos, even if it only lasts a short time, and then you have to dive back into the busyness of life!

How do you have fun with your family?

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