How to play like a mother

How to play like a mother

How to play like a mother

By Published On: May 10th, 2024

My mother is losing her memory to dementia.  

At 93, though, her sense of play is sharper than ever. 

Whether joking with staff in her assisted care residence, visiting me over Facetime (sibling assisted, of course), or participating in a group activity (like chair tennis, which you can watch here ), my Mom shows us daily how to play like a mother.

And seeing as it’s Mother’s Day this weekend, while motherhood has traditionally been associated with giving birth and raising biological children, it extends far beyond biological ties. 

Adoptive mothers, stepmothers, foster mothers, guardians, mentors, and even friends who provide care and support can all embody the role of a mother. 

Playing like a mother is a lot like changing habits – it often involves a mix of creativity, nurturing, and adaptability.

It’s our moral obligation as mothers to look after ourselves.  That’s what the philosophy and action of PLAY, “Please look after yourself,” are rooted in for myself and the clients I work with.

If you are trying to change and grow, here are a few ways to adopt a playful mindset towards your health and wellbeing:

  1. Being Present: Whether you’re doing your pre-bed routine, eating, or moving your body, engage fully in the moment by removing distractions.  Try giving your undivided attention.
  2. Setting Boundaries: Establish clear boundaries for the change you are trying to make.  Want to eat fewer chips?  Maybe don’t buy them.  John Berardi, co-founder of Precision Nutrition, once said, “If it’s in your house, you or someone you love will eat it.”
  3. Embracing Messiness: Don’t be afraid to get messy and ditch the all-or-nothing mindset.  Changing your habits takes time, consistent effort, and embracing imperfection. 
  4. Being Patient: Remember that changing habits is a learning process, so be patient and supportive as you explore and experiment.
  5. Joining In: Don’t want to make changes alone?  Find an accountability partner, or better yet, hire a coach (hint!) who will help keep you on track.  
  6. Celebrating Achievements: Acknowledge and celebrate your progress, no matter how small.  Patting yourself on the back goes a long way in building confidence and self-esteem.
  7. Adapting and Flexibility: Be flexible and willing to adapt to your changing interests and needs.  What works one day may not work the next.  Be open to trying new things and adjusting your approach accordingly.

Whatever healthy habit you choose, please start small and set goals you feel confident meeting.  

Happy Mother’s Day, and play on, my friends!

Your coach,


PS: Whenever you are ready, here are 3 more ways I can help you PLAY for life:

  1. Click here to grab a copy of my best-selling book, The Play Book: How To Get In The Habit Of Good Health.
  2. Join the FREE 7-Days of Healthy Habits Course that can help you starting today.
  3. Do you want to work with me on your wellness goals?  I have two spaces left in my Spring cohort.  Click here to book a call.

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About the Author: Janet Omstead

To re-ignite people’s passion for play (movement) to fight chronic disease while improving their quality of life as they age.

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