Friday, July 8, 2016

4 things I am NOT doing this summer

Mom2MomEd blog: 4 things I am not doing this summer...and my kids will be just fine!
Summer is in full swing and the outdoor temperature is in the triple digits in my neck of the woods. 

As I write this, we’re going on a month of being out of school for the summer break. We’ve had time to decompress, adjust, and readjust as needed. Despite the initial excitement for summer break, my children and I have been together all day long, every day and it's enough for some of the novelty to have worn off.

I woke up this morning frantically scanning my brain for what we have planned to do today. I wasn’t thinking about what errands I need to do or what household tasks need to be completed. 

Nope, I was trying to remember what FUN activity I had planned for my kids for today. I almost slapped myself. 

Since, when do I need to make sure that our days--every single day--are filled with kid friendly activities in order to ensure my kids are not complaining in my ear? As a parent, when did I decide it was my job to ensure that my children are never bored and always, always, always engaged in an activity? 

This week alone, we’ve been to the zoo, the park, had friends over to play, gone dirt biking, and swam. In fact, we have gone swimming every. single. day.

How’s that for an activities packed summer? 

Enough is enough. I’m letting go of the guilt of not sending my kids to summer camp or taking them on fabulous family vacations or planning a daily activity so they can see their friends or be entertained at all times. I'm done trying to be the perfect mom because, guess what? No such thing exists!

I will continue to plan activities throughout the week because I do enjoy getting out and doing things, but I will not let a “free” day cause me any anxiety or worry or to feel like I am failing my children. Instead, I’m going to...gasp...

...let my children be bored

Save your mommy shaming judgments because I don't need them. 

My children can be bored and they will be just fine. I will be just fine. My husband will be just fine.

My children have plenty to keep them busy without me planning activities for every single day of the week. 

They can play in their rooms or the backyard, hang out with the chickens, play with the dog, climb a tree, investigate something or just sit and stare at each other. 

They'll be ok. 

This summer, I am NOT making it my job to entertain them 24/7. I’ve been there and done that. It’s exhausting. 

I’ve decided to make this summer just as much about me as it is about them. I mean after all isn’t this my break as well? I spent the last year driving around, volunteering, planning, scheduling, and coordinating every minute of our lives. 

Mama needs some downtime now too.  

Here are FOUR things I am NOT doing this summer:

1. I’m not spending my time or money on expensive camps. 
Summer camp is great and looks super fun, but right now it's just not for us. I can think of a million valid reasons why kids should go to summer camp. 

My kids will not be going. 

They stay plenty busy. Plus, my mom retired a couple of weeks ago and she’s my partner in crime. We don’t have time to drive my little guy and gal back and forth from camps and activities. We’ve got lost time to make up for with my own mom!

2. Rearranging my schedule because my kids don’t want to run errands. 
Errands  are boring for a kid. I get it. But...

You want toilet paper when you go to the bathroom? Where do you think that comes from? Someone’s got to run the errands and that someone is me. 

I’m also not going to go for the whole “Can I get a toy?” thing every time we step foot in a store. I'm telling you (and my kids) now that the answer will be NO.  

We’re getting dish soap and toilet paper today. You’re welcome. 

3. Trying to stay on a strict bath-book-bed routine. 
It’s gone. Over and out.

My kids haven’t had a proper bath in two weeks. Don't worry--they're clean! They’ve swam (daily), been sprayed with the hose, washed their faces, and used wet wipes. 

Bedtime has been anywhere from 7 pm to 9 pm every day this week and no one is sleeping in. 

We haven’t read a book at bedtime this week and we are all surviving. The kids have clean pajamas and brush their cute little teeth every night and that’s pretty much all I’m worried about right now. 

It’s summer. 

4. Forcing rest time without an electronic babysitter. 
Since my kids don’t nap and mama needs to stay sane, I still make them go in their rooms every afternoon to “rest.” 

Until recently, I’ve been adamant that they play with their toys quietly, look through a book or do something that doesn’t involve the iPad. But, that has simply resulted in both of them coming out of their rooms every 20 seconds to ask if rest time is over or if I can get them milk, water or a snack tray. 

YES, my daughter came out one day and asked me for a snack tray. What is that you ask? Well she informed me that a snack tray is a lot of different snacks so she can try a lot of food.  

Apparently, I’m a caterer now too. 

So, to ensure that I get some peace and quiet of my own to recharge, I’m giving up and letting the iPad entertain my kids during our daily rest. If it keeps them quiet and saves me from having to put together a snack tray, I’m all for it. 

This is not an inclusive list. I guarantee that by the end of the summer I will have let a whole other mess of things go. This is just a reminder to myself (and to you, dear parents) that this summer doesn’t have to be all about the kids. 

It’s ok to do things differently and to do what you need to do to not just survive but to thrive as an adult human being who happens to be a parent. I’m not going to panic when I wake up tomorrow and don’t have anything planned. 

I’m going to push my kids out the back door, hand them popsicles and watch them through the window. 

I’m going to get around to scrubbing them one of these days, but until then, they will continue to rinse off in whichever body of water we happen to be swimming in that day. 

I’m going to let the iPad come out every single day at rest time because that’s what I need to stay sane.  They’ll get dragged to Target, Starbucks, Costco and  wherever else I need to go. 

I guarantee they will survive. 

But, you know what? One thing I WILL be doing this summer is to make the best, most appetizing snack trays possible! 

How do you do things differently in the summer? Are there certain routines that you let slide? Ones that you keep consistent? Share your answers in the comments!
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