But I do love my kids.
So this summer, come hell or high-water (only one is likely during Texas summers), I'm going to gladly anticipate it and enjoy my kids throughout it. In order to do that, I have to keep a few things in mind. Maybe this will help you, too (unless you're one of those moms that makes me feel bad by totally loving summer):
My main goal for our summer break this year isn't to stuff it so full of activities that I end up resenting my children. Granted, we do have a pretty full calendar already, but nothing is set in stone. If
we're I'm tired and stressed, we'll just chill at the house and swim or bake or watch TV all day. ;) It's summer, afterall. Summer was made for wasting time.
It is just plain hard to keep everything running when the kids are home all day (or is it - more on this later!!). On any given day I like to have a certain amount of things done:
- dishes (getting behind on dishes just kills me)
- kitchen floor swept (this is not overkill for a mother of 3 boys with no dog)
- counters cleaned off (so I can breathe)
- loaf of bread made (breadmaker, y'all, it takes 5 minutes)
- food planned for and served (even if it is just bean and cheese tacos)
- laundry worked on (my new system is actually working great, btw - gotta blog about it)
- workout/jog (comin' atcha, 26.2!!!)
- pool care (summer is much harder than winter)
- toys put away at the end of the day
- kids bathed, etc.
- nighttime routine with kids
And those are just the everyday things. There are a ton of peripherals that need to get done in the interim (entertaining, volunteering, shopping, organizing, other obligations).
So my recovering-perfectionist self wants to say, "Okay, kids, Mommy has to do all of this before we leave." And then I'd work my fingers to the bone while the kids sat on the couch watching Netflix.
So then I'd see the idiocy of that and be tempted to say, "Oh kids, let's just leave those dishes in the sink and those clothes on the floor and go to Six Flags." You can see that that's still dumb, right?
"Oh but they have to know they come before housework," right? Still wrong.
Mamas (et al.), I've turned a new leaf. I promise to tell you more about this after I get a better grasp on it, but this summer I'm not going to lead my kids into the entitlement trap!!! They'll work for what they want and reap the benefits that come with responsibility. If they want to go to Six Flags, then they'll have the house clean and their snacks packed. Boom! New leaf, y'all. (We've started on this, and they are seriously different children - and not robots, I promise.)
Don't Forget to Bond
I know this sounds like I'm being overly sentimental or overly ambitious, but, in all seriousness, if I just take my kids from place to place and don't actually engage them, then it's all in vain. And I'll be the first to admit that I'm totally guilty of that.
Taxiing them around all summer doesn't grow love. I'm not doing anything to build their character by buying them all the pool toys they want. That's so obvious; I know, but I do it anyway! Why! You probably don't do that, but I'm just sayin'. I really do want to connect with them.
For our family, I really think that getting the us as a unit to a healthy place will bring us closer together. We've GOT to nip this entitlement thing in the bud. Once we get in a good place on that, which we're working on, we'll be able to work on the next steps, like fostering creativity and curiosity through shared experiences. I'm super excited about that, and I can't wait to tell you how it goes (I have a little something up my sleeve for that one).
So yes, this is quite idealistic, but I'm alright with that. ;) Here's to thriving this summer, not just surviving!