Surving Summer with The Kids
I’m in education. That means that every summer I get a few weeks off to catch up on everything I don’t do August through June. For the first 6 years of my career that meant sleeping, laundry, and ridiculous TV shows. And then I had kids. There’s a lot more laundry, very little sleeping, and managing the expectations of two little people who want so much but don’t have gainful employment. This is my second summer at home with them as ‘big kids’ and it’s different from when they were cute, squishy babies. I’d like to offer some tips to other parents, who like me, may struggle with what to do with all this ‘free time’ with their ‘big kids’.
- Stop calling it ‘free time’. There is nothing free or freeing about being woken up at 6:30 on your first day of vacation by a child who you can’t pay to wake up early during the school year. Even though you plead and beg for ten more minutes, unless you slip into a coma, they’re going to keep coming back.
- Breakfast of Champions. Yea, okay. Look, I’m all about nutritious, well balanced meals, but the expectation that I’m going to wake up every morning cooking omelettes and dirty up all those dishes…nope. Froot Loops and Cinnamon Toast Crunch never hurt anybody.
- Make No Plans. Everyday my husband asks me what the game plan is for the next day. Through eyes begging for a nap – my kids are at that no nap stage – I reply that the goal is to keep the natives from mauling each other and avoid Disney Junior as much as possible. Unless it’s a doctor’s appointment we take each day as it comes.
- Release the Guilt. Look here, I have some friends who are AWESOME. They plan great things for their children to do, cook great meals, get up and get dressed everyday, and even read and do other hobbies over the summer. That’s great…but I don’t know anything about that. And guess what, we’re okay. Kids are still growing. House is still standing. And everyone has clean underwear.
So parents out there, if all you do is nothing with your kids this summer, it’s okay. You’ve taught them a valuable skill many of us could use…the pleasure of not being busy all the time. Not to mention the fact that you probably got in a whole lot of cuddle time with one of God’s greatest blessings.
Until next time…