Ready or not, summer is here! My kids have one hour left until the bell rings and life changes drastically for the next three months. I know it rolls around every single June, but I’m still terrified. And I don’t want to be. I want to be the kind of mom that’s excited and looking forward to spending 24/7 with her kids. I’d like to be the kind of mom that loves chaos and unstructured days and endless hours at the pool. Unfortunately, I AM the mom that literally wants to go hide in a closet and cry because I’M NOT READY. I’ll never be ready. I know I’m about to enter into three solid months of power struggles, arguments, food battles, and NONSTOP negotiations over screen time. No genuine alone time to recharge my soul, no freedom to have my days play out the way I want them to, no reliable afternoon nap that I so highly depend on for my sanity the other nine months of the year.
Summer has a lot of redeeming qualities. But in these last few days of school, it’s really hard for me to see them. I thought that making a list of easily obtainable goals might give me a little more hope that these next months can be FUN. Days to enjoy instead of days to dread. In some ways, my expectations for this summer are pretty low because my ankle is still healing and I don’t have the energy or stamina to do a lot of the things I’d normally like to do in summer. But that’s giving me the freedom to accept a slower summer, a quieter summer, a summer that’s a lot more driven by what my kids actually want and not by what I think they need to make it memorable. At the same time, those day trips and outings are what usually make the summer more enjoyable for ME. I like to get out of the house and enjoy time with my kids that I can never seem to find when we’re at home all day. At home, I’m like a drill master. By necessity. If we leave the house, we’re suddenly connecting because I’m focusing on them and not the eight zillion things on my to do list and the four million messes strewn in every room of the house. So somehow I need to find a balance between all of it this summer so all four of us can enjoy the passing days.
Easily achievable goals that will make me feel a whole lot better going into the summer and can hopefully be done in the next week!
- Clean out my car.
- Declutter all random piles in general living spaces.
- Clean out the fridge and freezer.
General parenting goals to survive the day to day
- Keep a large visual weekly calendar complete with any non-negotiable errands, day trips, or appointments.
- Enforce said calendar so they know that there’s no wiggle room to argue and complain if something was already planned for the day.
- STAY STRONG in parenting, not letting them take advantage of me in my weak moments (and not letting them knowingly make me weak with their incessant whining). Remember that I’m the MOM and if they’re mad at me, I will survive it. Having a child mad at me for enforcing perfectly reasonable parenting rules should not affect my mental energy the way it would if Greg or a friend or other adult family member felt that way about me!
Fun goals for family connection
- Go on a two night family vacation. Make it happen.
- Visit at least 5 new dog parks in the Madison area with Annie.
- After summer school is over, plan and go on at least one day trip or special outing a week.
- Take each child on an individual date night at least once per month. Try harder to have one on one time at home in between the date nights.
Personal achievement goals
- Prioritize self care. Know what you need to keep your sanity and DO IT. No excuses.
- Make at least 10 dolls per month. Work is not and should not be my highest priority over the summer months. But I know I need it to keep myself and my customers happy, so I need to at least do the bare minimum.
- Read. A lot. All the time. It’s worth it, it’s not being lazy. It’s important. And fun!
- Write more than just my weekend blog posts. I love to write and this is a good time to do it more often!
Health related goals
- Be able to walk regularly by September. Hopefully with daily practice I can do that. I’ll start with trying to walk to and from summer school with the boys every day in June. Work up to dog parks and day trips. And hopefully be a lot stronger by fall.
- Keep healthy food stocked, prepped, and ready to eat.
- Keep meal planning simple, but in existence. Always have easy meals ready to make and on hand, so we don’t resort to eating junk food all day, every day.
- Stay cool, calm, and positive. I CAN DO THIS.
And that’s it! Summer is here! We can do this!