Every June, I look forward to the end of the school year and the beginning of summer. I think about all the reasons why life is about to get brighter:
- No more packing school lunches while hearing the repetitive question, “Why can’t we just buy our lunch, Mom?”
- Waking up at will versus a cacophony of alarm clocks going off early in the morning.
- “Laissez-faire-ing it” versus feeling like a ping pong ball bouncing between after-school activities and sports practices.
- Ditching boring school uniforms for vibrant bathing suits, flip flops, and cover-ups.
But, just like how many first time moms forget how excruciating childbirth is and go for that second (or third) child, we often forget how being a summertime mom can be a bit painful. We only regain our senses and memory after the sheen of summer wears off (usually a few weeks into it). Suddenly, we are:
- Responsible for maintaining the fun—even when we are also responsible for work (whether it be domestic, professional or both).
- Mom-guilting because we have forgotten to reapply or remind our children to reapply sunscreen and they are now sunburned.
- Struck with the thought, “So why did I hate having a routine, again?”
- Disgusted about the wet bathing suit that has been “cesspooling” in our kid’s bathroom for over a week.
However, don’t sweat it. I have learned a simple equation:
Summertime + Boundaries = Funtime for Kids & Us
- Have a beginning of summer celebration with, for example, watermelon and a unicorn sprinkler (Edwards house) or a family pool party (Fromdahl house). Once everyone has released some energy and celebrated to some degree, talk with your children about your expectations for the summer. This might mean that they still need to make up their bed upon waking and brush their teeth and hair before launching into summer chill mode. Or, this might mean encouraging them to get a summer job/side hustle such as a lemonade stand or dog walking.
- Set up a reward system. If they meet your expectations, maybe you get an ice cream maker and the family makes (healthy) homemade ice cream.
- Be prepared to dole out consequences. If they do not meet expectations, maybe they get TV privileges taken away for a week.
- Lastly, remember you too deserve a little kick back time.
Sending U Good “Q”—Laura and Becca