When Summer Starts in a Dream World

Our summer started with quickly leaving for the beach for almost two weeks.  Each day began at the pool or beach and ended, at the pool or beach.  Each afternoon when the little napped, I had quiet time to read or tackle email or honestly, do whatever I wanted.  Within that time the husband and I got to go away for a night, and then away for a few more to go to a wedding without kids.  We listened to whatever we wanted in the car, talked, or let's be honest, sometimes didn't talk and just enjoyed the quiet.

And then, reality hits.  We're into real summer now. The constant, hot, and sometimes sticky days of summer.  We're eating outside as much as possible because less crumbs + mess + sticky (as long as you brush everything off so the ants don't come...) 

As school was winding down I threw out the idea of the bucket list (you can see more on that here) and recently (as in the last day) had this light bulb moment that maybe I don't have to think summer is the best thing ever, and maybe you don't either. 

Don't get me wrong, I think summer is great.  However, if I'm constantly trying to entertain or provide stuff for my kids to do, I'll be a raisin come September. I'll be depleted and deflated, and let my tell you I'm not saying this from the perspective of someone who doesn't signs up for a bunch of camps or in reality has any camps for my kids scheduled.  I'd love them if they were 2 hours maybe, but many in our area are all day situations.  We're at the pool or taking walks or just doing life, now until September.

While I'm writing this, one child is napping, one has pulled out the hose and sprayed his brother, and the other is telling me how bored they are.  Sound familiar? Because I'm constantly being interrupted, they've now been upstairs, somehow managed to not wake the babe, and are now outside laughing and having a Popsicle.  Life is good.

What do we do when we aren't trying or wanting to add something else to our list- and yet we know we need some self care too.  Waking around 5 with the littlest and bed by 8:30 if we're honest with the big's isn't a sustainable thing for me.  I'm an introvert through and through, and really want to try that enneagram situation that's everyone is buzzing about.  I need some time for myself to recharge, or I go downhill fast. 

Here's the thing- I'm not saying my kids won't have a great summer, they will.  And I'm not saying I feel bad about writing this while I've told them to go play, because I don't.  I'm writing all this because I think there are many of us in the same boat.  We're told "these are the days" and I get it- they are!! But they are also hard days and every changing.  They're days we are pouring out for so many and need to pour into ourselves too.  You cannot draw from an empty well.

So, for my Mom so she doesn't think I'm going crazy... ;) Here are the things I'm doing for myself.

1.  Reading at Night.  I basically don't look at my phone after 9 and try to read for an hour before bed.  I'm currently reading Girl Wash Your Face, Crazy Rich Asians, and the Life Giving Parent.  Apparently I get to pick my flavor of ice cream each night.

2.  I'm listening to Podcasts.  I love working my brain in that way while the kids play, while I unload the dishes, fold laundry, etc.  Benjamin and I loved Hey Dad and I'm also really enjoying Risen Motherhood.

On the list of things to plan for- a regular sitter during the week, date nights, and a regular sitter during the week. I realize I repeated myself there.

Here's to summer.  My "10 more minutes" timer has gone off, and now it's time to meet some friends at the pool.

what mom's really want.

At this point in motherhood things that happen to me aren't as big of deal as they once were, and yet, I'm still learning.  This morning my toddler tried to escape gymnastics while I was talking to my son's coach, I fed my kids all the packaged snacks I once said "I would never do.." in the car and called it lunch, and then when we got home my one year old said "lunch."  Yah right kid- all those packaged snacks were your lunch.  Ok fine.  You can have a cheese stick.

It hit me while I was putting him down for his nap that us mom's aren't tired because of physical activity all the time, although yes, let us wear workout clothes all the time, it's because the mental capacity we need to keep up with all the things can be exhausting.  We return things and wash things and pack presents and feed families, work our minds at other jobs, and sometimes iron.  Oh, just me? There's a huge pile in my closet yelling at me.

Today at my son's school we were to send in something sweet or minty for our teachers.  I went the sweet route and made them draw pictures and write cards this morning.  Ya know what? The parking lot was packed today with all the mom's bringing in all the things for the teachers.  I'm here to balance things out.  We drew a picture.

And then, this weekend it's mother's day.  This holiday is an interesting one for me because I'm already thinking about Father's day and what we're going to do for that.  Here's what I know I don't want to do- dishes.  And so, we'll eat out some, maybe grill, maybe eat on paper plates.  Whatever it takes to keep the kitchen clean.

Presents are pretty typical when it comes to mother's day, right?  Flowers, a book, maybe something smelly.  Overall, I think Mom wants time- and to not have to do the dishes.

** note- this was written before mother's day and then my computer freaked out and I wasn't able to finish it and hit send.  I wanted to post it regardless, because I'm working on continuing to breathe life into this space.  Also, this picture is the only one I took on Mother's Day.  I asked for worms.  Nope.