Jackson finished first grade. Kate finished preschool.
And we all celebrated the first weekend of summer vacation with a stomach bug.
God bless us. It’s been a gross past few days. So much ick.
Even with all the grossness, I’m enjoying the summer break. It’s been nice to not have to think about doctor’s notes, emailing teachers, etc. We’ve all been so ready for the break from our normal school routine. My kids are 6, 5 and 2 ½ this summer (Jackson will be 7 in August). We are still in the little years. I often forget my kids are still very small, simply because it feels so much easier now than it did even a year ago.
The past 4 summers in particular have taught me so much about relaxing and letting go. Instead of coming up with a big list of (unreasonable) summer goals, I’ve tried to think of what would make this summer a win. My word this year is intentional. When I stopped to consider how I can be intentional with my family this summer this is what I came up with:
Truly connect with my kids. As I’ve learned over the past few years, it’s easy to be home all day with my kids but never truly connect with them. I tend to be very goal-oriented (obviously) so I have to make a conscious effort to connect with them and not just care for them. This summer I want to look for ways to connect with them individually by having a weekly date with each child. It probably will not be anything fancy – playing a board game, going on a walk, etc. Part of connecting is being present. I plan to put down my phone for the summer. Oh – I will have times where I check it but I want to look at my phone less. I don’t want their memories to be of me constantly glued to my phone.
Look for ways to make each day fun. Like I said last year, it’s not my job to make this a magical summer. But I do want them to enjoy it and have fun. We plan to do a lot of little things I know they enjoy, like going to the dollar movies on Tuesdays and Thursdays, trips to the park or zoo, visiting the library, maybe going hiking a few times and lots of time at the pool. They are participating in VBS with the church we are visiting and we have a couple days away for a vacation. I want it to be a fun time but not hectic. We are busy during the school year and I want the summer to be an enjoyable break.
Take care of myself. Last spring my years of not practicing self-care finally caught up with me. When all of my kids are home I find it challenging to take the time to care for myself. If I don’t, though, I am quickly depleted. We will continue to have a quiet hour after lunch (even though my 2 ½ year old is on the verge of giving up her nap – the sadness!). Going to bed early is still tough for me. But I’ve decided to prioritize my sleep and exercise this summer since I can say those are the two things to which I can attribute 90% of my attitude in life. Happy mom, happy family (etc., etc., etc.).
We don’t have fancy summer binders for the kids (maybe someday) or elaborate plans (definitely someday). But I do love summer and am so excited to see all of the simple pleasures this summer holds. The days are long but the years are short. I want to soak up every little bit of these short years and enjoy these moments with my kids.
What are your goals for this summer? I would love to hear about your plans!