The whole idea of summer break as a mom is somewhat new to me. My oldest just finished kindergarten and before that was only in preschool three half-days a week so I didn’t really get much a break anyway. But as her last few weeks of kindergarten came to a close, I started panicking about having all four kids at home all day, every day, for 3 months.
What if I get sick of my kids? What if I let them watch too much tv? What if they don’t have any fun? What if they play on the iPad too much? What if they start not liking me? What if they fight all the time? What if what if what if what if???
So I panicked. I signed the two-year old up for summer school three days a week for a month, the five and six year olds both had daily swim lessons for two weeks, and then I signed them up for two one week-long camps. That might not seem like an over-planned summer when you’re reading it, but the day-to-day of getting everyone ready, lunches packed, clothes packed, the baby fed, myself dressed, and everyone out the door on time to go to all these things is….. stressful. Summer isn’t supposed to be stressful! It’s supposed to be a lot of fun and little bit of boring.
So now here I am half way through the summer wishing I hadn’t panicked and signed up for all these activities. I enjoy the “freedom” (um, I can’t even type that word with a straight face) being a SAHM allows me and my kids- we can pick up and go places when we want and create our own unscheduled, adventurous days. And I totally took that away from myself this summer because I was scared. Scared of being around my own kids too much. Isn’t that crazy? And the craziest part of this craziness is that it’s not crazy at all! Someone came up with a definition of motherhood that says, “being a mom is wishing you had time to yourself away from your kids and then the moment you get it, wishing you were back with them.” It’s so true.
So now I know even though the kids love love love the camps they’ve been to so far, it’s ok for them not to go to all the camps. It’s ok for me to be around them a lot- I really do like those kiddos of mine! It’s ok for them to fight and get on each others nerves. It’s ok for them not to like me because I make them read before they can watch tv. Okay I do that last one like 15% of the time because I always forget about rules that I make up. Probably because I’m too busy making of a list of everything they need for their next camp. But the point is that it’s all ok. So next year we’ll keep it simple. And hopefully twelve months from now I won’t be writing a post about how everyone should sign all their kids up for all the camps because being around all the kids all summer is ridiculous.