Every year before the kids get out for summer break I start to panic a little inside... wondering who thought it would be a good idea to let kids out for three months during the summer (no offense teachers I know you need a break)? I loved summer break as a child but I also had a stay at home mom and a grandma we lived with so getting carted around, having friends over or finding something to do, wasn't an issue.
Fast forward to my kids lives... I have always worked full-time so summer's haven't been much different for them other than getting to sleep in (because the longer they sleep in the less time I have to come up with ideas to entertain them). I sometimes get jealous when I look at social media and see all the fun everyone is having and then the mom guilt sets in for reals.
Am I doing enough? Have they had enough fun experiences? Are they playing video games too much? Etc. We are constantly critiquing and judging ourselves about how much we should be doing vs. what we are really doing. This isn't just moms that feel this... I am sure there are dads out there that feel this way too... I just don't remember my dad having to plan or organize or anything when it came to summer or us kids in general and I also don't hear anyone I know ask my male friends or co-workers what they have planned for the kids this summer. Moving on...
How can we tell if we are doing enough? If we are up to par? Is it ok that my kid is watching Gossip Girl? :) Have they showered in the last ten days? What I have learned, is that all we can do is our best to create memories with our kids, teach them discipline & consequences, remember that quality is better than quantity and if our kids aren't assholes then I think it is safe to say we are doing pretty great.
The past few summers we have done a lot of camping. That has been our main focus on weekends, trying out different places where there is no XBOX or cell service sometimes and just unplugging. We also do drive-ins, movies outside in the back yard, BBQ's and then for a real treat Lagoon... and by treat I mean smoldering hot crowds.
I feel like my kids have gone to some pretty cool places in their lives, even out of the country (which I didn't do until I was 21) so they aren't short on experiences or being cultured. I have to remind myself of this when I start thinking I am Captain No Fun in the summer. They have friends that have never been out of Utah so they have no room to compare or complain.
Some may read my posts and think my common theme for the year is lowering expectations and maybe that is what I am doing, because after Jaxson graduated a year ago I think I was burnt the hell out on everything. There were also times I thought of when looking back, that I was so strung out on organizing, planning, volunteering, etc. that I didn't just live in the moment and when I blinked, he was 18. So this is my ode to all the moms out there... you are doing a great job! You are enough! Slow down! Your kids don't need to be in a million different extra curricular activities or be overstimulated with things to do... stop overthinking it... we played with bugs and dirt and we turned out ok. :) My motto is, we do the best we can do and when we know better, we do better.