Let's Shoot For Good Enough This Summer

 

It seems to me you have 3 options for a successful summer home with your kids.  Schedule everything.  Schedule nothing.  Or find a middle ground.

 

I've done the schedule everything.  For a while it was quite successful when the kids were younger.  I got nap times to decompress.  The activities weren't that intensive and their attention spans were mighty short so a lot going on every day was good.  They didn't mind doing the same things over and over again either - the same playground or splash pad was just fine.

 

But the kids are older now and the schedules are much more complicated.  Scheduling everything makes it seem like we are always on the go and never stop.  Like ever.  Even to use the bathroom.  I have visited the soccer field bathroom entirely too many times.  Years ago I would have avoided that place like the plague - who wants to change diapers in there?  But now I rely on it to clean up our hands after gulping down dinner quickly before sports practice and the water fountain there refills our always present water jug we haul everywhere.

 

I've tried unsuccessfully to do the schedule nothing plan.  I thought it was supposed to be relaxing to get back to the times of our childhood when all we had was a pot and wooden spoon and we were happy about it.  Or at least that's what all of these nostalgic bloggers are saying these days.  Go back to the 1990s.  We turned out just fine.  Stop the scheduling insanity!  It was OK the first few days I tried it.  Then I got bored.  The kids were on their iPads too much.  I ended up working or cleaning instead of relaxing.  This did not work for a long period of time.  1 day off, yes.  A whole summer?  I'm getting itchy just thinking about it.

 

So middle ground, you and I will have to find a way to love each other real soon.  Not 10 activities per day, not 0, but maybe 1 in the morning and 1 in the afternoon.  One of my clients posted this awesome "Summer Rules" list for her boys and I just love it.  She states that they can play on their devices as much as they want... but first they have to go through the list of chores: get dressed, clean your room, play outside, read, do your daily chores, etc.  Brilliant!  It's going to work well, too, especially here in Texas because by the time they get all of those things accomplished it will be 100 degrees and late into the afternoon.  As adults we don't even want to do much out and about at that time so it's a perfect break that they earned.

 

I've also thought about asking my kids what their "Top 3 Summer Wishes" are this year.  If we make a point to schedule the big stuff in, the other small things, like going to the pool or doing art projects, will fall into place around them.  My Top 3 may involve organizing their clothes yet again, but hey, it's my Top 3, so everyone has to play along.

 

We've also scheduled a different summer vacation this year - only a long weekend away instead of the traditional 2 weeks we usually take.  I am actually looking forward to this more because there's less prep ahead of time, less recovery afterwards, and since the vacation itself is short, we will make the most of it instead of frittering away some of the days.  It's aligned with my goal of not trying so hard that I make everyone crazy before we've even made it to our travel destination - do you ever do that?

 

So be like Goldilocks this year and find your summer balance - not too much, not too little, but just right.  I think her idea of eating and staying in bed seems perfect for the summer, don't you?  If you've got some better ideas, let me know.

 

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