When Summer Stresses You Out

20140528-085521-32121779.jpgCan we just un-romanticize Summer a bit? I mean, that’s probably extremely un-American of me, but seriously, Summer for Moms can feel like New Years, with all its possibilities and resolutions. A lot expectations, a lot of list making.

Sometimes I feel like we have great intentions as Moms, but in the end it’s as if we are trying to cram one lifetime and ten childhoods into one unforgettable and possibly unattainable summer. We become Tour Guide Barbie gone wild!

My summer-to-do list starts with wanting to get all my awesome photos from the photo shoots of the past THREE YEARS into frames and even better, possibly in frames AND on a wall. A scrapbook or photo album, would be a nice runner-up, but leave me feeling less accomplished.

I’d like to organize my pantry. Again. And my home office and master bedroom. Again.

I want to use the water park passes once a week, help at VBS, do crafts with Hope, hit the $1 movies for kids, help my boys change bedrooms, take weekly trips to the library, do some learning skills prep, get my high schooler going on Rosetta Stone Mandarin, put all the pictures and curtains for Hope’s room that I have saved for 5 years actually into her room and onto her walls.

I’d like to read a few books, go on a vacay, exercise more and engage with my kids.

And that’s the short list.

Can you say OVERACHIEVER???? I’m just hard-wired this way, and my wires get tripped like this when I have any time available to do something.

With the dreaded “I’m Bored” phrase lurking on the tip of their tongues and “I want to get something done” phrase dripping off mine, Summer can leave us just as depleted and crazy as a school year.

So, what really matters most? When you put away all the expectations and cancel all the calendars, what is really left?

People. Our children, our husbands, our friends and family. People are eternal, activities, thank the good Lord, are not.

Ignore the house, cuddle the kids and breathe. Do the eternal. Everything else can wait.

If you can’t do it all this summer, but you can love on your kids, include them in an activity, encourage them to learn how to play by themselves or share with a sibling, I’d say you are preparing them for the wide, wide world.

If all you get done is reading a good book, but they are fed, loved and cared for, well then Momma, you done good.

Teaching our kids to slow down, to lower expectations of us and others around them could perhaps be the best Summertime curriculum of all.

Let each member of the family choose 1-2 things that they don’t want to finish Summer without having experienced. You may be surprised at how short their list is and how simple they approach a few months wide open with possibilities. My expectations of myself have always been higher than my children’s expectations of me. The same can be true for activities. Many times, our kids just want to be free to do nothing, or just be kids. They are on-the-go so much during school, a nice, relaxing day at the pool, a day watching all their favorite movies in one sitting, a day at the kitchen table creating and painting, or a day knee deep in a pile of Legos, may be all they’re asking for. So, go ahead, ask them.

Before you head off into your Summer of who knows what fun, I have to leave you with a link to one of the most hilarious posts I’ve read. I literally sat in Barnes and Noble and laughed until I cried. Jen Hatmaker, fellow blogger, writer and Mom of many, wrote about what it’s like to be a Mom at the end of the year. I. CAN. RELATE. to this post!

I use to be Room Mom and now I’m THAT Mom. The one who is late, the one who forgets the project due in preschool, the permission slip due for field trips, that Teacher Appreciation Day is TODAY, not next week. It has been incredibly humbling for this overachiever, and recovering perfectionist, to be THAT Mom. In a way though it’s freeing.

This ones for all us imperfect Mommas, who on some days have nothing to offer but our love. And I haven’t met a child yet, who thinks that is not enough. Enjoy and be encouraged, you’re not alone.

Worst End of School Year Mom Ever

How Moms Can Have Summer Skies Everyday


  1. Thank you for this! I needed it.

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