It's Summer. And as moms, you know what that means. Unless you are a homeschooling mom, you now have your kids home from school. If you have more than one child, you are dealing with bickering, fighting, laughing, playing and maybe a few hits. Or is that just at my house? Fighting over toys, movies and of course, who is annoying who the most. It's enough to drive a mom to drink more coffee!
I envy those moms who embrace and enjoy (almost) every aspect of their children's lives. You know those moms, you might be one yourself. You are happy! You are excited. You are most likely YOUNG (LOL). All of which I am typically NOT. :) Maybe I'm just bitter and jealous of all those moms who seemingly have it all together with endless patience and a plan. :) Comparing ourselves to other moms is deadly. It will steal and kill your joy. You just have to come up with a plan. And if I can do it, I know you can too. Which leads me to my plan for summer.
Structure. Planning. Rewards. Consequences. Reaching the Heart. Dependence. My dependence on God to ENJOY and EMBRACE the summer. The time with my children. To teach them to get along, not just referee fights (it really doesn't solve anything being a referee in case you haven't noticed). To grow and learn myself and to be truly THANKFUL for the blessings I have.
Conviction. I have really been convicted about being a really good mom. Not a perfect mom. Not a great mom, even though I aspire to greatness, of course. But being involved in my kids lives. Doing things with them instead of just assigning things to them to keep them occupied (In case you haven't figured that out, it really doesn't work). Setting up a structured environment. Having a plan. Yes, they are both in activities this summer (Hallelujah!!!!!). But if I truly want to enjoy my kids and have a great summer, I just won't be waiting until the next break, but enjoying living in the moment with my kids, the frustrating moments, one and all!!!
That being said, taking advantage of the breaks is important too. Just because your kids are home all summer doesn't mean you have to go crazy. There are bunches of free activities to do and I will add their links at the end of this post. Also, there are some really expensive ways to plan for your kids summer but there are also very reasonable, depending on your budget.
Here is my list for the summer.
1. (Almost) Free Movies - I am sure most of you have heard of these or taken advantage of these. I am going to attempt this with both my kids and see how the three year old does. Click HERE to learn more.
2. Free Bowling- Click HERE to see how your kids can plan 2 games
3. Library Summer reading programs, totally free. Just check with your local library.
4. Vacation Bible school!!! Where would we be without VBS??!!?? It's free. You can find multiple locations. And it gives you 2 to 3 hours of quiet. I have even found one my three year old can go to. Woo hoo!!!
My kids are also in a summer Mother's Day Out program two days a week (YAY!). We are signing both up for swimming lessons. I know some of you guys may not have the budget to pay for things for your kids. But, at the minimum, see if you can get a local babysitter to come in once a week to give you a few hours of free time. Or barter with other parents to have play dates and trade off so that you will have time by yourself. There is strength in numbers, I have found. When I have a friend over with her kids we kind of end up being like a community and we all help each other out and the load is not so hard to bare when it is one mom against the world. And you can usually find time to sit and chat between interruptions. :-)
And in case none of that that works. Just BREATHE. Listen to great music. Take a hot bath during nap time. Find time for yourself when you can get it.
We will do this. We will survive. We will not only survive we will flourish. And we will have fun.