Hello hello! Sorry for the blog silence this week… It’s been crazy town over here finishing out the school year, packing to switch classrooms in the fall (more space!!), and welcoming MY NEW NEPHEW on Tuesday!!
Technically, Monday is the last day of school, but we just have a teacher luncheon that day etc., so I’m celebrating today. Happy start of summer to me!!!
I’ve been thinking lots about this summer. In some ways, I’ve thought of it as an extended maternity leave and envisioned long, lazy days with coffee/lemonade, pajamas/bathing suits, and snuggles/snuggles; but, in other ways, I’m anxious to jump into a full schedule with a million fun activities, something planned for every day, and a mile-long To Do list. Really, I want both. Is that too much to ask?!?
I think, for now, I’ve settled on this… We need routine, but we don’t really need a schedule. We need to get out of the house and do things, but we don’t need to be busy. I want our summer to be full and fun and also restful and refreshing. I want the freedom to say yes when a friend invites us over to play AND the freedom to say no to the things that don’t work for us.
Here’s how I’m going to attempt to strike that balance:
– Against all my natural tendencies, I’ve resisted the urge to sign Sam up for anything structured or scheduled this summer. As much as I’d love him to take swim and soccer lessons or participate in the library’s summer story time, I know us. We do well to do get out of the house each day, but we don’t do well with set times to be places – especially when those times are before 10AM. So instead, we will go to the pool with my mom. We will play soccer at the playground. We will spend afternoons at the library picking out books to bring home. Sure, some times we’ll try to catch one of the dollar movies at our local theater or meet friends for a morning play date, but I like the of starting each week with a clean slate and filling it in from there. White space. We need it.
– Most days, I’m going to try really hard to keep 2:30 – 4:30PM sacred for naps and rest. As you well know, I’ve never been particularly good at putting my babies on a schedule or keeping it. BUT, I do think consistency is good for all of us. I also think rest is good for all of us. I know this won’t work out perfectly every single day, but I like the idea of being able to count on at least two hours of quiet each day. At home. With iced coffee. I also hope to use this time to do some school work (I teach an online English class in the summers) blog, and work on a special little blog project I’m hoping to reveal in the fall. With very few exceptions, I’m going to try to say no to things that fall between these hours and – most importantly – not feel guilty about it.
– I’m going “phone free” from 6 – 9. This week, I dropped my cell phone in the toilet, and thus had to sequester it in a bag of rice for 36 hours from Wednesday night to this morning. (FYI, it worked!!) Y’all, it was HARD not having a phone for that time. I try to brush it off like it’s just “the world we live in today” or “I’m not different than anyone else,” but I use my phone A LOT. I’m probably addicted, and that’s not good. I’m going to be intentional about learning to disconnect and focus on my family at least for those three hours each evening. (Obviously, I plan to focus on them for more than three hours a day, but I’m starting there with the phone.)
– I’m taking one “kid free” day a week to do chores. Here’s what I’ve learned about myself lately — weekly cleaning schedules aren’t my jam. I know they look cute on Pinterest and taped on the fridge, and they work really well for a lot of people, but not me. As dumb as it might be with kids, I like my whole house clean at the same time. I don’t want clean windows but dirty floors. It just doesn’t have the same effect. A clean house relaxes me and makes me happy, and I’m tired of apologizing for and trying to change that. SO, Jeff and I are working it out so that I can have about 5 hours one day a week (probably Thursday) to do all the dusting, vacuuming, Windexing, and mopping, I can possibly squeeze in. I’ll do other things – like laundry, dishes, and tidying – throughout the rest of the week, but I want to go to bed and wake-up in a totally clean house at least once a week. The other days, I’ll chill out a little bit, because I know Thursday is coming.
– And, finally, I’m going to get up early. This is kind-of a no brainer really… I’m mostly a morning person (at least more than I am a night person), and I need some time each day to myself to be still, to exercise, and to get some things done. I’m sure this won’t be easy every morning (and I’ll make some exceptions after particularly bad nights with Nora), but I’m actually looking forward to my quiet mornings alone. 5AM – here I come!
So, there are my “goals” for a slowish summer… What do you think? What are your plans and hopes for this season?
P.S. Here’s a good article on this topic: “I’m opting for a ‘slow parenting’ summer” and “50 Slow Summer Fun Ideas to Help Ban Busy”
These are awesome! I especially love the no phone rule. I’ll adjust the times to fit my kids’ schedules/bedtimes (probably 4-7pm) but that’s a super good idea. Should find a spot to park it, have the ringer on (since I don’t have a landline) for calls only (ignoring texts!), and leave it there the full 3 hours. And if I have to take a pic, use my awesome DSLR! Thanks for the inspiration. 🙂
Amen about the cleaning schedules! I never understood that either – if I am going to go to all that effort to clean one area, I’d rather just do everything and be done with it.
I love the plan for you summer. I hope that’s me in a few years, enjoying my teacher summers with two kids to keep my busy. 🙂 I am getting married this summer so there won’t be much slow about it. I have my shower, bachelorette party, wedding, and honeymoon! Then it will be August and back to school with FFA officer retreats and fundrasiers. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I know there will be a couple of slow days to relax and I will cherish those.
Lisa Walter says
I have a 3 month old and I’m already kind of worried about leaving him at daycare when I go back to work in the fall, so one of my summer goals is to just be in the moment with both of my kids. I want to loosen the death grip on my iPhone, and enjoy my time with my babies. We plan to swim, hike, and just take it easy. I’m visiting my family in NY at the end of this month and I’m taking my big kid for a Mommy and Me date in NYC. Other than that, we will just let each week fill itself up on its own. I also am a firm believer in nap/rest time. Baby naps, and big kid reads quietly in his room. Its a blissful two hours-when it actually works-lol! I am also new to blogging so my hope is to dedicate some time to figuring it all out, finding a blog name I truly love, and then possibly having it designed by a professional. I hope you have a great summer!
Nicole Merrell says
My plan is to come visit you!!!
Your goals for the summer are awesome. I appreciate how you are honest about what works for you and your family and planning around that… way more sensible than aiming for something improbable or impossible just because you feel like you should. Kudos! Looking forward to hearing about how it all goes. 🙂
Oh I love your philosophy of wanting to do things but not be busy. I also admire you for wanting to use your five kid-free hours per week for cleaning! I would probably use them to binge watch Netflix and crash on the couch. Hope your summer is wonderful!