Summer has finally arrived! The build up of the end of the school year parties, graduations and half days has everyone ready to throw their books up in the air, put on their bathing suits and hit the pool or beach. Personally, I am SO excited for sleeping in past 6:00 am, not scheduling dinner around multiple activities and most of all NO HOMEWORK! Not having that stress alone changes my entire perspective on the world! But as excited as we all are for the lazy days of summer, the transition can cause stress and frustration (and guilt for feeling this way) to many parents, me included. So this summer I have decided to create a list of things to do to try to make summer fun and reduce some of the unnecessary stress.
- Breathe, relax, and laugh – Somewhere along the way my former laid back self morphed into a more type A personality. While it is not something that I am terribly excited about, at least I am aware of it and trying to only pick my necessary “type A” battles (I’m trying!). Therefore my mantra this summer is breathe, relax and laugh. Somedays are harder than others especially when I overschedule all of us in different states and without my children’s and my very missed Tuesday afternoon playdates to ground me and lighten me.
- Play freely – Sometimes I forget to just go outside and play with my kids whether it’s in the ocean or my backyard. They love it! How can that happiness and laughter not make your soul happy? Not to mention my basketball shot has improved dramatically!
- Learn about something cool – Every summer I create these expectations in my head of all of the awesome things that I want to teach my kids about during the summer months. By the time that mid-July rolls around, my guilt from not doing very much from my laundry list brings me down. This summer I decided to focus only on a few things which has been more realistic to achieve. With the upcoming Olympics in Rio, we have been focusing on learning about Brazil and some of the other South American countries. It has been fun for all of us and what is great is that I learn a lot too both about Brazil and my children.
- Turn off – Experience life away from the screen! Did you see that commercial where the parents were out with their friends hiking, going to dinner and having real fun while their daughter was on Instagram at home “liking” and “friending others?” Show them what fun is away from the screen!
- Ease up on rules – When I was a child I had a sitter who made me go to bed before the sun went down. I never forgave her for that when I was a child. Now, I understand that it was probably 9:00pm but going to bed before sunset!?! I think of that often, so when my kids are out of school I push back bedtime, let them try to catch lightening bugs and sneak a cookie before bed. Who is it going to hurt? School will be here before we know it!
- Just say NO! – To commitments, camps and events that you think that you SHOULD be doing but are making you say UGGGH inside. This is when my uptight personality rears its ugly head – my kids need to be in STEM camp, music lessons, learning another language, SOMETHING?!?!?! College is only 7 years away! That thought could not be more lame and uptight if I tried. What about the commitments that I have made? That is when I go back to my breathe, relax and laugh mantra. If I can do that then it’s all good.
Have a wonderful, fun relaxing summer!! Remember – breathe, relax and laugh, breathe, relax and laugh…
—Mary & Claire
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