What child does not love countdown the days until school is out? They can’t wait to be free of homework and school. They want to run, play and just have a great adventure all day, everyday until they are back in school.
What does a summer break look like for a parent? Well, it usually looks a lot different then the hopes and dreams of a child and it may or may not include mom checking off the calendar days until her children are back in school.
Day 1, kid’s wake up at the crack of dawn although you have to drag them out of bed each morning when school is in session. Waking up early during the summer time? Heck no, they have no problem with that, it is just more time to play!
They want to get the day started and the first thing they like to do is run into mom and dad’s bedroom and say “I’m hungry, I’m bored!” and it isn’t even 6am. Okay, so not all my kids wake up that early during the summer but sometimes they do and that second “I’m bored” statement drives me nuts.
Sometimes when I would pick up my kids from school, the first thing they would say to me without an even “Hi Mom” would be “I’m bored.” I would think really, you just got in the car and you are already bored. How does that work? Not even a hello just I’m bored. Maybe mentally I am going to have to change that definition in my brain to “I love you” so that when I hear that phrase “I’m bored” a million times a day, I will be in mental bliss as I tell myself oh my child loves me!
Back to our Day 1 of summer break. Since our family gets out early in Arizona because of the heat our summer break started at the end of May. The first two days were pretty good. We hit the library, splash park, puppet show and slushes from Sonic, but the rest of the week didn’t go as planned or where not planned out enough.
You see I find it very difficult to stay on task or keep to a schedule. It makes for some crazy days, but I am trying to pick up a summer routine that works best for my family. So far, I am pretty much failing and yesterday was a doosie of a day. I locked myself in my room once my husband came home from work and said, “I need a break!”
I knelt down at the foot of my bed and I couldn’t even utter a prayer. I just face planted my head in the bed and said, “I can’t do this… I am no good as a mother.” I don’t know about you but that’s about when I hit rock bottom. I usually can at least get a prayer out of my heart but I had just had enough.
I survived the night and woke up to start another summer break day all over again. As I knelt down to pray this morning, I asked for more strength to get through the day and be the mother and wife my family needed. The thought came to me that that is why God created a day and so many of them. Just think what the average person’s life expectancy is. According to google the average age in the United States is about 78 years, if my mom and dad are reading this, you better believe you can hit 100 because I am going to need a lot more of your guidance and help!
If I have at least 78 years on earth to live than that is 28,470 days to start over. Wow, my mind really exploded at that idea that God can give me that many do-overs to try and be a better mom and person. If I just hang on during the day and do my best and yes somedays will be horrible and extrememly difficult but there is always another day to regroup, recommit and change our hearts and hands as we journey through this life as mothers.
Here is a list of just a few things that we have done so far this year that might help you have more days full of love fun and laughter and less heartache and pain.
1. Go to the library – My kids love to read and so this is a great fit even for my almost 2 year old and 4 year old who can not read. They have a children’s section in the corner where the board books are located so you don’t need to worry about the little ones tearing out pages of the books! The library also have some great free events. We just went to a fun puppet show. They even had a fantastic magic show in the past although when the magician did the trick where he cuts a sword through someone’s neck that about tramatized my 10 year old. Guess that wasn’t a very kid friendly magic show although the room was filled with children!
2. Park – Depending on where in the world you live, the park is a great place to visit and even more fun if you bring along a friend and their kids! You get talk time with a friend and your kids have buddies to play with, a total win-win in my book. Don’t forget to bring some snacks and water. If you are in a hotter climate like we are here in Arizona, look for parks with shade cover, it really does make a difference and then hit the park early in the morning.
3. Splash Park – If you are lucky enough to live by a splash park, take advantage of it. We have one just down the street from the library and my kids always have fun cooling off at the park. The best time to visit a splash park is after lunch and into the late afternoon after 3pm when not as many kids are running around at the spash park.
I will update the list as our summer continues. Hopefully, we will find more great places and things to do with my kids this summer. If you have an idea, please comment below!
On a side note, I don’t let me kids use video games or watch tv much so I put together an educational website that they can use to keep up their educational skills and have some fun computer games without all the ads that are on every other educational website. Subscribe to our newsletter and I’ll send the website out in our next weekly newsletter. Sign up here.
Whatever you do this summer with your kids, remember that you can do it and that God has given you many days to reboot and restart. If you fail today, look to the rising sun of tomorrow and just try again. I love the quote I heard at Women’s Conference that said, “I can be perfect in trying!” That I can do and so can you. We got this mamas!