I hear people talking about how they are so excited it is summer. Many people have asked if I am ready for school to be out. No more packing lunches, no more finding homework and backpacks in the morning, I must be so excited. Sometimes I weakly smile and agree. The truth is I wonder if these people actually have amnesia. What parent is actually thrilled to have their children home all summer long?
I mean think about it. You still have to feed them. You still have to make lunches, not only lunches, now you have to make 100 snacks a day. I would take packing lunches in the morning over this any day. It isn’t like the lunches I pack are amazing anyway. A sandwich, an apple that I don’t even cut up, a gogurt, string cheese, a bag of chips or pretzels— that is it. Seriously, minimal work on my part. Some days I even say— pack your own lunch or buy it!
I don’t help my kids with their homework. Now don’t get me wrong I still have to force them to do it, which can be a real screaming match, but it isn’t my homework. If the younger one needs help reading something, sure I am all over that. When the second one has to read out loud to me I sit on the couch and listen. There are occasional projects I supervise, and there are times I have to sit next to the older one and force the homework to be finished, but that is it. I will be honest most nights I just say do your homework and I walk away.
Now that it is summer I have to listen to them fight with one another all day long. He looked at me funny, he chews with his mouth open, he breathed on me, he called me stupid, he called me an idiot, he won’t play the game by my rules, he started it, or he won’t let me play. These will fill up my day-ALL SUMMER LONG!! I will yell at them to just go outside, and they will come in constantly to tattle.
Screen time will be another issue. They will want more. They will want to earn extra time. I will want to just give it to them to shut them up, but I know that will cause more problems in the long run. They will fight over which devices to use. They will moan if they think someone got more. They will complain when I tell them to shut it down, even though we use timers to keep it fair. There will be days I want to banish all screen time forever. There will be days when I don’t care if they look up from the screen at all. It is a real love/hate relationship.
The summer will also be spent still running them places. Certain kids have day camps or sports lessons or doctors appointments. I will still be playing chauffeur. Sure I will take them to the pool, but my youngest two are still quite young, so I will not be relaxing. The middle one is allowed to go to certain places, but not all, so while it is fun for the children, it isn’t fun for mom. We have trips planned. Outings as families so we can bond. The good times will outweigh the bad I am sure, but it isn’t like summer is a rosy magical time of the year when Moms rejoice because their little ones are home all the time.
To make it a little easier on me I decided to load up on freezer pops. If they want freezer pops all day long, fine by me. Maybe it will help summer go a bit more smoothly. Maybe not, but summer isn’t really about me anyway, it is about them. Making memories. Being kids. Having fun. Taking a break from the stress of growing up. Let summer commence.