Summer is here and I am not a crazy mom. In the summer I am truly more calm, less stressed and less rushed. In our home summer means later bedtimes, followed by lazy mornings, flip flops, bathing suits, sunscreen, damp towels hanging on the deck, endless craft projects, sundresses, reading, grilling, and a bit more freedom. Freedom to be leave the chores unattended for a bit as we escape to the pool; freedom to stay up later than usual, as well as sleep in a bit later than usual (kids, not us).
I think summer is my favorite time of the year, because besides being sunny and warm out, and I absolutely love wearing sundresses, as a mom I find that I do less “scheduling” and more “enjoying”. The sense of urgencey to schedule and plan meals, chores, and weekend plans seems to disappear, as last-minute BBQs, date nights, weekend get-aways and lazy Sundays with my family by the pool take priority. I think my girls also like that I’m not constantly nagging them to make their beds, set the table and clean up their toys. Although I do remind them in the summer that we still have chores and need to help around the house, I’m less “naggy”. (I’m sure my husband would agree.)
Now let’s not get too crazy. I am still me. Which means I am still planning and scheduling, and I haven’t completely abandoned my obsessive list-making tendencies. I just try to be more relaxed about my lists. And add some fun to them. Like my annual “Summer To Do” List, which usually includes 15-20 things I set out to accomplish before Labor Day. Like last year and the year before, my list usually includes: more exercise, strawberry picking with the girls, read all the classics I haven’t read yet, and weekly date nights. I also continue to put “make homemade ice cream” on the list, and am determined this will be the summer!
Last weekend I printed out a Summer To Do list for my girls to fill out, as well. I think it’s important for them to have their own summer goals and to work to accomplish them. So without any input from me, except for one tiny bit of advice that one or two of their “to dos” should be of an “educational” nature, they sat down excitedly at the kitchen table and began writing.
My older one who is 8 (and ¾ as she reminds me daily) was thoughtful and deliberate, and took awhile before she started writing. She is also is a list maker and carrys around notebook after notebook making lists. Topping her list of 16 summer goals was: to pick something from the “Adventure Jar” every week (something we started when they were very little), work on our garden and learn to speak Italian from her Nonna. She also wants to go ice staking, have a lemonade stand, create a family video, read books from her library reading list, and spend one-on-one days with me and my husband. She is so thoughtful and sweet, and I know she will strive to do every single one of her goals.
Not to be outshined by her big sister, my 6-year old wrote a list just as long. Which included: watch TV, play with Barbies, dance party, dress up like a Diva and have a fashion show (she truly is a Diva). I think she did all of those last week. Her list also includes arts and crafts, a visit to the puppy center, a Mommy and daughter day, as well as a Daddy and daughter day. Too cute and I have no doubt her goals will be accomplished by next week.
I love summer and I love trying new things with my family. Last year one of our biggest accomplishments we checked off our list was to run a 5K, which I’m thrilled to say both of my girls accomplished that goal. Oh! And plant a vegetable garden, which I’m happy to report has continued this summer—in fact, our salad of lettuce and cucumbers were handpicked from our garden tonight.
Yes, I might have slowed down a bit this summer, but my family’s to do lists are going strong. They remind us of the goals we have set, the steps we need to achieve them, the excitement we feel in trying new things, and the sense of accomplishment we feel once we’ve completed them. And of course, even more importantly, I am counting on them to save us from the “I’m bored-I-have-nothing-to-do-can-I-watch-TV???" summer song...
Here is a link to download kids' Summer To Do lists: http://www.thehouseholdplanner.com/free-printables/