Blog by Lydia Kicker
Well summer is in full swing which brings all the fun of cookouts, pool parties and staying up late and I’m sure all them moms out there are feeling it by now. Your mornings are chill with no more rushing out the door to catch the bus. No more homework or PTA meetings. So yeah, all that is great but yet, on the flip side, summer means “my time” is officially gone and I’m left with the question of “what am I actually going to do with them this summer?”
I know, I know. I’m not trying to sound selfish and summer really isn’t about my “me time”. But c’mon, when you have 3 active boys that have been looking forward to summer basically since Christmas was over, how do I compete with that kind of anticipation? These kids are looking for the “best summer ever!” And quite literally I might add.
So what’s a stay-at-home mom to do this summer in an effort to “entertain” her kids? Well, Diary, that is a great question and no I don’t have all the ideas of a Virginia Beach tour guide to give you every fun-filled secret around town. Shocking I know. But maybe I can offer a little insight into how I make it through the next 2 months left of the summer. (Well technically 1 1/2 months, which my oldest is quick to point out, complaining how his summers are getting shorter and shorter by the powers that be of the school system).
So my first thought when it comes to surviving summer is utilize the outside that is within your reach. Whatever outside activities are closest and easiest for you, take advantage of those. So if you and your kids are “beach people” and that is something easy for you to get to, then by all means, go as often as you like. However, if you are more “pool people” and you have access to a pool, then don’t try and force yourself to be beach people. In my house, we are pool people, not beach people. I hate sand and lugging all that beach “equipment”. We don’t even own a pool but we know friends who do. Now, I know what you’re thinking Diary and no, we don’t befriend people just to utilize their pools. That being said, we definitely take up the invite to join in on pool fun. I know plenty of beach people who go consistently to venture out and take advantage of our beautiful beach city. I remember back when I was in the season of having babies and toddlers, I never went to the beach during the summer. Just the thought of dragging my sand-eating baby and snack-overflowing diaper bag to the beach was completely overwhelming. So instead, we hit up any pool we could find ourselves with an invite of course. The point is don’t overwhelm yourself trying to go places and do activities where it isn’t a relaxing time for you during this current season. You have to read those seasons for your life.
Some other outside activities include the park, especially First Landing State Park (for you VB locals). Just a quick walk down the street to your own neighborhood park can be an adventure as well. If you have boys, go exploring in your own woods and see what you can find. My boys have come home with several “treasures” that they have found from our own woods.
Another thought for getting through summer is don’t forget Dad. Save some fun stuff to do on the weekend as a whole family to include Dad. Plan a summer family vacation so everyone can be together. It’s important for Dad to get in on that “school’s out” fun and make some memories as a family.
On another note, I just want to point out that albeit we want to provide fun activities and outings for our kids, this does not have to be an every day thing. Every day does not have to be the “best day ever”. Why do we put so much pressure on ourselves to entertain our kids so heavily with various activities that we must provide? Part of the fun of being a kid is the ability to use their imagination and entertain themselves. Now sure, they may need a little help with some ideas at first and by all means as moms we can certainly participate in this process but I hate feeling like my job as a mom is to provide constant entertainment for my children.
Another important asset of summer not to forget is the importance of having down time or as in my house we call this, “reading time”. Now granted, this is far from “music to my kids’ ears” but when done at bedtime, my boys will use this as a means of “staying up” and will read on and on.
So, to sum it all up – these are my ideas for a great summer with your kiddo’s:
- Be outside as much as possible without overwhelming yourself
- Hit up your local park or try exploring in your own backyard woods
- Don’t forget Dad and include him in activities on the weekends and a family vacation
- Take the pressure off to constantly entertain your kids- allow them to use their own imagination
- Reading time is vital
So as I sign off for now, Diary, I’ll leave you with this final thought, take the pressure off to make this summer “the best summer ever” and to make the most memorable memories ever. Every summer is the best because that’s what summer is all about anyways. Summer is the best and I don’t have to strive and work so hard to make it so. I’m gonna relax and enjoy the time with my family. So Diary, if you don’t hear from me in a while, don’t take it personally. I’m just too busy enjoying the sun.