To the Momma Dreading Summer Break

Dear Momma,

I, too, am dreading summer break. Don’t think for a minute that I don’t know how much you love spending time with your children. I love spending time with mine too. But the initial anticipation of summertime fun and endless family time gives way to a growing dread as you begin to recall the nightmare of summers past: refereeing fights (both verbal and physical), constant “boredom,” weeks without schedules or structure, a pantry bare of snacks (less than 24 hours after grocery day), and a house in complete disarray. Just the thought sends a shudder up my spine.

Are you a planner, like me? Or are you spontaneous? I feel a pressure during summer months to be spontaneous… More than any other time of year. But it’s absolutely against my nature to be spontaneous. *If* I ever try to be spontaneous, it is actually carefully planned the days and nights before–and simply kept a secret until the last minute when I tell the kids and they think I’m being spontaneous.

Summer break is, inherently spontaneous. No wonder it rubs me the wrong way. It’s all, “Hey! We’re grabbing snowcones. Now. Wanna come?” and I’m all like, “What?! Now???!?” Uber-planning mommas, you know what I mean. Procrastinating Spontaneous moms, you inspire me.

But aside from all of the unstructure, the idea of summer break makes me sweat. Literally. It’s SO hot. And humid. Especially here in Mississippi. And any (planned) outing must include either air conditioning or water activities. Because…. Summer.

And when you combine heat, no schedule, and children, you’re bound to encounter one of the biggest summer monsters of all: boredom. *Cue the eye rolls.*  I still remember like it was yesterday: my mom’s boredom buster jar. I actually think it was a chore jar, but she was trying to accomplish the same thing: SANITY. And that was light years before YouTube channels, Netflix, or Snapchat. I’m so old, we didn’t even have AOL instant messaging until I was in high school. We did, however, have that precious gray box: the original Nintendo.

I am not a huge “electronics” nazi. I think it’s because my kids don’t prefer TV or electronics. (I know, they’re weird.) If they did, I’m pretty sure I’d be all about time restraints and earning screen time. But… My unique children would much rather ride bikes with neighbors, chat up the retirees in our cove, or play made-up games in the yard. {I promise, I didn’t teach them to prefer that over screens… They were born that way.} So usually TV or video games are the last resort in our house. When they get “bored” of all that… I’m at a loss. Oh, did I mention that my children are SOCIAL BUTTERFLIES? They like a jam-packed play date schedule. Especially in the summer. I love having people over, but once or twice a week is my maximum enjoyment level. That’s not even close to enough social activity to satisfy my children.

Yeah, so.. I’m right there with you, Momma. I don’t know yet how I’ll navigate this summer, but I’m pinning away on Pinterest, hoping to find just the right list of summer “must do’s” to help me be both (slightly) scheduled and (slightly) spontaneous. Here’s what I’ve got so far for a loose weekly plan:

~1-2 days of playdates/swim dates

~1 day outing

~1 day of “serving others”

~1-2 “free” days

This should help us a bit, I think. I hope. What have you got planned? Is my type A planning a little over the top for you? If you don’t plan anything, HOW ON EARTH do you survive summer months? Oh, and did I mention I’m working on being a hands-free mama?  Read more here.  Unplugged and unscheduled.  Prayers appreciated. : )

I wanna know. Seriously. Email, message, comment–and share! Let’s get some good ideas flowing…. Maybe it won’t be so dreadful after all.

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