I had visions of greatness in my head for this summer. I was going to make every minute count.
We would have great adventures (my car is even packed for it). We would be crafty and make fun things. We would go to the library every week, actually finish the reading program and get prizes. I would be the best. mom. ever.
I even have a chore chart to help keep the house in order. (Best line on the chore chart – “Help Mom with a chore.” The junk drawer is organized for the first time in years and we actually dusted!)
In the midst of all that, I would still blog! And keep up with my Facebook page! And write another book! And keep running and training for a half marathon!
Over-achieving is over-rated.
And apparently having my kids in school every day has turned me into a wimp.
By Friday, I was falling asleep on the couch before 7 p.m. It was only the first week of summer.
Today is Monday and a brand new week. The kids are happily occupied playing in a mud puddle in the back yard. That they created. With the hose. And strategically placed at the bottom of their slide. They are sliding into a mud puddle in the back yard. And they’re as happy as can be. We’re going on two hours now.
I didn’t even have to look this activity up on Pinterest.
Mud puddles even boost creativity. They took rocks and covered them in mud and then raced through the backyard yelling, “We’re going to pull a prank on Daddy! We’re going to put these in the garage and tell him they are piles of poop!”
I’m reminded once again that my kids don’t need me to micromanage them. They don’t need me dictating when and where and how they play all summer long. They need freedom to explore and create – yes even rocks covered in mud that they pretend are poop.
Summer is a time to build independence and exercise creativity.
Six-year-old T-Rex came inside at noon today and said, “Mom, can I make my own lunch?” (Do you know how LONG I have waited to hear those words? Well, six years I guess.)
He pulled out the bread and the honey and a banana and he slathered and dripped and sliced all by himself.
He didn’t care if his sandwich was shaped like a dinosaur and surrounded by fancily sliced vegetables arranged to look like a forest.
There’s nothing wrong with pinterest and creative lunches and crafts.
But there’s no need to feel like a bad parent if that’s not your thing or you’re too tired/stressed out/overwhelmed/annoyed to get creative.
All they really need is space and time and to get outside and off the technology and given the freedom to express themselves. Even in the mud.
So give your kids and yourself a break. Step back, sip some lemonade, and watch them have fun in the mud. They’ll wash up in the tub.
(linking up with Jen and the Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood too!)
Jennifer Chrisman says
Your comments & observations are all indicators that you have done a FANTASTIC job of being a parent. Allowing your children the room to grow & explore is an awesome achievement.
Aw, thanks Jennifer! I’m sure we all wonder some (most….all…) days if we’re doing the right things!
Jennifer Ferguson says
Love it! I think there is so much value in having kids figure out ways to entertain themselves. Plus, I can only play so many games of Battleship, Uno, and Sleeping Queens, you know.
Oh, yes. I know. 🙂 They had quite the fun on their own, without any mention of legos or barbies!
This is great! I love the poop prank! hehe! I am already discouraged with how quickly the summer is going by and how little I have actually gotten done with the kids. I guess I need to go with the flow. I always start off with these grand ideas and then get disappointed with myself for not accomplishing them.
Go with the flow! Even if it’s muddy… 🙂 Really, they just need the time to relax and chill and do what they enjoy rather than what they have to do. You too for that matter!
Glenda Childers says
Thank you Glenda!
Susie Finkbeiner says
I’m so glad you wrote this. I think that we are almost cajoled into being supermoms. Look at THIS craft and THIS swing set and THIS THIS THIS!!! And we feel so guilty if we don’t do all THIS! But we can’t. If I tried to over do it, I’d snap. I’d be a really BAD mom. Because I’m the mom of kids who LOVE to do their own thing a lot of the time. And they have WAY more fun doing it that way. I’m quite content to spend the summer pitching a softball to my son to swing at, reading books with my daughter, and chug-chug-chugging with one son as he pushes Thomas along the tracks.
I’m having a very fun (and low key) Pinterest-less summer. And I’m loving it.
Cajoled into supermoms. So true! We need to take into account our kids’ personalities too. Some kids need much more space and time to be alone and not told what to do. Enjoy your very fun, low-key summer!!
Janis@Open My Ears Lord says
Amelia, I loved your free-flowing post. It was so entertaining and encouraging to parents to just let their kids be kids. Turning off the technology is the trick for this generation. It was much easier to do this in California where the temps were cooler than here in Arizona where being outdoors was limited by the heat.
Thank you Janis! We lived in Florida for a few years, and summer is definitely more of a challenge to get outdoors due to the heat!