Well, it’s that time of year again. The last day of school and the official start to “summer”. Yeah, I know it’s not officially “summer ” until June 21. And I know that date because it’s my birthday! The first day of summer, the “longest” day of the year. But I digress. At any rate, for all intents and purposes, to kids it’s the official start of summer. Yay! But for parents the start of summer can be bittersweet. What to do with the kids ALL summer?!
I usually have great intentions for planning all kinds of stuff to keep the kids busy. But somehow the summer passes by and I feel like we hardly did anything. This year I have vowed for that to be different. All of a sudden I have realized that the past several years life has been so busy it has flown by. And all of a sudden my two older kids are all grown up. I feel like I have missed so much but yet I have been there with them. It’s tough when you are divorced and your kids aren’t with you part of the time. So fast forward to the here and now. Recent revelations caused me to see how busy I am. So I have been making a real effort to try and slow down, and cut back on commitments. I have reduced the amount of hours I am working for my telecommuting job to 10 a week in hopes that it will free me up a little more to enjoy my growing kids this summer.
Additionally, as my kids get older, it seems more and more difficult to keep them off technology devices and engage them in real life, hands on activities. I feel like their brains are going to turn to mush from constantly staring at screens!
So this summer is going to be different. I am officially implementing limited screen time. And chores. And a plan to enjoy at least one activity we go do, one activity we make at home, one fun treat out, one activity we cook or bake something, each week. I know it may be hectic trying to get my work in and take the time to actually go do things and spend time with my kids. But honestly, I can’t let one more summer go by that I don’t enjoy with them because before I know it they will be graduating high school. I know they cherish the time we spend and the things we go do. And I know this is one way to keep them off screen time! In addition to our weekly activities they are going to be required to do their chores, read for an hour, and spend an hour outside getting some type of physical activity. Surely they won’t have time to sit and stare at screens all day!
I am in the process of putting together an official plan. A calendar of sorts in which we select which activities we are going to do every week, and a list of all of the activities we can choose from. Yeah, I have seen all of the fancy, pretty summer bucket lists, etc. on Pinterest. I’m lucky to have gotten this far so I will take a simple excel spreadsheet at this point!
We are kicking off our first day of summer by going to the library to pick up the summer reading program and check out some books to get them reading. Then off for a tasty summer treat!
So, here’s to the best of intentions, and slowing life down to enjoy your kids. Raise your ice cream cone, frozen yogurt, sno cone, pineapple whip, or whatever tasty treat you happen to enjoy. Maybe for you moms out there it’s a margarita right now! 😉