Social media is all a buzz with back to school pics and posts. Bright shiny faces in new outfits, clutching new lunchboxes and backpacks. It’s all adorable. There are also pics of the moms jumping for joy as they gleefully usher their precious spawn off to full-time day care, or as some hoity-toities like to call it: public school.
For those of us who stay home all day with little kids, summer can be torture.
Sibling fights with the intent to do great bodily harm. Wet towels and bathing suits casually left on the floor only to be found hours later after they have had time to soak into the carpet. Tantrums and whining and snotty attitudes over really dumb shit, like who got the last ice cream sandwich.
I get it. Being home alone all day with little kids can strike fear into the heart of the most hardened criminal.
I’ve been there, but not this summer.
Don’t hate me for what I’m about to say…My kids didn’t drive me crazy this summer and I wasn’t waiting with baited breath for the boys to go back to school. Yes, I was looking forward to a regular routine, quiet time and not having the pantry pilfered every five minutes; but this summer was a relatively quiet and relaxing one.
Here are my secrets to a relaxing summer before heading back to school.
- I let my kids play a lot of video games and watch a lot of TV. I mean, a lot.
There are times when I didn’t see them for an entire afternoon and I’m completely okay with that. A few times Addison would feel the need to report that Harry had been watching Netflix for three hours (even though he himself had been playing Minecraft and Terreria for at least that amount of time) and had not left the couch. Well, more power to him. How else is he going to be able to appreciate Pee Wee’s Playhouse if he can’t binge watch?
Soon enough they will be sitting in a classroom for eight hours followed by homework, after school activities and lessons. I figured a summer full of vegging out couldn’t hurt too much. Also, I didn’t let the excessive screen time bother me too much because I knew they would not have any screen time on Sunday thanks to our No-Screen-Time-Sunday rule. Plus, we had completed our library reading goal and visited the local water park so I refused to let mom guilt take hold of my conscience.
2. We didn’t pack every single day with stuff.
We did a vacation, summer camp and a visit to the grandparents at the beginning of the summer but after that we were pretty much home. We have had summers where we are hardly home and constantly on the go or headed to far off destinations multiple times. Those are great summers and memories of trips that we adore. But there is also something to be said about staying home.
I’ve noticed that lots of travel makes the summer fly by. Those summers that are jam packed are awesome but go by in the blink of an eye. Taking the lazy approach has made the summer feel like it was slowly floating along.
Yes, the dreaded phrase “I’m bored” comes up. But my kids have learned that if they utter that phrase, it will be met with a list of chores and the mean mom face. I’ve also experienced the entitled attitude that they just didn’t have enough fun after a full day of playing with friends, swimming and eating popsicles. Those whiney laments are met with an even meaner mom face and long lectures about the definition of a spoilt brat and what it means to be entitled and usually ends with them cleaning out their room and giving away unused toys.
3. I don’t have three-thousand kids at my house or littles who need a lot of supervision.
Moms of multiples who are trying to re-stock Dumbledor’s army or haven’t figured out birth control. Bless you. Right now your house is full of little people who really need your attention. Sister, it will get better. There is no right or wrong answer to the number of children we all take care of. Littles will get bigger and learn to wipe their own bottoms, get their own juice and insert their own DVD. One kiddo or seven, we’re all in this together and I stand in solidarity with you.
Whether you are sad to see summer go or are beyond thrilled that the school system is now in charge, give yourself a pat on the back. You made it through the summer. Good, bad or ugly…time marches on and our kiddos continue to slip through our fingers.