Summer is finally here!
A collective cheer heard from parents everywhere. The kids are happy. The parents are ecstatic. It feels like a win-win for the entire family.
The Kids are singing – No more pencils, no more books, No more teachers’ dirty looks.
The parents are singing – No more lunches, no more homework. No more mornings going berserk.
Summer is finally here! But…what now?
Unfortunately, this is the conundrum I find myself in at the end of each school year. I try to be the mom that plans and has everything sorted out. The operative word being “try.” After ten years and two kids who are all the way through elementary school, I am still failing miserably. The end of June comes, and I am “that” mom, scrambling to find summer plans for her kids. I suck at planning my kid’s summer activities.
Every year it is the same scenario: I start the school year off with the best intentions. I tell myself not to worry, that this year will be different and I will get a handle on it. Yet, here I am each year, completely lost and wondering where it all went wrong.
The (D)evolution of My School Year as a Parent:
August 15th – Is summer over yet? My house can’t handle another minute of two teenagers leaving EVERYTHING they have touched wherever the hell they want to leave it. Feels guilty for not planning summer activities.
August 20th – We have a family meeting about how we will be more organized this school year. I check Pinterest for organization ideas, get distracted and find beer can chicken recipe. I make that for dinner.
August 28th – I find myself at Wal-Mart picking through the remnants of school supplies because I left it to the last-minute. Again.
September 1st – The day before school starts, I feel like I have everything under control. I have Pinterest-ed the shit out of two cubbies in which my kids can put all of their school correspondence. I set homework schedules and pull out my crock pot for the upcoming school year. I got this.
October 20th – Everything seems to be running smoothly. The kids are using their cubbies; I have not once missed signing a permission slip or handing in one hot lunch form. I am feeling proud of myself. Pats self on back and pours glass of wine.
November 12th – The cubby is starting to overflow. My daughter is texting me on my way to work wondering where her field trip form is; I am beginning to miss summer desperately.
December 1st – My son has a pile of unfinished homework under his bed. I forget to pull out anything for dinner (fuck the crock pot; I’ve used it five times since September.)
Christmas Break – It’s time to get re-organized. I promise myself I will get a handle on everything. We have another family meeting about how tired I am after work and I need their help with chores around the house. Everyone jumps on board and we all feel refreshed. We got this.
January 9th – I forget to pick my daughter up from volleyball practice because all the school notices are in a pile on the kitchen counter. I can’t even find the beautiful Pinterest cubby anymore. So much for the Christmas Break refresh.
February 14th – When the hell is spring break? Why does it feel like all I do is work, help with homework and cook dinner? Oh shit, I forgot to pick up Valentine’s gifts for my kids. Buys extremely expensive chocolate out of guilt.
March 6th – Ah, Spring Break! I send my kids to the lake with their grandparents for two weeks. Seemingly, the only thing I have planned properly this year.
April 26th – Two more months of this hell and it will be summer! I check Pinterest for summer time activity ideas for teens. Instead, I find a recipe for crock pot beer can chicken and make that for dinner. (I am going to make this crock pot worth the money I spent on it.) I tell myself I still have two months to figure out summer activities. I will be OK.
May 19th – There is no longer any semblance of organization in my house. I have been on the internet for four hours and have realized all the good summer programs for kids are booked up. I start to realize that my adorable Type B personality is messing up this parenting gig.
June 24th – My kids bring home all of their shit from school–piles of it. I put it in the I-will-go-through-this-later pile, but never do. Summer break has started, and here I am again wondering what the hell I am going to do with my kids all summer.
I try my best. Every. Single. Year. Without fail, I find myself in the exact same spot, regardless. I wonder how all the other mothers do it.
How do you plan your kids’ summer activities? Are you a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants type or a everything-is-planned-down-to-the-minute type? Somewhere in between?