Parents, you’ve got questions, we’ve got answers.

Or just as likely, we’ve got questions and you’ve got answers.

Challenge: Summer Fun

My Contract with My Kids This Summer Break

18
Vote up!
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Email this article

b4e6fcdf9afe467d7af87d29ec347e9857174e6b.jpg

There's no more school for my not-so-little-anymore kids. I always have mixed emotions about it. As a work-at-home mom, I look forward to not setting the alarm clock every day or checking homework or worrying about library books, gym shoes and piecing together lunches each day.

Some of my other multiple personalities feel differently. Type-A mom hates not having a routine, a schedule, a plan for each day. Crazy academic mom dislikes the fact that I have to force my kids to practice piano or write in their journals or practice their cursive. Overachiever mom feels like she has to get all the fun packed in for fear we’ll have another freezing winter filled with the stomach flu.

So, I decided I would write a contract with myself about how I will manage this year’s summer vacation, which I may or may not share with my kids. Writing something down always makes me a little more accountable, and gives me something to reference when I’m having a bad Mommy day.

Hoping this will not hold up in the court of law:

I, Whitney Fleming, being of permanently exhausted mind and a tired body, do solemnly swear the following to my children:

+ That I will not freak out each and every time you ask me to play Minecraft on the iPad when it is a gorgeous day outside. Instead, I will try to stop what I am doing and find something fun for you to do. I may even try to participate, but mama still has to pay the bills. And check Facebook.

+ That I will let you do fun, messy stuff even though it drives me crazy. I will let you play in the mud, bake cookies, try elaborate crafts, run in the sprinklers, and do science experiments. You are growing up so fast and I know there’s not much more time left. And Lord knows how many times I said no to the play doh.

+ That I will let you have a lemonade stand, go on bike rides to get ice cream, climb trees, and go to the pool as often as possible, even when I want to do other important stuff, like vacuum or write about what funny thing you said to me that day. Because these were all important things in my childhood, and I’m about ready to throw out the Wii. Just kidding, I’m not going to throw out the Wii. I need it for the winter.

+ That I will try to have patience when you all poke and prod and annoy and tattle and tackle and push and bust into my room saying ridiculous things like “Mom, she won’t stop looking at me” or “She won’t give me my underwear back!” But no promises, I’m only human.

+ That I will accept a dip in the pool is as good as a shower, S’mores for dinner is perfectly reasonable and having friends over is more important than worrying what they’ll think of my dirty house.

+ That I will understand that you sometimes don’t want to read or practice your writing or learn math facts. I will remember you worked hard this year, did well, and you deserve a break. Sometimes.

+ That I will not go bat crazy when you didn’t make your bed (again), put your dish in the sink (again), left your games out (again) or spilled your milk for the thousandth time. These are little things that happen and I know that some parents would give their left arms to go through these things with their kids again. I will have gratitude. After I get my Zen back.

+ That I will participate in the bike rides, in the games, in the mess. Because sometimes I don’t do things because I forget how much fun they were when I was your age…how much fun they still are now.

This is my sort-of promise to you. Just like the things I'm trying to teach you, I’m trying to grow and learn and be better as well. I’ll give you a break, if you give me one too. Here’s to a great summer!

Signed,

Mom

This post comes from the TODAY Parenting Team community, where all members are welcome to post and discuss parenting solutions. Learn more and join us! Because we're all in this together.