School is out for summer equates to fear and annoyance for all of us organized and scheduled Type A moms. The light of our lives will be in our faces A LOT, you could even say too much for the next three months and personally this cramps my style. Over the years I've gotten over my rigid necessity to shove my kids off to camp the minute it starts and find a balance between everyone staring at each other complaining, "This is soooo boring" and shipping them off to sleep away camp. Here are My 4 tips to get you here too!
Self-Talk. When I'm stressed I talk to myself in my head about what's exactly bugging me. For the long summer ahead I will bat around the pros and cons about the kids being home and how I'm handling it. I find this to be my daily therapy. I'm checking in with myself making sure I'm okay and not hating life and my kids. This way at least I'm aware when I'm close to the brink and need a break from my family vs. having a nuclear meltdown.
Boundaries. Believe it or not kids, but, your Mommy is an actual person. No, she does not get true joy from taking you to the park and driving you to all of your activities. I've found the secret to managing a peaceful summer is setting aside "Me Time" every single day. Your kids do not get to suck all 14 hours of awake time from you, nope. My children are aware of when I am on gool or "Mommy Island" is how I like to think of it and respect my time and leave me alone. Go away people, if you want to live here the chief needs to take care of herself in order to deal with your endless requests with a smile on her face.
The kitchen. Hey kids, I want you to know my kitchen, I mean OUR kitchen is not open all day long for you to graze, drop crumbs on the floor and leave everything out on the countertops, no, do not do this to me. When you're at school you get fed and then you exit the cafeteria and that same rule applies at home. Get your feed on so we, mainly me, can clean it back up and get out of it. Then do not enter it until the next designated feeding time. Maybe this sounds controlling, but, since the kitchen is the heart of the home I'll take mine with shiny countertops and since I'm the one making them shiny let me enjoy them until you all destroy the kitchen at the next meal.
My escape plan. That's right, you read this correctly. I always have a future plan for when I can take a full break away from my kids. I think of this as my serenity focal point. When my three boys are all yelling "Mom" at the exact same time I focus on the plan I've made to get the heck away from the little devils. Sometimes it's as simple as knowing 5 days from now I'm parking my butt at the pool all by myself and other times it's getting on an airplane. Just the idea of knowing I am off the Mommy clock soon helps me deal with whatever crazy is going on with my family. People are not meant to be around each other 24x7 and face it, parenting is monotonous. Shake up your routine and make your kids miss you and you'll even miss them too.
Now how many days until the kids go back to school?? Just kidding. I'll just talk to myself about it...