Posts Tagged ‘lake’

Balancing Busy

Friday, July 6th, 2018

This is my (and your) affirmation for today:

Just because something works for other people, doesn’t mean it has to work for you.

My Facebook has been flooded with think pieces, sorry not sorry posts, and memes decrying “kids these days” and their need to be constantly entertained. Mostly they’re complaining about Pinterest Moms who schedule their summers so kids are always doing an organized craft or attending a camp or attending enrichment activities. “Kids need to be bored!” they shout, “It’s good for them to learn to entertain themselves!” “When I was a kid, my mom just locked us out of the house all day and told us not to get back until dinner!”

OK, first of all, your mama did not lock you out of the house when you were 4 and 2, which is how old half of my children are. Second of all, do you know how quickly kids get bored? 5 minutes. They’re bored all the time. They live in a constant cycle of dragging their poor, neglected bodies between horrible available options including millions of legos, dozens of ride-on toys outside, the sprinkler, unlimited Netflix, fort-building supplies, and their playing with the siblings I have generously grown with my own body as friends and companions.

Our summer calendar includes a lot of scheduled activities. I’m constantly watching Facebook for community stuff or checking the library calendar to see if there’s something at least one of my kids could go to. We do daytrips, late nights, meals on the go, ice cream for dinner.

I refuse to feel bad about any of it. No, I don’t *have* to fill their summer because I’m a stay at home mom (and judging people who do heavily schedule their kids during summer because they need childcare is some privileged nonsense – I’m VERY lucky “doing nothing” and “being bored” are even options). No, Caroline probably doesn’t NEED to go to 4 different kinds of camp. No, I don’t hate my kids and want to get away from them. We’re just trying to find a balance that works for us. So yeah, it probably does look like we’re ALWAYS doing something and ALWAYS going somewhere and my kids are NEVER bored.  But literally right now while I write this I’ve taken away their tablets, left them on the floor with a box of My Little Ponies and a bin of Magnatiles and told them to amuse themselves. It’s been 2 hours since they woke up and so far no one is fighting. I just know that won’t last forever, so pretty soon we’re headed out to the library.

NOTHING is as exhausting as refereeing bickering children all day, so yes please sign us up for some more stuff. When we need a stay-home-day, we’ll stay home. When people on Facebook feel bad about their own summer schedule, it’s about them, not me. I’m not raising or lowering a bar for anyone else (except for that trip to Disney World, because every month we’re not at Disney World is another month I disappoint my children).

So to be clear, the following options are ALL allowed:

Doing all the things
Doing none of the things
Making a long elaborate bucket list of must-do activities for the whole summer
Abandoning a long elaborate bucket list completely
Doing some of the bucket list but then taking time off
Going to no camps
Going to all the camps
Fulling intending to sign your kids up for camp but forgetting
Taking tons of pictures of everything
Taking no pictures at all
Letting the kids watch Netflix all day
Throwing out the remote and the tablets and declaring all technology off limits
Feeling like whatever you’re doing is wrong
Feeling like maybe your life would be better if you were just doing it the way that one Facebook friend is doing it
Giving up and not caring what other people are doing

And because I am the mom who chooses take all the pictures and do lots of things, here is some of our summer so far:

Our Whole Summer Is Like This

Monday, June 25th, 2018

On the first day of summer vacation, we went strawberry picking, spent the rest of the day at the lake, and then hung out at a local town carnival until bedtime. We ran into a photographer friend I know at the farm, saw almost our entire Momfest group at the lake, and then bumped into one of our favorite Navy families at the carnival.

Maybe when my kids are older we’ll have super relaxed, unscheduled summers. But right now I need them to stay busy and tired, so they can’t complain about being bored or try to kill each other. Today is the fourth day of summer vacation. We dropped E off at the airport, went to a playground, walked a couple miles around a park, caught a ton of Pokemon, took Evan to a coding class, spent 2 hours at the library, ran some errands, went to karate and it’s still not bedtime. I love summer. The weather right now is fantastic. But if the kids ask for one more snack I’m going to sell them.

My Week(352) in iPhone Photos

Tuesday, August 15th, 2017

My husband just got back from severals weeks underway on his submarine, so the amount of laundry in my house went from “a lot but almost manageable” to “mountains”. I’m going to catch up on these posts in the moments when I can’t handle folding one more plain white undershirt.

Sunday:

SUPER PROUD 3 YEAR OLD

Really excited about his insane milkshake

Making the exact same face as Evan above

Monday:

He loves this, I swear

Upsidedown Lincoln

Lego Batman on repeat

Tuesday:

Sunflower day

Family picture

Ready for the cow train

Wednesday:

I’m signing him up for gymnastics

Friends who love your baby are the best

Thursday:

The ocean

Looking for rocks

Weirdos

Friday:

The kids were fascinated with this thing at Stop & Shop

More lake

Finn really likes Cheetos

Saturday:

Pretending I’m a good Navy spouse by making calendar pages

In between laundry loads I also managed to order the week’s groceries and plan the kids fall activities schedule with reminders to register them for various activities as soon as they open. I still need to find Lincoln a morning activity besides swim (the gymnastic class I wanted is only in the afternoon) to help him get some of his wiggles out before afternoon pre-k. The plan is to make all four children as tired as possible so they go to bed by 7:30 every night. A+ PARENTING.

My Week(351) in iPhone Photos

Monday, August 14th, 2017

Still several weeks behind. I’m at the point where I can’t remember what some of these photos are from. I’m also very surprised by how often we leave the house, because it definitely feels like we spend most days shouting at each other in the living room.

Monday:

Caroline is currently obsessed with bows

Should I eat these animal crackers or the shoe? It’s a hard decision.

Such a cutie

Tuesday:

Catching creatures in the Mystic River

Ok, bye, check in later?

I should set up a tub and washboard at home.

Wednesday:

Lake fun

Lake nap

Thursday:

Super fun art activity at Lutz Children’s Museum

Hello turtle friend

REAL LIFE HEIHEI

Friday:

Friends at the lake

Baby at the beach

Lake life is exhausting

Saturday:

Look at that enormous baby

He can sleep ANYWHERE

Trying to get his own snacks now

Less than a week until birthday party go time and I literally cannot reach my dining room table because of the sheet rock all over the room. Which is great! Fine! I’m sure I can get ALL the party planning done between 8 pm Friday and 2 pm Saturday.

My Week(349) in iPhone Photos

Thursday, August 10th, 2017

They put sheet rock up in my kitchen today, so I’m feeling slightly better than I was yesterday. I’m starting to think someday they might actually finish.

Sunday:

Fat baby loves swinging

These were delicious

It actually looks WORSE now

Monday:

I hope he never stops taking couch naps

Salt marsh sunset

Tuesday:

Family walks

The baby who eats anything

Lumos

Wednesday:

Snugglesssss

Private beach

Happy baby

Thursday:

Such Pinterest-worthy decor in this nursery

Sparkles

She doubts her daddy’s cooking skills

Friday:

At least the shower is done

Saw this on a chair at Seaport Camp. Pleased we picked a good camp.

Tasted even better than it looked

Saturday:

My favorite cat

Caroline loves fireworks

Finn does not love fireworks

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