When my kids were at home, I never asked myself this. I was too busy planning and scheduling the perfect summer. Full of pool time, camps, Vacation Bible school. It looked great in theory. But summer came and I found myself counting down to the beginning of a new school year. Summers were messy, lack of a schedule made me feel disorganized. Messy house, kids that always wanted to do something. Please don’t get me wrong I love my boys. They know that I would tackle a bear to save them from harm. But summer time with my precious baby angels were stress filled. Why? Because I was a perfectionist. I had no boundaries. How can you bring yourself a little more peace for this upcoming summer?
*Set your boundaries. How much am I willing to be in the car this summer driving my people around? What do I need bedtimes to look like (not for them but for you)? How am I going to spend quality time with my significant other?
*Ask for help. Schedule with neighbors and friends for playdates. Carpool. Send them to see Aunts, or Grandparents if they will take them. Giving your kids time away from you will make you appreciate you more. I know it’s hard to let go of control.
*Let go of perfection. Let go of comparison. Compare yourself to no one. Not to your Mom, not to that neighbor who never seems to yell at her kids, or has all the perfect snacks at her house. Compare yourself to no one. Comparison is the death of joy. Let it go.
*Keep your schedule. The workout routine that has worked well, the Bible study you have found, you’re eating plan. Try to stay with those things that bring you joy. Keep yourself grounded. When you feel grounded you are going to be less likely to blow up at your kids or spouse or notice all the messiness of your house.
*Don’t try to reason with your kids. Your child’s prefrontal cortex, the part that controls impulse control, reasoning and comprehension does not fully develop until their 20s. You have to be the voice of reason. That’s why knowing your boundaries is so important.
*Give yourself grace. Lots of it. You are not super woman. You don’t have to do it all. You are in charge of your schedule. If you keep hearing yourself say how busy you are or how stressed you are-take a step back. Evaluate. You are the only one that controls your schedule.
Sounds easy right? Just follow the steps and you are on your way to perfect Motherhood? It is not. You will doubt yourself. You will feel like your failing. You are not. You are doing the best you can with the knowledge you have. That’s it. Your kids love you. They may not always show it but they are depending on you to be their rock. Motherhood is NOT a sprint. It is a marathon.
These summer days are precious, it’s up to you to change the way you look at them and find your joy.
Take a deep breath in, relax your jaw and know that you got this.