Tuesday, July 11, 2017

The Real Truth About Summer Break

The REAL TRUTH about Summer Break

When I first became a mom, more experienced moms told me to enjoy the lazy days at home while my kids were young. I thought I understood, but I really didn't. We are six weeks into Summer Break, and we have only been able to stay home one day. ONE. I get it now!


The truth is, those lazy days are long gone. They started to disappear as soon as my oldest child reached school age, and now that we have four children in school, those lazy days are few and far between. And as much as I would LOVE to go back to those lazy days, it just isn't feasible.

I recently read an article about how parents need to give those lazy days of Summer back to their children. No more extracurricular activities, no more crafts and planned activities at home, and no more leaving the house unless necessary. At first, I found myself longing for those days, but as I continued to read, I felt like I was inadvertently being judged, because we do ALL of the things mentioned.


Upon reading the author's bio, I realized that I was reading an article from the perspective of a parent who only had children under the age of 3. I was that parent once. I had those lazy Summer days at home with my first two children. I made the same assumption that I would never allow our Summer to become overbooked. Things are different when kids are young. But my kids grew and my family increased in size, and as every parent who has watched a child grow, things change drastically in each stage of childhood.

Those lazy days of Summer are gone, but it doesn't make it wrong. It just makes it different. The trick is finding a good balance between the extracurricular activities and school activities that now blend into Summer Break, and being able to enjoy those carefree moments that make Summer so special.

Yes, my kids dance and play basketball over the Summer. They go to Story Time. They have playdates. I take them to the park and to the pool. We go on day trips to the zoo and spray park. I organize fun activities and crafts at home. We leave the house almost every single day.  And even though it's busy, they are having fun and making memories!


My kids also spend hours in our backyard each day. They run through the sprinkler, they jump on the trampoline, and they swing the hours away. They have picnics outdoors, organize elaborate water balloon fights, drip ice cream onto the pavement, and catch lightning bugs after dark. Most Summer evenings, my kids run indoors soaking wet and covered in dirt.

Even though Summer now is much different than Summers past, my kids are still perfectly content and wishing that these busy, yet wonderfully fun and carefree days of Summer would last forever.

The REAL TRUTH about Summer Break once you have a child in school (at least for me and many other parents) is that it's going to be busy. The days won't be as structured, but your calendar will still be full. Older kids will want to see their friends, and they will want to go places that they don't typically get to go to during the school year. It's also likely that your child will be involved in an activity or sport that will overlap with Summer Break. And that's okay.

The truth is, your perspective on Summer changes as your kids grow. There is no right or wrong way. It all depends on what stage you are in on your parenthood journey. No matter how simple or how busy your days are, as long as your family can appreciate all the things that make Summer so special, you are doing it right!!! 


Here's a glimpse at June, which was our first busy month of Summer Break:

My kids kicked off the month by actually playing together. It was a good sign of things to come!

Summer Break

Dylan, Lexie and Lily had their last day of school on June 2nd.

Summer Break

Dance recital rehearsals consumed our weekends, and Liam and I were just along for the ride!

Summer Break

We made the decision to start potty training full force!

Summer Break

We logged in hours in our backyard.

Summer Break

We spent hours in the car...

Summer Break

We walked our bunnies!

Pet Rabbit

I took carloads of kids to the park...

Summer

We visited a family member in the hospital, and I almost got car sick on my son while riding in the back with him.

Motherhood

Lily and Liam spent hours playing in our backyard together!

Summer Break

We FINALLY made it to the pool.

Down syndrome

Swimming

We stayed up really late each night.

Nothing Down About It

Our hand me down Power Wheels jeep got a LOT of use!

Summer

The girls had an all day dress rehearsal for their dance recital. This mama was exhausted by the end of the day!

Summer Break

Lily and Liam melted my heart...

Siblings

The girls had their first dance recital!!! It was an exciting day!

Dance

We celebrated Father's Day and our two favorite dads!

Father's Day

Father's Day

Father's Day

There were lots of bunny cuddles.

Pet Rabbits

My kids enjoyed our sensory bin of the month!

Sensory Bin

The girls helped me make recipes.

Recipe

Recipe

We spent a day at the park with Dylan's sweet girlfriend!

Summer

Liam and I toured Sears.

The Lucky Few

We spent more time at the pool.

Swimming

Downright Perfect

Brothers

We spent an afternoon with friends picking strawberries!

Strawberry Picking

Lillebaby CarryOn Toddler

We ran a million errands.

Summer Break

We went to birthday parties, and Lily won big!

Birthday Party

We drove to Michigan for a weekend for my niece's wedding!

Road Trip

Wedding Photography

Family Fun

brothers

We tried out more new recipes!

Cooking with Kids

We spent an afternoon at the skate park. 

Skateboarding

Some nights we crashed HARD.

Candid Childhood

We celebrated National Sunglasses Day in style.

National Sunglasses Day

We had some down time at home...

Down Syndrome Awareness

...but spent just as much time driving around!

Road Trip

We went to the spray park with friends. 

Deer Lakes Spray Park

Deer Lakes Spray Park

We ended the month with some skateboarding, a modeling session and a visit with grandparents!

Skateboarding

Trendy Bubs

The first month of Summer Break was a busy one, but it was full of fun and great memories! That's exactly what Summer is all about! 

The REAL TRUTH about Summer Break


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15 comments:

  1. Holy cow girl!! That is crazy how much you guys have done so far. And I thought we have had a busy summer. :)

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  2. Aaaahhhh loved all the photos. We aren't really busy with activities or things we have to do. But we are certainly gone A LOT more in the summer than the school year and it is our favorite season ever. I say people just do whatever feels right for them, which is exactly what you said too lololol.

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  3. I love all the pictures. We are gone a lot doing things that we love doing in the summer (going to the pool, going to the library, going to the movies, going on vacation, sports camp and more). The older my kids have gotten the busier we are but I get to see my kids loving what they are doing and it makes the business worth it. I love your words here! Thank you for sharing. I agree with what you are saying and just doing whatever is right for your family and your kids. Have a wonderful day!

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  4. You are such a good mama! It looks like you all are having a great summer so far, even if it's been busy. The kids look happy in all of the pictures! I didn't care much for summer when I became an adult...because...work. But, now that Mason is in big kid school I cherish these summer days and having him with me all the time. I'm not a fan of sharing him with school. haha

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  5. My kids don't really appreciate being lazy. We keep busy too. Maybe we'll get one or two quiet days this summer!

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  6. So many amazing things, girl!! You guys are having the best summer! We are starting Jacob in soccer in the fall and Olivia will start "nastics" as she calls it, so our days of lazy weeknights and weekends are OVER. Haha.

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  7. I completely agree with what you wrote. When my kids were little, most of our summer days were spent at the neighborhood pool or library. Now that they're older (13 and 15), they have more activities based on their interests. We also take a longer family vacation now during the summer. This fills up our days, so it feels a little busier, but it's all "good" stuff.

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  8. Love these pictures! Our oldest of four kids will be in Kindergarten next year, and I have a feeling the summer after will be booked!

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  9. Love all of your pictures! My boys love being outside too and would probably live out there if we let them lol. Mine aren't even in school yet but I can imagine it will get even crazier. We don't have a free weekend until the end of September Beautifully Candid

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  10. I am totally starting to understand this! I love lazy days but they are becoming fewer, and I also really liked planned, busy days! I need the perfect mix, ha

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  11. Our summers are the same way. Lewie has camp now instead of school, and we're always trying to squeeze in play dates on the weekends. He still has swim lessons and Cub Scouts. Still, I wouldn't trade the summer for the fall. Summer is still carefree with late nights and no rigid schedules. I'm hoping these last few months will seem to last forever!

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  12. Yes to this!!! I have 4 kids ages 7 down to 1 and our summers already look much different now than when I just had babies. I'm loving the summer - some days super busy and full, other days just spending time together. It's all good. :)

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  13. That sounds like such an awesome summer! I've actually enjoyed being busy with my girls! So fun!

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  14. We have a rule in our home that 2 hours of every day is spent relaxing... or being lazy. Connor calls it our "chill hours". We get to do whatever but it's basically the time for us to relax and recharge because we are really a family that loves to be on the go!

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  15. I love how you are pointing out that our perspective on things TOTALLY changes as our kids grow. Now that my kids are 9 + almost 6, I seriously feel like a completely different mom than I was when they were little. Things just change so much. I definitely miss those lazy baby days!

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