I’ve spent a lot of the school year writing about how my kids are growing up so quickly. I’ve lamented about time passing too fast and knowing that soon enough they won’t want to spend time with me. I’ve talked about how I need to treasure these moments when they still want hugs or time to share about their days.
Now, it’s time to put my money where my mouth is. Summer is here and because I purposely try to leave summer days free from too much programming, we are left with a lot of time to be together. My kids are pretty “easy” in that they’ll occupy themselves most of the day.
The boys will play outside or grab Wii remotes and wage epic battles on make-believe basketball courts or fantasy lands of sword fights and princess rescuing. The Girl will read, watch television, make Kidz Views reviews or ask to leave the house for playing at friends’ as often as she possibly can.
I could use all this time for work, chores, or my own pursuit of lazy activities like catching up on Summer Programming DVR shows.
Here’s the thing, just as they will easily occupy themselves, they would all be eager to spend time playing with me. I could get in on the Wii games or the four-square match in the driveway. I could be the manicurist when The Girl sets up all her polishes. We could bake or paint or plan adventures at nearby boardwalks or parks.
They still want to spend time with me and instead of looking at that as a distraction from what I’m “supposed” to be doing, I’m choosing this summer to make it what I’m supposed to be doing. The time for playing with my kids is limited and this summer I intend to capitalize on it as much as possible.
Today we’ll bond over organizing the house (finally time to swap out winter clothes!) and making lists for summer plans. Tomorrow, we’ll enact said plans and begin our summer of play. I’ll have to let go of the guilt over not doing what I’m “supposed to” and instead embrace my new role as just mom. Instead of laundry, and writing and bill-paying and cleaning while they play, I’ll play right along with them and figure the rest out later.
A mom who plays this summer? I’m not sure who will be more excited about the prospect.
P.S. Looking for more parenting guidance and tips for self-care? Check out From Chaos to Calm a guided training to help you feel better in this tough season.