I don’t know about you, but summer break with kids can feel like a never-ending performance act.
After 8 years of mounting anxiety, something my husband said finally sank in. It helped lessen the load of mom guilt I had over making sure Elle had the “best day ever” of every single summer vacation.
In my guest post at Choosing Wisdom, I share my thoughts about summer break, mom guilt, and why every mom needs to take a break once in a while.
Here’s a sneak peek:
Summer: It’s Complicated
I have a love-hate relationship with the school year. I love the daily rhythm, structure, and deadlines it brings and hate the busy-ness, struggles with homework, and gross school lunches Elle insists on eating. But summer… My relationship status with summer is best described as “it’s complicated.”
Summer brings freedom from the deadlines and pressures of school, yes. It brings long days of sunshine, memory-making, and unstructured growth. But summer with an only child can also bring dread, misery, and downright boredom for both mother and child.
Raising an only child was never in my plans, but after 8 years of doing just that, I think I’ve finally gotten a handle on it. I’ve learned to have a chat with every new babysitter about how different it is babysitting one kid versus a gaggle. I’ve learned to force my introverted self out a little more so that our daughter could get more experience sharing, communicating with kids her age, and engaging in age-appropriate imaginative play. But the one thing I hadn’t learned until our 8th summer together was to shed the mom-guilt of not being the perfect summertime playmate, entertainer, and event planner.
Pressure to Perform
Sure, I want to make each summer magical just like most other moms. And I do plan fun activities and special events to create opportunities for life-long memories. But it’s the pressure to perform to a very attentive solitary audience member that has stirred up legitimate dread in my mother-heart as summer approaches.
There is no “play with your brother/sister” option. It’s just you and your kid. All day long. Every day.
Or pin for later:
Every mom has rough days. Sometimes, taking a mommy time out is the answer. Sometimes, a chat with Ben and Jerry can help. But the best time is when your child pulls you out of your funk and you remember that Mom Life truly is the best life. Read about how embracing my daughter’s quirkiness turned my frown upside-down by clicking here.