Wednesday, May 29, 2013

In the good old summertime

Well, it's that time of year again.  School is almost out for the summer.  Dallas only has two school days left, and Lottie goes for six more days. When I was a teacher, there was nothing as exciting as the countdown to summer break.  But now, I keep saying Facebook updates from happy parents about all of their FUN! SUMMER! PLANS!  When I see these updates, I tend to shudder.  Why?  My name is K. C., and I'm not really jonesin' for summer break.  Here's my big confession: I don't like spending every waking moment with my children.

Gasp!  You're totally judging right now.  I can sense it.  That's okay because I'm judging myself, too.  I mean, what kind of mother says she doesn't want to spend time with her kids in the halcyon days of summer?  That's not exactly how I'm feeling, though.  I love my kids, and I have a lot of fun with them.  It will be nice to see Lottie more because she has been at school all day for the past school year.  I like making sandcastles and reading to them.  I love when they read to me.  They're amazing little people, so of course I want to spend time with them.

But, oh, summer.  Hot weather, mosquitoes, schedule changes, boo-boos, Popsicle stains, arguing, boredom, and more mosquitoes.  Lots and lots and LOTS of time together.  The kids are going to be together more than they have been since last summer, and that much time together is certain to go sour at some point.  They're typical siblings: crazy about each other one minute and ready to brawl the next.  They will have to share everything, even me, and that is going to get old.

Both kids are going to attend a summer camp at Dallas's school.  They will only be there three days a week for three hours a day, so we will still have plenty of time to play and have adventures.  I truly feel that they really need to have some sort of schedule, though, or August 21 is going to be a smack in the head.  And, quite frankly, those nine hours a week will give me a break.


Yep, I said it.  I am going to need a break from my kids.  Judging again?  I'm not ashamed of that.  I cannot be a good mom if I am stressed and tired and overwhelmed.  In the past six months, I have really started to realize that I have to start taking better care of myself.  I'm 40 years old, and things are only going to get busier and crazier with the kids in the next few years.  I can't do what I want to do with them if I am not physically able to do it.  So I will use my nine hours a week to go to the gym, work around the house, or even just sit and read a book.  I need that time, and I'm going to use that time to my advantage.  I refuse to believe that I am the only parent who feels this way, but maybe I'm one of the few who will admit to it.  I don't think I have to spend every moment from 6AM to 8PM with my kids to be a good mom.  As a matter of fact, I'm a better parent, a better wife, a better friend, and a better person when I get some time to breathe.

Parenting isn't always cupcakes and rainbows and unicorns.  It's hard - really hard - and new schedules and too much concentrated together-time can make it even harder.  I don't know if the kids will spend all summer frolicking outside or stuck in time-outs, but hopefully I'll be well-equipped to handle it all with a little help from my family, my friends, and my nine hours.  And Popsicles.  Lots and lots of Popsicles.

Credit: Pinterest