Mom's Summer "A" Game

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"Summer A Game" by Michelle Hamel (CatholicMom.com)

Image credit: Pixabay.com (2013), CC0/PD

This was an actual conversation at our house just the other day:

My two youngest kids on their last day of school: “Woo hoo! Summer vacation! I’m so excited!”

Kids (five minutes later): “So what are we doing tomorrow, Mom??”

Me: (Several seconds of silence … a couple of “Umm’s” … a little anxiety) “Well, we need to go grocery shopping.”

Kids: (groan in unison)

Me : (groans on the inside, thinking of visiting multiple stores with kids in tow)

Summer vacation … it’s such a special time of year. With kids ranging from 7 to 26, I’ve certainly had a lot of experience with summer vacation. I actually like having my kids home with me. (At least most of the time!) This year, I’m just not on my “A” game!

No matter how many times I’ve experienced it, I’m always surprised at how quickly May and June pass by. Winter takes forever to get through, we have April vacation, then I blink and it’s the last day of school! Every.single.year.

As the last day of the school year approaches, trying to keep a normal routine seems so hard. It’s light out later so it’s harder to get the kids in bed on time. The weather is nicer so kids want to spend more time outside after dinner. Everyone is just ready to not have homework, projects, and a super structured routine (Mom included!)

Leading up to that last day of school, I have so many thoughts about making the summer memorable. I want the kids to have fun. I want them to do lots of reading and practice math facts so they don’t lose any ground for next year. I want them to spend lots of time outside. I want to limit screen time so that they spend time using their imagination. I want to plan fun adventures that will bring some excitement into our weeks.

And yet, how I’m feeling is like the scene from Indiana Jones when he’s running away to avoid being crushed by that giant stone.

All the things I want to do, all the things I should do, and all the things I have to do swirl around in my head as time whips on by. I’m trying to figure out how to balance my part-time job with full-time summer mothering. My very capable teenager will be watching her two younger siblings, and her special-needs brother when he isn’t in his summer program, while I’m at work. When I get home after lunch, my littles will be looking to “do something” and I will miss out on that hour I usually get by myself to eat lunch, check my email, start some laundry, and do some cleanup. Losing my own routine will be a sacrifice.

Summer holds so much possibility. Maybe this summer won’t be Pinterest worthy. But I can let go of my own worries about doing and being “enough” and focus more on having a Spirit-led summer by enjoying time with my family in whatever moments present themselves.

What are some ways that you are hoping to make family memories this summer?


Copyright 2019 Michelle Hamel

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About Author

Michelle Hamel is a cradle Catholic who tries to keep up with the chaos of raising eight kids with her high-school sweetheart. She spends her days trying to make sure everyone feels loved and squeezing in Adoration visits. She is especially grateful for her bonus babies as she navigates the lands of teenagers and young adults. Michelle blogs about faith and family at Normal Chaos.

1 Comment

  1. Hi Michelle! I, too, always have big plans for summer time with my seven children, only to so often watch it all dissolve into chaos. I really appreciate your tone of sacrifice and acceptance in this article, as well as offering solidarity to all of us trying to juggle the demands of family life with our own personal needs! I’m learning to also have more “Spirit-led” time and accept each moment for what it is–a gift from God to grow in holiness (even when that growth doesn’t quite look like I thought it would!) God bless!

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