Summertime is traditionally a time to slow down and enjoy lazy days, but I am filling my summer with fun things because summertime (and year-round really) should be about doing the things you love with the people you love. It may be counterintuitive, but this is how I am “doing summer to the max.”
What’s different this year…
First, my oldest started kindergarten this past fall. This will be her first “school’s out” summer experience. I actually feel like we have more freedom than ever before. There are no restrictions on travel because of her school calendar.
Second, my twins are out of diapers and cribs, so traveling is so much easier (we’re not packing diapers or pack ‘n plays to fly on a plane). No more diapers and cribs mean we are free to move about the globe!
Note: there is an inverse relationship for age of child to how much stuff children need to travel. Have you ever wondered why the smallest people require the most stuff?!
Third, I am super comfortable declining invites I just don’t feel like doing. I don’t scramble to make up a reason or excuse to validate my choice. I just say, “I’m sorry I will not be able to [fill in the activity I am declining].” This is reason enough.
This summer, I am cramming in as much fun stuff as I can possibly fit and not stuff I will feel obligated to do.
Things I have put on my calendar…
- LOTS. OF. TRAVEL.
- My passport is getting three international stamps in less than 12 months – two of which are from this spring/summer.
- Family vacation.
- My kids are no stranger to airplanes and long car trips (without screens, but this may change this year). They would like to return to Disney World, but we are fulfilling a dream of my own – visiting Ireland. (I tried to make it happen last year, but accepted defeat when faced with too many logistics with cribs/pack ‘n plays).
- Long weekends with friends/family.We have a tradition of meeting east coast friends in the Finger Lakes, N.Y., for a long weekend, and then spending a long weekend at the Jersey shore with family.
- Outdoor activities we like. Warm weather means bike-riding, walks/hikes, and spending time at parks and playgrounds with a picnic to stave off hunger-driven tantrums. This year I am going to try dragon boat racing and training for century bike ride (100 miles!)
- Taking advantage of local gems. We love looking at the Cleveland Orchestra summer schedule at Blossom and planning a night with a picnic where our girls can twirl and dance to the music while my husband and I sip adult beverages.
- Walks with friends. Ohio winters are long and feel endless. The minute they are over, I am planning “walk and talks” with local friends to take advantage of the later sunsets throughout the workweek (because weekends are generally family time). We get to catch up and get some fitness in at the same time.
Things I have taken off my calendar…
- Gymnastics class. My girls just weren’t feeling it, but we are keeping swim lessons on because it’s a life skill. And I look forward to reducing my mom-anxiety when my kids are around large bodies of water.
- Ballet class. My girls want to be ballerinas and start ballet class, but the summer schedule interferes with my extra-curricular activity (weekly yoga class). We’ll start ballet in the fall because this mama’s physical and mental health comes before my children’s need to pirouette – it can wait)
- Mom’s Night Out invites. I know I am lucky to get the social invites, but I know myself and I have no “FOMO” (fear of missing out). I look forward to spending my nights at home with my little ones and husband.