As your child gets older and more independent, the summer break takes on a whole different vibe. Your now-teenager has successfully navigated middle school, some of high school, and possibly even completed Drivers’ Ed (eek!) At this point, they’re likely pretty entrenched in their daily routine: getting to class, completing assignments, attending practice, and (hopefully) doing their chores. And then summer arrives and it all falls apart. Your once busy teenager suddenly has hours and hours of time to play with and no direction creating a situation that can quickly escalate out of moms control—so here are some summer tips for moms with teens to help nip it in the bud right from the start.
The school year is drawing to a close and summer will be here in a minute, with it the buzz of schoolkids ready to burst from the confines of their routine and be free. Never fear: a successful summer transition is within your reach. The change from classroom to summer setting need not be jarring—for you or your child (or your teen). Doing a bit of prep before summer’s arrival will ease you all into this change and set you up for a summer of grand memories and structured good times.
I love to shop. Shoes, candles, small kitchen appliances all have an allure that is intoxicating. But mattresses? No. Traditionally they are hard to carry, deliver and choose. The pressure is intense – this will be where I you spend 1/3 of my life for years to come! Too much stress. It’s one of those things that should magically happen. A friend tells you which brand to buy, it appears and the old one is magically whisked away. Sure – I’ll change the bedding but that’s as far as it goes. Well, friends.. the game has changed. I just tried Casper mattress in a box and can’t wait to replace every bed in the house.
I hate mornings. And I’m not just saying that. I REAALY am not a morning person. See? I wrote that last sentence at 7am. That’s what happens. Give me 10pm. Midnight, and I will execute my tasks beautifully, exhibiting flawless grammar and grand ideas. Unfortunately, the world doesn’t operate based on my ideal time of day. The harsh 7am alarm means coffee, breakfast preparation and the crazy marathon that is getting two boys to school on time.
You know that warm, tingly feeling you get when you’re sitting on the couch watching tv in super soft flannel pjs and you’re just starting to get tired? When you yawn and stretch before padding upstairs in fluffy slippers and you slide into bed and slip immediately into a deep sleep? Well, it’s usually not me feeling those feels. It’s usually someone I’m watching on tv as my sleep deprived brain whispers, “that person is about to have the best sleep of their life.”
But things have changed.
It’s true. On the surface, I do look very much like your typical crunchy-granola attachment parent. I breastfeed, make my own baby food, buy organic, wear the babies, redirect rather than punish (or try, at least), and even do a little bed sharing. Letting my baby cry it out would be the last thing a mom like me would do.
You might assume I’d be one of those moms who pops up in your Facebook newsfeed, all sanctimommy in my choice of shares, doling out judgment and unsolicited advice—but you’d be wrong. You won’t find me mom-shaming anywhere. My philosophy is ‘we’re all in this together.’ And try as I might, living with my headstrong 3 ½ year old daughter leads to considerably more yelling and empty threats than I ever thought would be in my mommy wheelhouse.
We look forward to summer break at our house. It is a time when we cut down on activities and well… just, “be.” It never seems to fail though, a week after school lets out, the kids are complaining about being bored. My co-author and her kids came up with a list of ideas to do at their house. This isn’t a list of intricate crafts, projects or extravagant destinations—it’s a simple list. In fact, it’s a list of things that quite often, I forget are an option.
Checking off a couple of her list items, I realized that it’s easy to do fun things with kids, because all they want is our time. If we are there, present, in the moment and playing with them, they’re happy. So I decided to make a second simple list of some of the greatest things that you might consider doing with your kids this summer.
It happens at some point for every mom and it was happening for me today, one and a half months before he would turn the big oh-two: the first trip away from my baby.
I’m a journalist and editor, so it’s been easy to find reasons to work from home over the past few years, scrambling to squeeze every workable second out of naps, evenings, and weekends—but when a press trip came up for Ann Arbor and my first choice writer couldn’t make the dates, I considered whether it was perhaps time to get back into the game and go myself—a mom’s getaway.
Stay-at-home mothers are lucky. We get to be with our babies full-time and witness all of the coveted milestones that make parenthood so special in those early days. We have unlimited time to spend with these tiny creatures who hold our hearts so tightly, and we are free from the guilt and anguish that so many mothers feel for sending their little ones to daycare. We don’t have to put on a suit and drag our tired asses to an office, tearfully kissing our little ones goodbye. And we don’t answer to anyone but our own children, who, in reality, are the worst bosses anyone could ever have. As temping as it is, we must not fall prey to the idea that staying at home with children is a leisurely endeavour—it is work, and yet, somehow, this job that nobody really considers a job, has been placed on the bottom of the totem pole. Yes, we are lucky, but this shit is hard and asking for support shouldn’t be anything to be ashamed of.
But, it is.
Is life overwhelming sometimes? Ever feel the need for a refuge? Want one small space to call your own? If that sounds like you, sister, you might need a ‘she-shed’, a detached one-room bungalow with the sole purpose of providing comfort, privacy and serenity. Start planning, and before you know it, you’ll be gently closing your door on the rest of the world.