We all get advice. Some advice resonates deeply, you take the advice to heart and apply it immediately. Other times you know the advice is not for you and completely ignore it. Then there is the advice that you get and think “well that’s obvious, its good advice but I already know it and apply it to my life.” You think you can write it off, but somewhere deep in your subconscious it sticks with you.
Then days, months or years later you look back, reflect and realize it was much better advice than you realized and you really didn’t apply it to your life as you thought you had.
This realization, that I had missed some good advice, happened to me this summer.
Before telling you about the sage advice I completely missed, let me tell you about my friend Tiffany. Tiffany was, and continues to be, one of my guides in parenthood. We met at preschool her youngest is the same age as my oldest and are best buds. Whatever parenting issues I am just starting to go through she has already been through. Our outlooks on life and parenting are similar.
So, when our boys were 3 and just finishing their first year of preschool, we were talking about our summer plans. She told me her plan for the summer was to have a boring summer. She planned on going to the pool, going on vacation for a week to visit family and maybe doing a few things around town.
I thought this sounded great and just how summer should be. I told her our plan for the summer was going to be pretty low key as well. I then proceeded to tell her my plan for making it a “low key summer.” I told her of the road trips I had set up to visit friends and family. I shared the list of every event being offered at every library and museum in a 30 mile radius and the corresponding playground, park or splash pad we would visit after each event. I had activities planned for hanging out at the house and what I would do if my kid said he was bored.
It was going to be the best summer, completely relaxed and just fun – yes my kids were 1 and 3 at the time and yes I was a completely crazy, still relatively new mom. And no it was not a relaxing summer
Fast forward seven years and I finally get it. Each year my summer planning craziness has lightened and I don’t think it can get any lighter than this year.
The kids each did one camp and that was it.
We have spent a lot of time at the pool. I don’t pack a giant pool bag, everyone grabs a few snacks and a towel. I grab my book and out the door we go.
I don’t make plans days ahead, or even the night ahead. If we wake up and feel like an outing we just go.
I planned one road trip to visit friends and family. Even on this trip we have no plans beyond where we are staying and some possible ideas of things we might like to do.
Getting to a boring summer has been hard, for all of us. It hasn’t always been idyllic there has been crying, whining and fighting and I probably wouldn’t invite you in my house because it is such a disaster.
The kids still wake up in the morning and ask what they have to do today. I tell them we can do whatever we want and they look at me with slight confusion.
There has been more fighting as they try and figure out what to do when mom isn’t entertaining them every minute of the day. But they have discovered some games in the game closest they never knew they had and have had some great games together just the three of them.
There has been more screen time than I am happy with, but I am finding they do get bored with screens after a while and will eventually turn them off without being told. Although if you were to be a fly on the wall in my house today, you might think they never get off the couch and Descendants just runs in a loop on the TV.
In our third week of boredom we are slowly getting into a good rhythm. It has been hard, but worth it.
I hope your summer has been and continues to be as boring as ours!