I've actually chatted with a couple of my friends about this. For some reason, this summer is hard, emotionally, for me. Part of it is I realize I only have 4 more summers with Monster. Four. And really, it's less than that when you factor in jobs and friends. Part of me wants to let my kids whatever it is they want this summer, even if that means doing nothing other than playing video games. Part of me wants to take them on all sorts of vacations because soon they will be too old to want to vacation with me. Then there is the logical part of me that knows neither of those options work by themselves and I need to teach them responsibility.
I almost feel like summer is when we shouldn't have any responsibilities. But, then we have the problem of not having clean underwear or nothing to eat for dinner. So, it becomes a guilt ridden balancing act. We have to wash dishes. We have to wash clothes. We have to go grocery shopping. We have to keep the house clean. We have to mow the lawn. My kids have to read and work on keeping their math skills sharp. They get to swim (when it's not raining), play on the XBox, watch TV, play outside, sleep in late, go to bed late, hang out with friends. They choose to play softball, go to karate, take art lessons, do dance, go to camps, and work at the library. We do it all, yet, I still have guilt.
It gets so overwhelming, and that's when the guilt sets in. Should I wake them up early so we could do more? Should I let them stay up later so we can do more? Should I not have let them go to camp so they could have more downtime? Should I make them do more math so they don't fall behind? Should I make them do more chores so they take more responsibility? Should we go on more vacations so they have more experiences? Should they do no chores so they have more time to just be kids? Did I remember to appreciate every single second of my time with them? Did what we did today make memories for them and if not, was it a wasted day? I know that a lot of this comes from my anxiety, but, talking to moms without anxiety, most feel a little like this, too.
When our kids are little, we just try to make it through. We try to keep up. We feel like we have so much time. Someone posted how many weekends, from birth to 18, we have with our children. When you look at it like that, we have such little time. I know that when our children get older, we still do things with them and we have a different kind of connection. I understand it, but I'm not ready for it. Each day, I will continue to do my best to balance it all out.