My New Normal…

School is about to let out and I can’t imagine the joy that a lot of kids feel knowing that they are soon to free of their desks, books, and homework.  I must say, I can’t wait for that either.  Wait Pam, don’t you homeschool?  Yes.  Yes I do.  My children are like social butterflies though.  They have a lot of friends that are in school, so they are excited to see them when school ends.  Usually, however, my children aren’t here for the summer, but not this time.  Which brings us to the real reason I am writing.  Ladies, (and gents if you’re reading), welcome to my new normal.  (This is where you add your applause and I silently sob on the floor in the corner of my bedroom.) Kidding…sort of. 

Let me explain.  Since the age of 1, my daughter would spend a couple weeks in the summer with grandma.  As she got older and her brother came along in the picture, the weeks would expand into a month.  Then two months.  Next thing you know, they would spend their entire summer with their grandparents and their cousins.  Now before you start to judge, DON’T.  This is just how we do things in my family.  My sister and I spent our summers with our grandparents until we got to a certain age as well.  It was tradition.  My mom and dad still worked and it helped to alleviate the financial strain of daycare costs if we just spent some time with our grandparents.  What happened because of it?  We went on countless vacations together, got to visit other family members we hadn’t seen throughout the year, got to spend an insane amount of time playing and learning about vegetables and gardening (My grandpa had several fields and gardens that we tended to over the summers).  Most importantly, we created an unbreakable bond with our grandparents.  One that I feel is often missing from this generation of children. 

My children have done the same.  It started out as a great help to us financially not having to pay 1200.00 a month during the summer for daycare.  Then it was about the bonding and all of the fun things they got to do during the summer.  My husband and I still had to work and while living in Houston with our commutes, we didn’t get home until 7-7:30 at night.  I am not exaggerating.  Fast forward and the kids look forward to this time.  They get to spend time with their granny, visit their aunt, and enjoy their cousins.  Although I miss them dearly, it’s also a time where I get to relax and rest.  I have the opportunity to do a lot of things solo.  I have the opportunity to hang out with friends without coordinating with my husband’s work schedule.  I also can plan for the next school year.  The main thing I get to do is sleep in.  That is a big one.   

This summer, I will be keeping the children with me.  They will not travel to MS and I am a little worried.  My body is already starting to get anxious.  I know it may not be a big deal to a lot of you and some of you may still be judging, but I implore you, DON’T.  I’m nervous because what if I am not fun?  What if the things I have planned don’t live up to what they normally do with my mom?  What if I don’t have anything planned?  These are actual thoughts that run through my mind daily now.  But what if…what if it’s awesome?  What if we have the most fun we have ever had as a family?  What if they never want to MN during the summer again?  What if we just enjoy each other outside of me teaching them and it’s just the best?  These thoughts also run through my mind.  I really want the latter to happen.  So, my goal this summer is to enjoy my kiddos.  I want to run in the grass, go to the lakes, go hiking, let them hang out with their friends, and make so many memories with them.  It’s different from what we normally do, but it’s what we will do now.  It’s something I am in prayer about.  I don’t want to pretend like I wasn’t a little bothered by the idea of not getting my few weeks break, but I’m okay with knowing that my children will get to spend time with their friends this summer.  Besides, I stay home now and they are getting to the point where they do miss being around their friends.

I guess that’s something I wanted to share and talk to you about.  Maybe your family is undergoing an adjustment period.  Which is exactly what we are doing.  Maybe it’s a little overwhelming to think about it.  For me, it definitely is.  I would encourage you to look at the good things that come from adjusting.  This is something I am constantly going back and forth on.  Adjusting, when you think about it, isn’t just about getting through it, it’s about learning through it.  What did you learn?  Or what can you learn from this?  Part of the reason I have so much anxiety about the summer is because I never truly felt adequate to stay home in the first place.  So, for me, it was, “okay you only have to be nearly perfect for 10 months and then you can really be you.”  Am I the only one that’s ever felt like this?  What I am learning is that I don’t have to be perfect for my kids all the time because they think I’m awesome.  It’s an adjustment.

So…pray with me moms.  Send me some fun activities to do this summer.  I still consider myself new to MN even though it’s going on 4 years of us living here.  That and I am a creature of habit, so I tend to do the same things and enjoy them.