I survived the first week of summer break with a smile. Barely. Only 10 more weeks, but no one else in the Patay household is counting. But me, I admit. Deep breaths.
Don’t get me wrong. I welcome the respite from homework, projects, meetings, volunteering, packing lunches, and staying on top of endless papers that come home. My in-basket is sooo happy to be less full.
I have loved a week free of nagging, pleading or threatening to get out the door on time. Three kids in three schools. Sounds worse than it is, but sheesh. I am happy not to think about that right now. The end of the school year trauma for moms (or dads) was captured hysterically and so-right-on by Jen Hatmaker’s article, “Worst End of School Year Mom Ever.” A must must must read. You will love her honesty and humor. You will feel incredibly validated.
We did have a highlight moment I must say. The first Sunday after summer break invaded my life and personal space…oh, I mean joyfully began…we, as a whole family created our “Summer Bucket List.” This is year two of this tradition. I am not your fun-summer-mama-full-of-arts-and-crafts-and-amazing-outings, but this bucket list makes my kids think I am. Heck, it makes me believe I am. It helps me to be intentional and look forward to many special events and memories to be made. And my kids loooove the Bucket List. They will lock this in as a childhood AHHH. (And hopefully forgive and forget some of the ways I have blown it.) Our Bucket List is on a huge colorful poster board in our dining room. I see it every day and it helps remind me that I won’t completely suffocate over summer.
Yes, I used the word suffocate. Because, we are All. Together. All. The . Time. And the three little darlings are around EACH OTHER all the time. They bug each other and stare at each other and touch each other and copy each other and it escalates and then they are at war with each other.
Every day its “What fun activity are we doing today?” And after we get home from said fun activity, “Now what, Mom?” “Mom. Mom. Mom. Mom. Mom. Moooooommeeee.”
It seems the SoCal June Gloom hit RIGHT as the clock turned 12:46 pm on the last day of school. This does not help me at all. We had positively gorgeous sunshine day after day. Until we didn’t. And still do not, (mostly). Which means we have not been swimming, beach-ing, or park-hopping. Lots of being at home. All of us.
There are many ways for moms to cope with this. I found myself hiding in my closet the other day, “cleaning it out,” with the iPad in tow, watching an episode of Breaking Bad. Yes, I was hiding away. Proud Mommy Moment #2089.
Another coping mechanism is to drown out the noise (I must be getting old) and other unpleasantries, with music. PANDORA is on 24/7 in my house and I’ve also been carrying around my iPhone with various tunes shuffling through. Music is my happy place (one of many) and it lifts me up and fills my soul. No, I’m not
checking out here, friends. Don’t judge me. Prayer, exercise and mommy-breaks are also utilized as coping skills. Jen Hatmaker, my new pretend BFF, also has a piece called “Survivng Summer,” which is chock full of ideas. Wish I lived next door to her.
As I was writing this, and sharing my theme with my husband, he started with, “Not another…” I stopped him right there where he would possibly say “another venting piece.” I’m guessing, because I did not let him go on, and further justified my venting because of how HARD it is for me. Maybe not for him. He is more tolerant and patient. And he is not here all day either.
The all-together-ness that leads to fighting, to loudness, to constant questions, to the never-ending, “Now what, Mom?” makes me want to pull my hair out. Or theirs, but I DO refrain. Kate asked me why I had to go to the gym again this morning, and I said, “Because you know those times I get grumpy and lose my cool? That would happen A LOT more if I did not exercise.” She does not get it, but when she is a mommy she will.
I am one who needs a little alone time, a little space, a little time to myself. To think, to write, to exercise, to work.
I need space just to keep up on the household to-do lists. I NEED them to be in school, and I could never homeschool, because of the all-together-ness factor. I have projects that awaited me till now like two boxes of filing that are so over-full. My house is photo-shopped all neat and tidy, but don’t dare look inside my closets and drawers. I’m in desperate need of deep organization.
I am really not a Negative Nellie or a Sourpuss Sylvia. Ok maybe today. And then the pity party will be over.
I do LOVE summer, the theme, the feel, the weather, the tanks and flips, the sun and trips, the grilling, and the endless memories made. Even in this week of I have had belly-laughing moments, doubled over in the kitchen, when I thought my bladder would give out. Yes. That kind of fun and humor and goodness. Its possible in the Patay House, despite my ranting and raving.
Long mornings of pajamas and tv time, or hanging out and playing with no where we HAVE TO BE is bliss. Truly. Lets all have a collective sigh. Once the June Gloom subsides and real sunshine takes over, our souls will open up a bit. Our Summer Bucket List of FUN awaits us. And maybe you could join us, too.