I love summer. I love the sun and the fun and the freedom that comes with these months when school is out, recreation is in, and outdoor opportunities abound. But I also have a confession.
I do way fewer things with my kids than I’d like.
I have no lack of ideas. Picnics on the beach. Bike rides to the local park. Barbecues with friends. A trip to the splash pad. An impromptu gathering around the fire pit to roast s’mores. I could go on.
It is summer, after all.
But instead, those fun thoughts flit across my brain, never to be acted upon. Because sometimes they just seem like more work than they’re worth to pull off as well as I’d like.
I’m sure I’m not the only one. Who can relate?
Often I feel it has to be perfect in order to even consider an outing. We can’t just go to the beach. It must include a perfectly packed picnic. Jaunts to the park have to include a bag full of “just-in-case” items, because good moms are prepared for every contingency. Barbecues need to be completely healthful, 100% homemade, and out-of-this-world delicious to impress my dinner guests.
Moms, let’s be honest. We are the ones who stress our own selves out.
In reality, the pursuit of perfection steals the joy out of the activity, sets up expectations for the event that cause us to become frustrated if they don’t come to fruition (or if our kids misbehave), and discourages us from making the exhausting effort to begin with.
Let’s throw this ridiculous need for perfection out the window, and jump feet first into summer without a care in the world – just the way our kids do. Just the way we did when WE were kids.
Remember when hot dogs, a watermelon, and a bag of chips made a perfectly complete and lovely barbecue? NEWS FLASH: they still do.
So throw a bottle of sunscreen in your purse, toss a box of Cheez-Its onto the passenger seat, and keep an emergency diaper in your glove box. Then, all summer long, when that fun thought floats briefly through your mind, grab it with both hands, load the kids in the car, and JUST GO.
By the time September rolls around, you’ll have a summer full of memories rather than a summer full of good ideas, regrets, and “should-have’s.”
And if you run into a situation you’re not fully packed and preprared for, you’ll figure it out. After all, you’re a mom.
Here’s to a fantastic summer. JUST GO!
What are some of your favorite spur-of-the-moment summer activities? Give other mothers some inspiration!