Summer is right around the corner.
For some moms, it feels like sweet relief after months of early mornings, homework, school projects, and activities. For other moms it can seem incredibly overwhelming because they wonder, what am I going to do with everyone home all summer?
In some ways summer gives us the opportunity to do things we’ve been wanting to do – read more books together, perhaps actually do those Pinterest crafts we pinned months ago, eat dinner outside, plan play dates, have devotional time together, etc.
Work may not slow down for some moms and it can be challenging to juggle childcare, camps, and our own expectations of what summer should look like.
One thing for sure is that with the significant change summer brings, things get a little wild!
I fall somewhere in the middle of tremendous excitement and very real anxiety about summer. About this time every year, I feel lies creeping in my heart telling me I can’t do it.
I start believing that it’s impossible for me to truly enjoy my kids AND keep my sanity. Here’s the thing – I don’t want to just survive the summer! I want to genuinely enjoy the summer and I want to create incredible memories for us as a family.
This requires a PLAN. In order for me to be successful (and not lose my cool when I’m bombarded by questions all day long), it’s going to take some intentional time and work.
We will be sitting our kids (7, 4, and 2) down and setting expectations for them for the summer. They are specific to our family and to the particular things that drive me crazy. A few examples include:
- Before asking Mom, ask, “Can I do this myself?”
- Do not call for me or anyone else from another room. Please speak face to face.
- Do not ask for TV or screen time until all your chores and responsibilities are done and you have asked Mom, “Is there anything else I can do to help around the house?”
- Snacks: You may have water, milk, pretzels, fruit, carrots, or yogurt without asking. Clean up everything you get out.
We will have age-appropriate responsibilities as well. There is no shortage of daily charts available online, but ours will include:
- Clean Room: put away toys, books, put clothes away
- Kitchen Help: put dishes in the dishwasher, wipe off the table, sweep the floor, help unload the dishwasher
- School Work: read daily, summer homework packet
- Time with God: Bible reading, prayer, memory verse
- Attitude while working: with a cheerful heart, with diligence and hard work, with thankfulness, with excellence!
We will discuss these at the beginning of the summer and we will review them many times over the course of the summer.
We will also have a reward jar that we will pull from on Fridays or when someone does something helpful with a great attitude. Setting expectations, rewards and consequences will truly help me enjoy our summer days together!
I am also reminded that our lives are not meant to be lived for our own pleasure, or fun, or getting our bucket list done. We are a part of a bigger story and God calls us to love others more than ourselves.
We have to work hard to find ways to involve our kids in service or it won’t happen. Our default for summer is to take care of ourselves, but can you think of someone you know you can serve? Is there a neighbor you want to know better? Is there a new mom you can bring a meal to?
We also need to remember that peace is not found in our circumstances, but in Christ alone. We will fall short, we will have attitudes that need work, and we will need to be reminded of God’s grace.
We get the opportunity to point our children back to him this summer and tell them about the grace God gives us in Christ and all the gifts He gives that we don’t deserve.
Christ will sustain us this summer! Stay the course mom. It’s such an opportunity to rest in God’s grace!
Looking for a community or someone to grab coffee with who is in a similar life season? We’d love to connect with you and get to know you better! Below you will find a few people that can’t wait to meet you, shoot us an email so we can make a plan!
Tyler OJ Campus
Teresa Ator: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bethanie Tayler: email@example.com
Tyler UB Campus
Max Heller: firstname.lastname@example.org
Chrisleigh Heller: email@example.com
Molly Pontius: firstname.lastname@example.org
Debra Kirby: email@example.com
Tamara Mcguire is the Elementary Coordinator at the Lindale Campus of Grace Community Church. Each week she gets the privilege of sharing the hope and joy found in Jesus with K-4th graders. She has been married to Mike for 10 years. They have 3 unique, loud, and wonderful children. In her free time, you can find Tamara in the garden, outside playing with the kids, cooking, or picking up the house. She always wants to find more time to read.