Summertime Blues

Summer. I’ve always LOVED the idea of summer. Sleeping in ’til 10, staying in my pajamas all day as my kids play happily at my feet while I read a new best-selling novel. Ahh. Sounds wonderful.

Unfortunately, like Olaf from Frozen, I’m afraid I have very unrealistic expectations of what summer beholds for me.

There was no sleeping in until 10. No staying in my pajamas all day. My kids rarely played happily on their own and I didn’t spend very much time reading – unless my kids were in bed.

Normally when school starts I’m an emotional wreck – terribly sad that our summer is over. This year I’m emotional but I’m torn. Part of me will miss being with them all day – I love spending time with them and keeping a close watch over them. But the other part of me is ready for them to go learn and grow. I’ve realized this past week that I love the idea of summer. The idea that we all get along and have happy days relaxing and playing. But that idea is just that, and idea. Not a reality.

In reality my kids get up at the crack of dawn. Regardless of what time they go to bed. It’s the last week of our summer break and my oldest son has just barely figured out how to sleep past 7. Yesterday he got up at 7:30. Even on nights when we stayed up until midnight watching fireworks or looking at stars through our telescope, my kids still got up super early – before they were ready. Then they were grumpy all day because they were tired. And if you think my 8 and 6 year olds would take a nap, HA!

In reality my boys have spent 75 percent of their summer break mimicking, punching, yelling and beating the crap out of one another. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to intervene. There were rare moments when they’d play peacefully together, but that was the exception, not the rule.

In reality I’ve been more tired and sick this summer than any other year. I blame their little sister. And for some reason I think my kids can sense when I’m not feeling well. That’s when they go crazy.

In reality we bought a new house that has required a lot of unpacking, cleaning and yard work. And my kids hate yard work. Instead of digging out weeds next to me and “helping” they have fought, whined and bickered until I could take no more.

In reality I have had to force my boys to sit and read with me. My boys are amazing readers. But that doesn’t mean they wanted to crack a book on their “break.” They have cried and complained while we have taken turns reading very few books this summer. It has been more traumatic than therapeutic.

Finally, in reality my boys hate doing chores and helping me. A couple of weeks ago one of my sons asked me if I was lazy and that’s why I make him and his brother help clean up, make their beds and clear their dishes after each meal. Yep. I’m lazy. He nailed it.

Maybe they too had unrealistic expectations for summer. And I have failed them. They probably thought I’d let them sit and watch Netflix all day long (instead of just half of the day). They probably wanted me to pick up after them and wait on their every need. They probably wanted a mom who had the strength and energy to entertain them all day, every day. But I couldn’t do it this year. I have failed.

Don’t get me wrong, we’ve done a lot of fun things this summer. We’ve gone camping, to several movies, swimming, to the splash pad, to the park and on dozens of bike rides. We’ve had a few really fun family vacations and several exciting birthday celebrations.

But overall this has been the longest, hardest, most exhausting summer I can remember. I’m ready for a break. Maybe next summer my idea of a fun summer will magically transform into a reality. Then again maybe not.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jaclyn
    Aug 21, 2014 @ 08:38:36

    Oh yes! This sounds all too familiar! I love that they think you are lazy! Ha! That made me laugh. My kids repeatedly tell me I treat them like slaves. Oh man, they have no idea!


    • Natalie
      Aug 21, 2014 @ 09:04:26

      LOL. Seriously. I’m glad your kids do this too Jaclyn. You are such a good mom, it makes me feel better that your kids would act that way too sometimes 😉


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