Summer is Near the End…and it’s Mayhem!

It’s nearing the end of summer, only a couple weeks until school starts again.

And it seems that ALL the rules have been thrown out of the window:

  1. Bedtimes don’t exist.
  2. Mealtimes are never on schedule, if cooked at all.
  3. Kids have stopped following any rules.
  4. I seem to have lost all most of my authority.
  5. Being active is non-existent, partly because it’s either hotter than blazes or it’s pouring rain.
  6. The kids are torn between being excited to go back to school to see friends, or dreading having to go back to school because…well…it’s school.
  7. Screen time limits seemed to have run a muck.
  8. Fighting has reached an all time high.
  9. Beds aren’t made and laundry isn’t done.
  10. And Mom is just plain tired.

The only ray of hope left was back to school shopping, and the thought of a new wardrobe. But even that had to be pushed back a week because the car needed a new set of tires!

So, we are counting the days, until life goes back to normal.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned this summer is that our family NEEDS a schedule. Otherwise, we run wild when left to our own devices.

Anybody else ready for school to start again?

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Countdown to Summer

 

Three more weeks until Summer Vacation!

Most years I have some apprehension about summer vacation…and what to do with the kids. In years past, I would have already been planning out their summer, trying to come up with ideas to fill their days. But not this year.

I think I am almost as burnt out on school as they are (though they would disagree). I am so tired of checking the Parent Portal. I’m done nagging, ooops, I mean “encouraging,” them to do their homework and study for the that test. I’m tired of helping them study for a German vocabulary test that I will never use in my life.

I’m tired of the speeches that start with “I’m sorry you don’t like school, but…”

The truth? I’m not sure when you will ever need to prove the Alternate Segment Theorem of a Circle, or if the Quadradic Equation will ever save your life. Probably not. But you still have to learn it because you signed up for the class and you have to finish what you start. And yes, you have to pass the class too.

I’m tired of getting up at the crack of dawn and making lunches, being sure to cut the crust off of one sandwich, and that this one likes Cheetos, but this one doesn’t. Frankly I’m amazed that no one ever went without a lunch or was late for the bus all year long. (Albeit we still have 3 weeks left -there’s still a chance).

I’m tired of remembering everyone’s schedule, or buying a purple shirt and polka dot socks at the very last minute that they’ll never wear again just because it’s Twin Day tomorrow. And don’t get me started on money for last minute pizza parties or missing library books that are later found on another shelf at the school library.

I’m tired of arguing over taking a shower (yes…you have to do it). I’m done with arguing over what time to go to bed – you know you get cranky when you stay up too late. I don’t care if your friends stay up until midnight on a school night…I don’t stay up that late so neither do you.

Stick a fork in me…I’M DONE! #readyforsummer

I’m ready for sleeping until noon (okay, not me, I have to work), I’m ready for staying in pajamas until 3pm. And I won’t even criticize if they don’t brush their hair everyday – at least for the first few weeks of vacation.

They are finally at an age where I am stepping back a little. It’s time they start taking control of their own time and how they use it. Just don’t expect to spend 12 hours a day on the computer or the cell phone. That’s NEVER going to happen.

But let’s relax…go outside…eat dinner late…play outside after dark with friends…have water fights, and sleepovers…go to the library…go to the pool…sleep some more…stay up until midnight (just don’t expect me to stay up with you)…go to the movies in the middle of the week…skip breakfast…hang out with friends (in person, not on line)…

Summer is coming, and I’m ready this year!

End of Summer Confession

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As I’m reading other Mom and Dad Blogs, and seeing what full summers they had with their kids, I’m feeling like I failed at the whole summer thing. I started out this summer with the best intentions.

We were going to do things, and go places, and swim everyday, and have friends over all the time. We even made a list of interesting, and local, things to do.

Working out of the home and also not driving does make for a difficult situation some times. My kids are limited, and don’t get to do some of the activities their friends get to do, so I thought making a plan for the summer would help…yeah, it didn’t help.

I tried to get them to play outside, which can be tricky since we don’t have a yard, and also because my 14-yr-old daughter is having none of it. “Outside” is not her thing.

I had planned to walk to the pool (which is almost 1 mile away) and then we had weeks of rainy afternoons and then it got hotter than blazes. Now NO ONE wants to walk to the pool.

My son did go to Vacation Bible Camp for a week, thank goodness! And I made my daughter volunteer a few days a week at the library (but the shift is only 1 to 2 hours each day) just to get her out of the house.

But you know what they did the most? Here comes the confession part…THEY PLAYED ON THE COMPUTER!!!! (A picture of me pulling out my hair would be appropriate here).

To their credit, they did skype with friends while playing Minecraft, and my daughter chatted on line with friends (whatever happened to using a phone?) so that’s sort of playing with friends, I guess, right?

The weird part about it is that I really think they’re fine with how their summer is going. Anytime I ask them if they want to do something, the answer is usually “no.” Besides, that would mean changing out of their pajamas!

So maybe I didn’t fail. Maybe they did EXACTLY what THEY planned on doing all along. Maybe summer really has changed for this generation. Or maybe we’re just unmotivated.

I guess we’ll find out how their summer really was when they get back to school and they do their first writing assignment of the school year which is always titled “What I Did for Summer.”

Here’s hoping your summer was way more exciting than mine.

Help! My kids are taking advantage of me!

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I started summer with the best intentions. I did the research, and I had a plan to keep them busy on things OTHER THAN screen time.

The problem is THEY had a plan too…and the ONLY thing on their plan was screen time!

Part of the problem is that I work part time out of the home, so they are left to their own devices (pun intended) for about 6 hours a day, 3 days a week. I’m only a room away, but I’m working and can’t really be interrupted, so other than a few breaks, I can’t really keep on top of them to do the plan we laid out for them. #structuredsummer

It’s a very liberal plan, and I thought I could trust them to follow through on their own. #wishfulthinking I’m not asking them to write a novel, or to complete Algebra 1, or to become fluent in a foreign language. All we asked was that they complete a worksheet each day, do something creative, and read for 30 minutes. And these things had to be completed WHILE I WAS WORKING. Easy, right?

Yeah, well…I think it lasted a week.

boy-110762_1920Now we’re more than halfway through summer, and they are spending my work days GLUED TO THE SCREEN. I don’t know why I’m surprised. I should have seen it coming.

But by NOT sticking to the rules, I see it as disrespectful, and that ticks me off.

So the new rule…all work (chores, worksheets, reading, etc.) must be completed BEFORE they get screen time. They weren’t happy when I laid out the new routine. Secretly, I felt a little guilty about it…I mean, it’s summer, right? But they also need some sort of structure because I know it teaches responsibility and it helps their behavior, not to mention it probably saves their eyesight too.

If you’re one of the crazies, like me, who has to have a “structured summer,” how’s it going? Have you managed to stick to your plan? What would you do differently next time?