I am SOOOOOOOO crazy excited! I can see a very welcome light at the end of a very looooong tunnel. The light? It’s a beautiful, glorious, sunshiney freedom known as Summer Break. The tunnel, of course, is the school year. Work. The Rock, as my school was affectionately (and for me, appropriately) known. That’s another talk for another time. The point is, I’m at that magical time of the school year when I start eagerly planning my precious summer months. In the past that’s meant cramming as much into June, July, and the beginning of August as I possibly can – hobbies, trips, crafts, playdates, and ironing. Always ironing. Good thing I like ironing. Except when this happens:
But this summer is different. I’m going to be a stay-at-home mommy again. (Insert ENORMOUS smile here). I’ve been so fortunate to stay home with each of my girls as they grew from tiny newborns to 14-month old toddlers. But when each of my beauties was 14 months old I had to return to work. This time, I’m home for good. EEEEEEEEEE! (Sorry, that’s my happy sound). All that to say, I don’t have to cram everything into 2.5 months. I don’t have to work around summer workshops and going back to work a week earlier than Emily to set up my classroom. I don’t have to spend any of my summer doing research on new theories, curriculums, or the latest craze in education. I get to HAVE a full summer!
Every summer I make a list of objectives – goals that I hope to accomplish before heading back to work. Usually these are related to crafts and hobbies that I began during the year and were unable to finish… a jigsaw puzzle here, a cross stitch there. But, as I said, this summer is different. This summer my list will also include parenting goals – a new line of thinking for me since Emily was one of the easiest and most compliant children I’ve ever met. Seriously – how many 4 year old kids do you know that say, “That’s okay. We can go another time,” when you tell them your Disney trip has been postponed? Or, when you ask them to make a Christmas wish list refuse to give a single idea, saying, “I don’t care, Mommy. Whatever you get will be fine.” I’ve honestly been jealous of people with kids who circle everything in the toy catalog! But now that Julia will be staying home with me, it’s time to work on things that were impossible to attempt while I’ve been teaching. And knowing that I have all of August… then September… then October… (I’m sure you get where I’m going with this), I am extremely encouraged knowing that I’ll have the time I need to work on these things. Julieboo is not the easiest or most compliant child, and my gut tells me that it’s going to take a great deal of time (and patience) to convince her to see things my way.
So, in hopes that this will help me to stick with it and not give up, I’ve decided that this year I’m going to write out my goals for this summer. Homework, if you will. In no particular order:
- Sell the baby items around the house. We are done having children. Stuff’s gotta go.
- Give the beauties bedroom makeovers. Emily’s growing up. It’s time to make some big-girl changes again.
- Introduce Julia to new foods. This one should be fun. Not.
- Run 4 times a week, hopefully logging in 8-10 miles a week. Totally doable, once I get new tires for the jogging stroller…
- Enforce Project Time-Out. Julia’s almost 2. ‘Nuff said.
- GET RID OF THE PACI. It drives me COMPLETELY bonkers that Julia still uses one to sleep at night.
- Start feeding Julia at the table. It’s time to get rid of that high chair.
- Teach Emily to ride her bike. For real – we just saw a 3-year old with no training wheels the other day. Yikes.
I’m really excited to get going on (some) of these. Others, not so much. But I think the thing that I am most looking forward to this summer is feeling whole again. 100% Susie, all day, all night. All of my time will belong to my family and the things that I need to do to keep us happy, healthy, and strong. And that’s the project I’m most looking forward to – definitely worth celebrating with a HUGE frozen coke. Or maybe just a huge… pacifier? Sorry, I couldn’t resist.