I don’t think we have ever needed a Summer break more than we do right now.
We’re behind on all sorts of things all over the place and my Inner List-Checker is having a fit because there’s no time for breaks! (See previous post: Inner List-Checker is closely related to Bossy Houseguest.)
But even with all the unfinished business on our plates, I know that a break is exactly what we need. More specifically, TIME is what we need.
Time to relax.
Time to breathe.
Time to do things as a family.
Time for fun.
Time for rest.
Time for laughing.
Time for friends.
Yes, we need to be wise and get our daily chores done or we’ll end up sabotaging our break time. We can’t completely take a break from everything, and that’s not what I’m talking about.
What we do need to break from is the busy, the over-committing, the distractedness, and all the other junk that’s been weighing us down. And I think I’m not alone. You may have seen some of the other posts floating around the internet about just this sort of thing, like the one about the 1950s summer that really stood out and resonated with me.
But I don’t want to only have relaxed down time. I want to also have some intentional quality time with my kids. I want to do both, without accidentally over-scheduling our summer with family outings in the name of Family Summer Break Time.
So I talked with my kids about how I envisioned our summer months this year, and doing them differently than we have in the past (since we usually school year round and take a month or so off around August.) We talked about having a slow start to the morning, getting chores done around ten, having some free time until one, and then doing a little bit of school on some focused areas that need attention, and then having the rest of the afternoons available to do things together at home or with friends.
I took it a step further and asked them to think of some things they’d like to do or some ways they’d like to spend their summer, so we don’t make plans to do things that we don’t really need or want to do.
After that, we all made summer wish lists, all four of us.
Some of the things on our list will be easy to implement, some of them will be regular activities. some of them will be a one time thing, and some of them may not happen at all. I let them include things to do, or places to go, or goals to reach–whatever they wanted for their Summer.
And these are wishlists. They are flexible. They aren’t to do lists or set in concrete.
For example, my list includes the lazy mornings until 10am, going to the library each week, going to the drive-in theater once, family movie nights a-la-Redbox, and reading three fiction novels for myself (among other things.) My son wants to make grape jelly with me this summer, since we screwed that up last year, and I will make certain it works out this time!
Of course, there will be other things that come along, like planning Vacation Bible School and attending the Fourth of July parade with our church. But outside of those things, I’m doing my best to make this an intentional summer together – not just with my kids but with our friends and family, too.
I have a challenge for you: I want you to make this an intentional summer, too.
I’m not saying you need to ditch all your plans. And I’m not even saying you have to be a stay home mom to make this work. I’m talking about making sure that you aren’t too busy to show your kids how much of a priority they are, like I’ve been guilty of doing for the past few months.
Relationships grow stronger when you spend quality time together. What can you do to build some quality time into your summer? Use the Summer Wishlist sheets if you want. Be intentional.
Happy first day of summer! May this summer be a great one.