Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Summer of ugh!

When I was a kid, the summer months were great!

For one, there were 3 of them and we didn't go back to school til after the State Fair and Labor you remember those days? Now our kids get two months at best!

For two, we spent 90% of our summer in our bathing suits while playing in the pool or outside with neighbor kids having water fights, playing kickball games, making up shows... Yes, shows. The late 70's and early 80's were very big on musicals. I used to borrow my mom's knee high boots and wear my hair with braided barrettes trying to look like Olivia Newton-John in Xanadu. Please don't hold this against me. Thank you.

For three, summer was great because we had no agenda. We may have had one long weekend of "vacation" to San Francisco, Marriott's Great America or on really great years to Disneyland. My family were not big travelers, they were not outdoorsy or athletic but we didn't know we were missing out on anything. A wise person I know told me that we "set the standard" for our and fun are defined by us as parents. If we live like the rich, famous and spoiled..we are potentially teaching our children to expect this kind of lifestyle.

Nowadays, summer tends to be busy, at least if feels that way to me. Within the first two weeks we have VBS at our church, then comes up the weekend of Ladies Retreat and a annual family reunion (which always fall on the same weekend). Then it's the 4th of July (annual party at my parents), family camp, Catie's dance recital, swim lessons and any other spontaneous fun you try and squeeze in. Plus, I still have to work my 6-8 days a month and we end up spending a lot of time taking the family down the hill. We live 50+ miles from my work and from family who are gracious to watch the kids when we need help. I haven't even gone to any of the fun water aerobic or fit dancing classes going on in town because we've either been gone or when we are home, we're exhausted.

I don't know about you...but summer wears me out. It's filled with GOOD things. We're not doing anything crazy or ambitious. Right?

I'm curious and calling on other Muddled Moms..what do your summers look like? Do you have any advice for me or other mamas who are feeling the exhaustion of summer? Do you work or stay at home? How do you maintain a healthy balance for your family?

All I want to do is hang out at home, let the kids play. I wish we had a pool..(this picture is from when we camped at Calaveras Big Trees) because I would do this as often as possible.

A summer challenge is put on my friend and blogger Christy at


  1. You don't have a pool but you have one of God's glorious lakes!!!!!!!! K

  2. Well seeing as I was an accompliace to the 80's fun at your house I'll answer for you. :) Being a mama to 2 boys with Boy #3 on the way I keep it simple, no expectations for the summer. If we accomplish what we wanted to do that day great! And if not, there is always tomorow. I look at my following week at least a week or so in advance so that I can plan things out for the kids to do, especially if Addam is going to be gone for a stretch. I do have my days where I think I'll go stir crazy because I feel like I have a million things to do, but then I give myself a time out, yes a time out and I look at my kids and see that they are the important one's. :) You're an awesome Mama!

  3. You are an awesome mom Melinda! I vote for the quiet summer days spent at home staying in your pj's til 10 am and being ready for the spontaneous trip to the lake or river or get together with friends! Enjoy the fleeting days with your kids--they are a treasure!
    Love ya, Cheri

  4. I agree Melinda! We are so busy, I am starting to look forward to school time to calm down? What? That is crazy! The summers that we are able to relax are the best and just spend time together. We do go away to camp, but we go for several weeks, that way we are truly able to relax and don't have to worry or think we have to do something if we are at home. I look forward to those times.

  5. The Dokken FamilyJuly 21, 2011 at 10:36 AM

    Growing up in the High Desert should have been the most boring place in the world, but my best friend had a small farm across the street which provided all the adventure a kid needs. We would feed chickens and calves, play with piglets, and lay on the roof of the chicken coop and see pictures in the clouds. Our Mom's didn't work back then. We made up games and pretended to be mommies. Our highlight would be to spend a week at Grandma's house and go to the Colorado River camping. We didn't really go anywhere either.

    Our summer seems to be similar to yours. Maybe we are catering to our children more? We try to set up play dates, but it's hard because our friends are so busy themselves. We've done swimming lessons and summer camp. Later we'll go on vacation for a few days. In between, our kids are bored to death and rely on video games and T.V. Having a 1 year old, makes it especially challenging to do things with an 9 and 11 - year old. Our kids want to be constantly entertained and instantly gratified. However, it is lovely to have some slow days and the kids are learning to play board games and card together. I've learned it's best not to have an agenda, plan a few outings and enjoy the time with the family.

  6. First of all I HATE that school starts before Labor Day! It just doesn't seem right. We home-school with a charter, so we still are required to start while it's still so hot out no one can think properly, but with that we can be a little flexible. It's also very hard to feel like you have a break when all our activities never really take a break. In some cases the activities get more intense as they prepare to show their years work. My girls have violin lessons, horse riding/shows and dance year round with very little time off. The weekly GS meetings and actual school work are the only things that actually stop for summer. Then of course you add things to the summer schedule like the 1 week GS day camp and swim lessons a few camping trips and some days at the lake and you are on the go every single day of the week. It doesn't help that we have to drive 20-30 mins or more to get anywhere we want to go.
    I know we are not alone in feeling this way. Most people I know are feeling too over scheduled. But no one knows what to do about it. Is it because we live rurally that makes things seem worse, or is it everywhere? Would living closer in town or in a suburb make things better? Sometimes I think yes, but realistically I doubt it would make it much better. The lazy days of summer are not lazy anymore. We could just have them stop their activities, but for all our activities it doesn't seem possible. How much skill would be lost from not taking violin lessons all summer? or dance, they wouldn't get to perform in the show. And for horse riding...she'd miss most of the show season and the horse still needs exercise. What CAN we cut??? So we just keep running on this treadmill lifestyle that we've created for ourselves. But wouldn't it be great to actually have the summer off or at least the month before school started again? Well we can dream...