We will all be at home together for about 4 weeks this summer, so part of me wanted to pack that time full of summer fun. But then I realized that what we all seem to really need is a break from the go-go-go of the rest of the year. So my goal for this summer is to work on a slower paced life---as much as this is possible when we still have full time jobs and full day camp.
Those 4 weeks actually only contain 3 weekends. One of those weekends we are going camping with some neighborhood families (the boys all loved the father-kid trip so much, the moms got a bit jealous and we planned round 2). The other 2 weekends...I am not planning much. The boys are always begging to play monopoly and we rarely have enough time to make the whole set up worthwhile. So we can do that. Or go on a rambling hike with the dog if the weather permits. Spend many hours at the splash park with friends. Or just watch movies and read books and play waterguns in the back yard.
G and I also discussed making meals SUPER simple this summer. Either stuff we can make ahead and eat all week (tacos!) or things that can be thrown on the grill. Again, kids are always asking to go to the park in the evening or to play board games with them, and I often have to decline since I need to get dinner on the table. And honestly, we could use a break from chopping and seasoning and...ugh...clean up. If the kids don't need me during that time...I could relax. A cold can of Spindrift in the back yard after the long walk home....lovely.
I definitely have to fight against the FOMO feeling in the summer. There is SO MUCH "fun" stuff happening in our city and I know that many people take full advantage of these opportunities but its honestly kind of overwhelming to me. For the moms that are home with their kids all day, sure, get out there and explore (and tire them out), but my kids are going to be exploring and tiring themselves out at camp and I'll be my usual level of tired from exercise and work and life. We each picked one thing we really want to do (I want to go back to the zip-line/treetop course with B, G wants to pick peaches and get BBQ at the farm, L wants a play date at the splash park with 3 friends) and we will focus on that.
I mean, its not like my kids are having a boring summer! They are spending 3 weeks with my parents & their cousins (including one week at the beach with us there too) and 3 weeks with MIL (including 1 week with us there, too, where we will definitely pack in a bunch of fun activities and outings). And 4 weeks at a super fun summer camp where they go on at least one field trip a week and swim everyday. Summer always seemed SO LONG for me. We would do a week of vacation and the rest of the time just hang out at home, with books and TV and video games and some friend time but...really not much else. My mother did not consider it her job to make sure our summer was full of anything, from what I recall.
But I do want them to be a little bit bored...or...not bored exactly but with the free space to just do what comes to mind. Like reading for 2 hours before dinner (B loves to do this when he doesn't have homework) or pulling out old toys and making up elaborate stories (L's jam) or putting on every dress-up item in the entire home and being wizards or super heroes or Jedis or whatever happens to be cool in the moment (they like doing this together). And for me to read more books and just...watch them be kids.