This title could lend itself in many different directions- high expectations of parenting, high expectations of ourselves as women, high expectations of our kids, BUT I’ll keep it light for summer!! It is in our nature, well at least in my nature, to have some sort of expectation for every season or event in our lives. After a busy school year, we always have very high expectations for the summer! We long for a fun filled summer, letting go of the headache of responsibility that the school year brings on! As I mentioned before in a blog post, we always make a fun list of what we want to do during the summer, once again setting those high expectations! And only naturally, at the end of the summer we may only get to half of them. But, I am constantly reminding myself that the “list” can change~ be flexible! We may not get to some activities or projects, because other opportunities come up and that is okay!! I think it is so important to teach our kids to be flexible and go with the flow, balanced with setting expectations and routine!
At the beginning of the summer, I start thinking about all the projects that I can get accomplished. For example, photo albums, scrap books with the kids, cleaning out closets, the list goes on and on. As I start to get the emails from the school and then I see the school supplies at the stores, I began to reevaluate my summer list!? Honestly I have not completed half of what is on my list, BUT then I start to think about the fun summer we’ve had so far and count those precious weeks ahead!! I need to toss out the list or better yet rewrite the list and title it “rainy day projects or winter projects!” Why did I think I would want to be indoors working on photo projects with my kids instead of swimming at the pool or playing at the beach!
Of course the kids are conscious of the high expectations, they see it in our every day lives. As mom’s we run around trying to accomplish as much as we can in one single day!! We have to teach our kids while reminding ourselves to expect the unexpected and lower expectations. Just enjoy the day we’ve been given. Take those special moments and embrace them instead of rushing on to the next thing. The picture below was taken as we were heading home from a bike ride, to hurry and change for gymnastics. As we turned up the street we could hear the music of the ice cream truck, OH NO!! Instead of saying,”no we don’t have time,” I was happy to say Yes! I loved every minute of watching them eat the popsicles on the side of the road, what a great summer memory!!
The list is shorter now, not because I’ve checked everything off, it’s shorter because I realize what’s important! Before long we will be packing lunches, and tackling a new school year, so we need to enjoy these last weeks of summer! I’m such a list maker, so of course I will make a list of last minute summer fun. This list will be swimming, one last family movie, cooking together, and family beach days!
We need to remember not to overwhelm our kids with the to-do’s of back to school. Make it fun!! On the outside there is joy for a new year, new friends, new teacher, but deep down there is is also a little worry about each one of those things. Embrace the new school year and the new beginnings which lie ahead. Lay some deep roots of family fun during these last weeks of summer to help feed them joy as they begin a new school year. Then we start setting high expectations for the school year and so the cycle continues I challenge you to reevaluate your list, don’t set your expectations so high, just enjoy these last days of summer with your family.