It’s summertime and the living is allegedly easy, right? Then why am I so stressed?
Because while my sons are taking it easy, I’m becoming unglued about keeping any semblance of a schedule together. My boys, ages 8 and 13, are in day camp this summer. My older son takes a school bus there and back and my husband or I drive our younger son to camp. I alternate afternoon pickups with another mom/friend. That part works pretty well.
Where it all seems to fall apart is at home. In the mornings, the boys get up — with much prodding from us — only after listening to the alarm clock blare incessantly. And then they plod slowly about the house, taking forever to wash up, dress and eat breakfast. The morning usually involves them getting their lunch or snack together too, since they’re not so diligent about preparing everything the night before.
So what happens? I end up fussing about them being late, which results in my rushing to get ready in less time and feeling stressed about it all. And today, my older son, in his haste to make the bus, left his keys at home. And guess who had to make a dash home this afternoon to let him in (and then return to work)? Moi.
My husband and I admit some fault in this. Because it’s summer, we’ve relaxed the rules somewhat: They can stay up later and we’ve been letting them play video games and watch TV during the week. They’ve been doing some reading for school and my younger son has been working in the summer workbook we got for him. My younger son is an avid reader, so he’s already finished about four books and his written two of the three book reports that will be due the first day of school. My older son isn’t as voracious a reader, so he’s moving a little more slowly, usually picking up a book in the few minutes before he falls off to sleep. But that’s about it for brain exercise.
I hate to swing the parental hammer on them, but I feel like I’ve got to restore some sense of order at home. How do you let your kids relax — but not too much — during the summer?