Here, there are about 20 days left until my three children are out of school for the summer. It happens every year. One second, it’s February, and it seems like the school year will never end and then BAM. There are only days left, and we need to do some major readjusting. And make some summer goals.
I’ll admit, when my kids were younger, I was desperate to fill summer days with something, anything, to keep them occupied and a little bit out of the house (and out of my hair), but now… it doesn’t quite seem so important.
As they’ve grown, there’s been a shift in me (or them? Probably both.). They’re less work, they’re more enjoyable, and I’m realizing there’s not that much time left.
My oldest is 12. I have her for 6 more summers before she may go away and never come back (much like her Mama). Plus, a few of those 6 summers are bound to be full of part-time jobs and her choosing friends over family.
My youngest is 7. She doesn’t ask me to play with her anymore. She’s her own little human who likes her own things.
I’m losing them and realizing this has made me not so ready to let them go.
Sure, I’ll enroll them in a camp they’re interested in, but it’s not so much for ME anymore as it is for THEM.
I’m also taking a step back from work this summer. As a small business owner who makes my own hours and books my own clients, this is something I have the power to do. Whether I have the cash flow to do it remains to be seen, but it is what it is.
Okay, enough of the depressing talk. What this post is ACTUALLY about are my summer goals.
Chasing a Summer Vibe
I don’t want a summer packed to the gills with different ways I’m getting rid of my kids, but I also don’t want a summer of nothing — because leave it to my middle child to jam in all the screen time and video games he can. So I’m making some summer goals.
I’d like a summer of bonding, of adventure, of smiles, and of simple pleasures. I’d like a summer that they can look back on as adults and use as an example for summers with their children, not because we filled it with epic, expensive days, but because we filled it with love and fun.
Splashing in creeks, walking barefoot in grass, growing a garden, picking strawberries, backyard fires with friends, s’mores and ice pops and bike rides and sun-kissed cheeks and dirt and freckles. That’s the vibe I’m after.
I know I can’t force it, but I can help facilitate it.
2022 Summer Goals
At the risk of sounding type-A, I made a list of goals for our summer. If I feel I may need to look back on it a few times to reset my intentions and remind myself of where we started.
Yup. I’m going to be that mom. Family time is going to come in all different shapes and sizes while I work other “summer goals” in (see below).
Is it me or is it complicated to set up time to play with friends? I’ll admit, I’m not the best at reaching out to my children’s friends’ parents and setting things up — it can be awkward — but I’m going to work on it this year.
Friendship is an integral part of childhood. Playdates and sleepovers and meetings in the park – I’m going to make it happen!
Family Game & Movie Nights
I always talk about Family Game Night but rarely do I actually make it happen, especially with sports and activities during the school year. Embarrassingly, we have brand new games from Christmas we haven’t opened yet!
Movie nights are easier because it’s less work and interaction when all I want to do is relax, but I often take a passive role instead of making it an “event.” While I won’t go overboard, I will take some inspo from Laura from IHeartBins.com’s Movie Nights and do a bit more planning and snack-making.
This summer, I’d like to do a family game night or family move night once a week, alternating.
Nature & Adventure Time
It’s so easy to get stuck in a lazy summer rut. While that’s a bit of the goal, I’d also like my kids to gain some new experiences, especially those in nature.
I’m thinking we’ll find some local adventures like waterfalls, hikes, and tubing and whatever else pops up.
Balanced Screen Time & Screen-Free Time
There, I said it. My kids will have their faces on screens this summer. Not for endless hours. Not enough to make them zombies, but we’ll sprinkle it in amongst all the other things we’ll be doing and make sure we balance it out with tons of screen-free time, too.
Slow Mornings & Simple Suppers
Finally, I plan on having about a hundred slow mornings and cold suppers.
Serve-yourself cereal and fruits are going to fill my grocery lists, as well as salads and sandwiches for dinners, because no one wants to spend a beautiful summer day cooking and cleaning.
And that’s my plan for Summer 2022. It’s lacking some details right now, but I’m going to go with the flow with these ideas in mind and I’m counting on it all just working out.
And I’m going to use this handy summer calendar to make sure it does.
What are your summer goals?