Family Fun | Slow Summers...

It’s usually around February or March that I start thinking about summer and what camps I need to sign the girls up for.  And it’s about the same time that I start wondering what happened to our summers.  Summers are supposed to be a break from the crazy packed days of the school year.  This year as I started sifting through the myriad of choices we have for the kids during the summer – drama camp, music camp, theater camp, sports camp ... and floating the ideas by my kids, they were indifferent. Nothing seemed to float their boat. They were tired and burnt out.

Frankly, so was I. This past year had been pretty busy and I was just exhausted from work as well as the pace of the parental rat race. I was tired of the relentless planning and scheduling of every second of every day – play dates, dinner, carpools, doctor appts, haircuts, etc …

I wanted a break from it all, so this summer, we decided to slow things down. What does this really mean for a household with two working parents?  

  • It means that kids are still enrolled in summer camps but just NOT back-to-back camps all summer long. There will be weeks where they are in camps but also weeks at a stretch where they aren't.
  • Having structured days but not scheduled days
  • Having room for spontaneity
  • Embracing lazy days
  • Allowing for chunks of time without any planned activities
  • Letting kids get bored and being okay with it

And most importantly:

  • Having a flexible work place and work schedule
  • And having childcare for those days when you need to be in the office and the kids are on their “break” from camp

Typically at the beginning of the summer, the kids will put together a list of things they want to do during their time off.  We try to tackle those activities throughout the summer but its usually a bit stressful trying to fit it in with their packed schedules.  This year, I'm having them list less activities and hopefully with more free days, it will be easier to do.  Some of the activities that made their list this year:

  • Beach days
  • Berry picking
  • Visit the goat farm
  • Ice cream days (go to Mitchell's, Bi-Rite, maybe even Ghiradelli)
  • Summer movies – Pets, BFG, Independence Day
  • Dye their hair (yes, I have girls)
  • Picnics
  • Summer reading challenge (being the Type A mom that I am, I did not let this one slip off the list : ))

It's been about two weeks now and so far, we are all loving the summer slow down.  The girls had half day camps the first week so there have been plenty of lazy mornings where they lounged in PJs reading or just puttering around until about 11.  Its really been nice not having to rush from activity to activity.  Slowing down means we are getting to do the things we want to do and even hitting some of the items on our summer bucket list early. So all in all, everyone is much happier.

(I bet you can guess which item on the bucket list this was!)

ZoLi Girl's summer hair