My Summer Letdown

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summer letdown

Excitement for Summer:

Once spring hit I was genuinely looking forward to the end of the school year. I felt like a student myself, longing for the freedom that summer would bring. My older daughter was in preschool three days a week and I was ready for drop-offs and pick-ups to be a thing of the past. I was tired of driving all three of my kids around and being on the schedule that preschool had set for us.

While other moms were talking about camps I was writing my summer bucket list. Beach, farms, zoos, aquariums, parks, splash pads, the options were endless. I was so happy to have my three little ones together experiencing new things and making summer memories. My happiness was mixed with the fear that one summer, not too long away, they won’t want to hang with just mom. 

What Really Happened:

Fast forward to the first week of summer vacation. I had jumped in too quick. Naps had been missed, my oldest had decided that car rides longer than fifteen minutes were undesirable, my son began to resort to biting his sisters again, and tantrums were at an all-time high.

I was too ambitious, so I had to reassess. I changed my own schedule and began going to the gym before the children woke up. I wasn’t fitting in a workout around our summer activities and dropping them in the babysitting room. I also started grocery shopping late at night. We were free to spend days doing what we planned to do together as a family. We could linger at the library, park or the days planned activity. I wasn’t rushing them to do the next thing. I also made sure that the days without naps were minimal. 

Obviously I was back on track to have the best summer ever. Just kidding! On a recent trip to a local children’s museum, I carried two thirds of my children out screaming after an hour of less than polite or cooperative play. I had no patience left in me for continuing to calmly correct their behavior. Needless to say we did not take the trip to the ice cream stand I had planned on surprising them with. 

I did what I thought was best and sequestered them for a few days. We didn’t leave the house and they were left to enjoy all the things we have to do at home. What seemed like a good plan at first only increased their new imaginative play of puppy, baby lion, and babies. All three games equate to hours of them pretending to cry and scream “mommy.” 

The Letdown:

This is my third summer with three children and my second summer as a stay-at-home mom. Each year I tell myself that next year it will be easier. In some ways it has gotten easier. The twins are in underwear and they are less inclined to run away from me in public. That is a solid win but I can’t help but wonder when my days will go from a constant struggle to simply enjoying days together as a family.

Just as I think I may have hit my summer stride, September is upon us. Soon I’ll send my oldest back to school and my twins off to preschool for the first time. Perhaps that is why I was so determined to make this summer special. It is truly the last time we’ll all be together without the constraints of a school calendar.

Summer has let me down this year. Perhaps I expected too much from summer or too much from my children or too much from myself. Nevertheless I have memories I’ll hold dear and think about when the northeast winter rolls in. Ice cream covered faces, running around the backyard until it gets dark (apologies to my neighbors), picnics in the park, the excitement in their eyes when something new grows in our garden, their new LOVE of hotels, and watching them build together in the sand.

I have to remind myself not to set my expectations so high, to chillax and not to over plan our days. We thankfully have many summers ahead of us and I’ve come to accept that some things this summer were just not meant to be.

Maybe next year…

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Jamie is a mom to a daughter (2014) and boy/girl twins (2016). She was born and raised in Westchester County, NY and together with her husband (married in 2011), made Danbury, CT their hometown. Jamie is a real estate agent with The Valentini Team at William Raveis Real Estate. In the present day, more than ever before, “home” is an essential and safe place in an ever-changing world. Helping clients achieve their homeownership goals, searching for the home that’s “just right,” or helping them move on from a home that no longer serves them drives Jamie in her real estate career. Home for Jamie is Northern Fairfield County, and she never gets tired of spending time in the community with her family, visiting her favorite parks, and exploring local shops and restaurants. Jamie can be found on the Peloton leaderboard at 6:30 every morning, which fuels her long days of work and momming. Morning workouts are as athletic as she gets, and her favorite thing is tucking her children in at night and catching up on whatever show she is streaming. As much as she loves staying in, she doesn’t pass up a night out with her childhood girlfriends or a date night with her hubby. 

1 COMMENT

  1. My kids are 6,5, and 3 and this is the first summer that I felt like my hopes for it were mostly realized. Although there were definitely still difficult parts, we enjoyed almost all of our outings and had great downtime at home. This is after many years of summers like you described. So don’t worry- it will get easier eventually! And the school schedules actually make summer more fun because it’s the one part of the year you can keep very unscheduled if you want.

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