Mom’s Code Chronicle #6 Survival Tips for this time of Year
Written by Eileen Wacker
Every year at this point in time, I’m just trying to survive the end of the school year. Intellectually, I know the big bang of stress and crushing amount of must do’s are coming, but I still get caught unaware. My four kids are exhausted so I’m dragging everyone to the finish line. There are field days, class parties, end of year tests and projects, sports celebrations and more. I’m holding out hope for a strong finish, even as mounting evidence indicates that they are melting down.
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Part of my survival strategy is kicking some cans down the road. What gets pushed out is my fabulous get ready for summer diet and cute dresses to go with it, working out, organizing the house, me time, catching up on work. I work from home for flexibility but there is no barrier and all the chaos leaks in continuously. Bottom line, all my stuff gets pushed because I can’t push off getting all the items on the packing list for the sports broadcasting program, the tennis camp, the basketball and acting camp. The average number of items on each packing list is 42. It’s not drop off sun screen with a water bottle; it’s sheets, towels, footwear, shirts, shorts, swimsuits, hats, medical forms, risk clearance and countless other items.
I recognize and accept to some degree that summertime has now become about being strategic. It’s not all ice cream and bicycle rides; they have to get scheduled in. There is no way around it. Tutors for standardized tests, relatives fighting for the little precious time, summer school, sports and acting camps, and volunteer projects for each child to the degree possible. This year we have an 80th birthday party, a high school graduation, a college graduation, a cousin’s wedding, a one-year old that we have not met. Every relative from both sides of the family lobbies for us to come. We try but it’s never enough and I have to avoid feeling guilty that someone feels short changed and someone always does.
So how do I survive?
1 1) My family is almost too tired to celebrate, but I insist we do. Because we have to. We are running so fast that we have to stop and reflect, even for a moment and recognize the accomplishment. So I’ll go to my little girl’s favorite restaurant and let her order the cheese fries and mac and cheese, even as my bathing suit self protests.
The Moms Code author Eileen Wacker also writes the acclaimed childrens books The Fujimini Adventure Series. Many proud parents just like you appreciate multi-cultural education for your children. Find the book series by clicking here.
2 2) I make an agreement with my kids that I will try to say yes as much as I can but each one of them has to be nice and appreciative. No fighting and complaining. I tell them, “You want the one off ride to the beach, movie, friend’s house, pool, mall or wherever, make it charming for me in the car.”
3) I pull out little happiness tricks. For example, I’ll wake my little girl up with a Starbucks run or put a $10 itunes card on my son’s pillow. Whatever small item I can think of. I do this for teachers and coaches so I do it for my children as well.
4) I find a small window to see my girl group and also the female relatives I’m close to over the summer. Engaging in meaningful discussions that have nothing to do with the advancement of any one or anything is cleansing and feels like a cold glass of wine on a summer’s night. We all understand that we are venting and would not change out our reality for anything. Our souls know each other and it’s wonderful to reconnect.
5 5) I vow to stay nice to my husband who is honestly a good guy, when he says, “How long are you gone? What about the dogs? Everyone is abandoning me to have a fun summer while I work like a mule. I can’t take care of dogs.” I just smile, make some arrangements, and continue to text him heart emojis while I’m gone.
Congratulations to all the moms who are surviving yet another year end and into the summer cycle.