What sort of excuses do you come up with in the hot summer days? Shhh ... I won't tell.
It's too hot to exercise.
It's too hot to cook.
It's too hot to move.
I've got a million of them. When I pass off tuna fish sandwiches as dinner, I blame it on summer. When I pass off tuna fish sandwiches as breakfast, I blame it on summer (just kidding. Though I did think about it. What??? It's nutritious). The point is, summer is the ultimate excuse for breaking routines, breaking bedtimes, sleeping late, lounging by the pool, ice cream overload, and doing other things you wouldn't ordinarily do. Runs on the treadmill are replaced by runs to Baskin-Robbins. (Yeah, I'm paying for that one!) Bedtimes are fun times. And "dinner" has its own fuzzy definition -- more art than science, I usually say. Yep, I'm in full "Summer Mommy" mode -- and the closer we get to back to school, the worse I've become.
The problem is, I know that in a short few weeks, I will have to get back into the routine of School Year Mommy, and until then, I've been acting up! School Year Mommy makes brain food breakfasts, healthy snacks, balanced dinners, gets up early, organizes school notices, does school projects, goes to countless school events, and battles the school year "to-do" list like a shero.
Summertime Mommy? Not so much. The laundry piles up (who needs clean undies if you're swimming all day?), the fridge runs on nearly empty (it's too hot to carry grocery bags!), and there's a small collection of dishes in the sink because it's definitely too hot to run the dishwasher or GASP! wash them by hand. Yikes!
Yes, I'm shamelessly sharing my Summer Mommy confessions, because, the truth is, as moms, for most of the year we have to always keep things going on a schedule. We run a tight ship. Breakfast is on a schedule. Dinner is on a schedule. After-dinner-clean-up is on a schedule. Homework is on a schedule. Sometimes (most times) our kids are overscheduled. And while that is often a good and a very necessary aspect of our lives, it is also equally empowering and exhilarating to kiss the routine goodbye. Give it the old heave-ho, sayonara, the bird, the sideways peace sign -- DEUCES!!! Even if just for six weeks or less. Trust me.
And to my work-out-of-the-home moms, who still have to follow an even tougher routine during the summer (I remember those days!), please find some way, somehow, to ditch your routine, break a few rules, and throw caution to the wind sometime before summer ends. You need this.
Moms need this. After all, it is the breaks, the summer-induced lazy spurts, the who-gives-a-___ of summer that makes the routines of the rest of the year bearable and, dare I say, even enjoyable.
And so, as I prepare to get back into my family's daily grind and my personal routine in a few weeks, it is with keen awareness that it's the sweet breaks, the surrenders, and downright lazy days of summer that help us welcome back the routine of our daily lives. I'm milking the last days of summer for everything she's got. Tonight, we're going to the beach after dark for stargazing! And I don't have a clue as to what's for dinner! Thank you, summer, for being such a glorious scapegoat and a powerful inspiration for summertime mommies all over the world! I won't let you down. And I can't wait to see you again next year.
What's your summertime mommy confession? C'mon, you can tell me.
|Kimberly Seals Allers is an award-winning business journalist and founder and editor-in-chief of MochaManual.com, a weekly online magazine for moms of color. She is the author of "The Mocha Manual to a Fabulous Pregnancy" and "The Mocha Manual to Turning Your Passion into Profit." Kimberly is a divorcing mother of two and lives on Long Island, NY.|