Somewhere around mid-March, I start counting the days until school ends. I dream of the days when no one complains about math and I am not throwing dinner together before racing out the door for practices.
Sleeping in. The carefree schedule. Not having to do any school work. I anticipate summer with more excitement than my children.
And then like clockwork, about two weeks into summer, I remember what I forget every year:
I am not a great summertime mom.
The magical summer I dream of in March is mostly just a dream.
I love the idea of summer, but with four children, the reality of it is never quite like I imagine.
Blame it on Newton’s Third Law of Physics (which I had to google the name of because I stopped paying attention in science class around second grade):
For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.
Sure, having children who are old enough to sleep in is the most magical thing on the planet (the action)...until I want to Netflix and chill with my man...and my children want to come in my room every 30 seconds because they aren’t tired (the opposite reaction).
And, even though my kids play all day long, our carefree schedule does not provide enough activity to tire them out.
Before you tell me that your kids play baseball or are on swim team, here is what you need to know about me: Give me football in Fall, basketball in Winter, and soccer in Spring. But suggest that my kids play the slowest moving sport of all time which involves copious amounts of dirt, and tell me to sit outside in the blazing sun for a double header while corralling the children not currently playing...and I will seriously question our friendship. And don’t even get me started on the insanely early hours swimmers like to keep.
Add in the amount of time I would spend applying sunscreen each day, and trust that if I am going to live my best life, it does not involve any aforementioned activities.
I take responsibility for my disdain towards the available summer sports, but I am who I am...and it only serves to prove my point that I am not a summertime mom.
As if my reference to Sir Isaac Newton and the use of physics in the middle of July wasn’t proof enough.
The reason I cautiously admit that summer is not my thing is because people like to post stuff on Facebook with titles like “You Only Have Eighteen Summers With Your Children So You Better Make The Most Of Your Time”. Which excludes but implies the subtext, “If you really love your kids, you will soak up every moment and spend every minute enjoying your precious offspring.”
But this also excludes my current reality: I am pregnant with my fifth child and literally so sick and tired. And my children have decided that summertime is the perfect time to fight all day, beg to play electronics every 39 seconds, and ask “what are we doing today” twelve times an hour.
I barely have time to soak up their preciousness because I am mostly refereeing while letting them know they are responsible for their own fun.
Which they have difficulty with in late July because we are currently living on the surface of the sun...all indoor activities have been exhausted...and I limit how much they play electronics.
Not because I want to. On the contrary, my pregnant self would love if electronics all day could be a thing. My house would stay clean, and they would barely break to eat (double win!). But ole Newton proves true again in that electronics make my kids crazy. Sure, they’re quiet while playing them, but I must face the wrath of who they become when I take them away. And it ain’t pretty.
This is what I’ve concluded: for some people, the eighteen summers are an awesome time to create memories, cherish your children, and soak up the time. And maybe if I wasn’t miserably pregnant, I would feel this way. (Probably not.)
Then there are other people, like me, who are grateful to know that I also have eighteen Falls and eighteen Winters and eighteen Springs to do the same.
And that's my family's jam. We all function better on full (but not too full) schedule, adequate sleep, and a consistent routine...when we don't default to electronics to fill the endless hours...and everyone generally knows what to expect each day.
I don't particularly like school. I am not even a type-A personality. And if this pregnancy sickness doesn't subside soon, cooking good meals still won't happen.
I've just hit that point in the summer where it's a little too relaxed and way too hot. And I'm over it. Instead, I am looking forward to chatting with moms at cheer practice, spending Saturdays watching my favorite boys and my favorite Seminoles play football, and settling into a nice, predictable routine. As predictable as a pregnant mom and four kids can be.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I am off to buy school supplies. That same mid-March delusion is hitting where I convince myself that, if I buy all cute, new school supplies, my kids will actually enjoy school and not complain about math every single day.
A mom can dream.