Kristen Hewitt was feeling like a failure. It was the first day of summer vacation, and the Florida mom had made big plans for her two daughters ― a scheduled beach day filled with enriching activities.
But instead, she and her girls were lounging at home, doing nothing.
And then she realized just how good that felt.
Later that day, Hewitt, who is a sports reporter and HuffPost blogger, decided to announce her new summer plans on Facebook and her blog, under the title “Why We Are Doing Nothing This Summer.”
“I had big plans to be a ‘good mom’ this summer,” she wrote, adding that she envisioned chore charts, cursive classes, reading goals, daily letter writing and other planned activities each day.
Hewitt’s daughters are 5 and 8. In her post, the mom shared how her family actually spent that first day of summer: “Lounged in our pj’s until 11am, baked the girl’s pick ― chocolate chip cookie brownies, started an art project we never finished, then moved to the pool.”
In lieu of a schedule, Hewitt declared that her family is doing “literally nothing” this summer ― no camps, classes or planned activities. They will instead see where each day takes them.
“It’s so easy to be pressured by things we see on social. Ways to challenge our kids and enrich their summer,” she wrote. “But let’s be real - we’re all tired. Tired of chores, tired of schedules and places to be, tired of pressure, and tired of unrealistic expectations.”
Hewitt said her family might go to the local pool and look into swimming programs or join the local YMCA. “But whatever we do ― it will be low key,” she wrote. “It will include family time, too much TV, a few trips, lots of sunshine, some new roller skates, water balloons, plenty of boredom, rest, relaxation, and reading. (Because mama likes to read!)”
The mom concluded with a message to her fellow parents. “So if you haven’t figured out what you’re doing this summer, you’re not alone. And guess what? It’s OK! Your kids will be fine and so will you.”
The Facebook post had received over 13,000 likes by Friday afternoon. Hewitt told HuffPost she was “shocked” and “humbled” to see her post go viral.
“Who knew being a slacker mom could be so inspirational?!” she joked. “I would like to say though ― I have the utmost respect for working parents, and know not everyone can stay home. I’m very grateful that I can work from home around their schedules.”
On the second day of summer vacation, Hewitt’s daughters were a little bored, but they started filling their days with art projects, library visits, fort-building, swimming and meet-ups with friends.
“They like not having to wake up and rush anywhere,” the mom said. “Being a kid is a lost art, and I wanted them to have a few low-key weeks before we go back to crazy busy school days.”
Ultimately, Hewitt hopes to erase the mom guilt and encourage parents to simply do what’s best for themselves and their families.
“I just wanted parents to know that it’s OK to not have a Pinterest perfect summer,” she told HuffPost. “It’s OK to go with the flow and allow your kids to be bored. We have the power to create the life we want, and it’s time to start now!”