I'm a Summer Mom Who Needs God Every Minute
One week ago today, “summer” became official in my house. We had a relaxed morning with no alarm clocks, we played at the park, we went out for lunch, and we stayed up a little later than the night before. That day felt like the beginning of something sweet.
In the days leading up to that first day of summer, I prepped myself. “Enjoy having your kids home,” I thought multiple times a day. “Embrace the flexibility of the summer schedule, say yes more, have fun,” I continued coaching myself. “God, help me enjoy my kids this summer,” I prayed.
And for a day—maybe two—my coaching seemed to work. We played, and smiled, and had fun. Until we didn’t. The first full week of summer began, and reality sat in. All my prepping and coaching faded and summer got hard. Already.
I think summer mom is my hardest job.
After almost 10 months of the same routine and separate classrooms, summer sends waves of change through our family, and I feel like I’m left clinging to a life raft in the wake.
We have to set up new routines—or I guess "rhythms" is the preferred, trendy word now. And though, I love the absence of alarms for my kiddos, as a part-time, work-from-home mom, my alarm apparently needs to be set even earlier in order to squeeze in my work while they’re still sleeping or quietly beginning their days. I also have to adjust to my mom workload being increased (more dishes, more messes, more needs), and my kids have to adjust to sharing that load. The big kids have to adjust to quiet time while little brothers nap and the little ones have to adjust to the constant chaos returning. Oh, and then there are the meal-time, snack-time routines that need to be figured out in order to keep my kitchen from becoming a 24-hour buffet.
Summer means we are all together, pretty much 24/7. Our oldest has a job and spends most days at work, but the rest of us . . . we see each other’s faces and hear each other’s voice for hours longer than just a week ago. And while I love our big family and the built-in playmates that fill our home, it’s a lot to adjust to. Our kids go from spending 7 hours in separate classrooms to 24 under the same roof.
We have to re-learn how to work and play together.
We have to be reminded to be kind and show grace and ask for forgiveness. I have to remind myself that moms don’t have to enjoy every moment . . . and neither do siblings. We all need to practice being together full-time again and accept the reality that it’s okay to need a break.
I’m also reminding myself that these first days of summer, these days of establishing routines and relearning, do not define or predict the entire season. In fact, today has been better than yesterday. And there’s reason to believe that the next will be better again.
I’ll continue to prep and coach myself as a summer mom, and I’ll keep praying—boy, will I keep praying. I’ll work on giving myself (and my kids) grace for the rough days. I’ll beg God for patience and ask Him to remind me of His Truth—that I can do this because He has equipped me to. I’ll tell myself that neither my kids’ behavior, fighting, whining, or complaining nor my mistakes determine my worth . . . my God does.
And most importantly, I’ll remember that God does not make mistakes.
He pieced my family together just as He intended it to be. And when it feels like our pieces are a bit scattered or sometimes need a little space between rather than interlocking perfectly, I’ll take a deep breath and thank God for who He is—sovereign, loving, patient, forgiving, and always present. Then I’ll do my best to look more like Him and be the mom He created me to be.