Even if I didn't look at the calendar to see that it is the middle of July, I would know that we are firmly planted into the heart of summer. We've been to the beach; we've spent hours in the pool; we have gone through bottles of sunscreen; we've eaten our weight in ice cream and frozen yogurt - all signs that summer is in full swing!
No matter which season is your favorite, there are bound to be some things you like and dislike about each one. Back in January, we shared the things we loved and hated about winter, so Rabia and I thought it was fitting that we should do the same for summer!
Honestly, summer is not my favorite season, but there are some things about it that I really like!
1 - Sleeping in - I'm a sleeper and, fortunately for me, so are my kids. In fact, as I type this on Monday morning at almost 8:00am, all three are still sound asleep. (Confession: I had to set my alarm to get up at 7:00, so I could get this done!). It really is heavenly and something I appreciate a little more every time I hear my mommy friends mention their kids who perpetually wake up at 6:00am or earlier. The only down side is that, by the time everyone gets up and going, half the day is already gone. (Also, before you get too jealous, remember that for three quarters of the year I have to drag them out of bed every day to get to school on time.)
2- Not so busy schedules - During the school year, we run ourselves ragged. PTA programs, meetings, extracurriculars, homework, and the list goes on and on. I love the much more leisurely pace of summer.
3- No homework or packing lunches - I don't know any kids who like homework or any moms who enjoy arguing with their kids to get it done. This is one battle I don't have to fight during the summer. I also don't have to pack lunches. My kids are picky eaters, but in different ways. Two of them, the oldest and youngest, take a packed lunch to school EVERY DAY because they will not eat the cafeteria food. The middle one takes a lunch about half the time. I get so tired of trying to figure out what to pack and none of them like the same things. During the summer, it's every kid for herself and they can rummage throughout the pantry/fridge until THEY figure out what to eat. Then, they can fix it themselves!
4 - Beach and Mountains - I live in central North Carolina where I can get the best of both worlds in just a couple of hours. We go to the beach with my husband's family every year. We have already been this year and it was lovely. My parents live near the mountains. In a couple weeks, the girls and I will go spend a few days with them. The mountains feel like home to me and I so enjoy going back.
5 - Family Time - Of course, there is lots of time during the summer to spend with my girls and I try my best to soak that in. There is also lots of time to spend with extended family. I mentioned our trips to the beach and the mountains. We usually have quite a few family reunions during the summer as well. Slowly but surely, we are crossing things off our summer bucket list!
There are some summer hassles I could do without:
6- Bugs- This year, the horseflies have been terrible around our pool. It seems the girls spend more time diving under water to avoid being bitten than they do diving for fun. My husband and my youngest are mosquito magnets. Even when I spray them from head to toe with OFF!, they still get bitten, and, on my six year old, the bites swell up terribly the next day. Just last night I was walking with my oldest daughter and we ended up cutting it short because we were so annoyed by the bugs buzzing our heads the whole time. Two of my daughters have also been stung this summer already. Bugs are awful.
7- Heat - Of course, some summer things are dependent on the heat - like pool time. However, I despise being hot and, here in NC, sticky in the humidity. Fortunately, this summer has actually been rather mild and we even had a couple very pleasant days over the Fourth of July weekend. Most of the time, though, the heat is miserable - at least in my opinion. When I was younger, it didn't bother me so much, but having two August babies and being pregnant over two very hot summers has changed my internal thermostat.
8- Sunburn - I am very fair skinned and I get sunburned easily - always have. My middle daughter also burns very easily. I keep Coppertone and Banana Boat in business over the summer buying gobs of sunscreen and trying all different kinds, but, inevitably, we all still get burned at one point or another - often when we are at the beach. My kids are annoyed by my insistence that they apply and reapply sunscreen, but they are even more whiny and perturbed when they get burned!
9- "I'm bored" syndrome - It's bound to happen at some point. The kids start whining that they are bored. This is an unfortunate side effect of #2 on my list. However, I have found that offering them chores to do each time they complain is a pretty effective cure! :-)
10 - No alone time - I am an introvert by nature. I need time alone to recharge and collect my thoughts During the school year, this is easier because kids are in school and hubby travels a lot for work. In summer, though, it is much more difficult to carve this out. Hubby doesn't travel nearly as much and, of course, the kids are home. To get some time alone, I have to be intentional about getting up earlier than they do and I have to not feel guilty about letting them "veg out" in front of the TV a little bit.