Can I be honest with you?
Despite my best intentions, my kids did not have the summer I’d hoped for. I am a planner so whenever summer approaches, I have a list of things for us to do. This summer, though, I had to just go with the flow.
I mean, the kids weren’t in front of the T.V. all summer, but we also didn’t do all of the things I wanted to do. Not even half of them.
I needed more time to adjust to life with a new baby. I also needed time to help my uncle and aunt get adjusted to life in Maryland after their big move from California (a move they made because of my kids). And if I am going to be completely honest, my husband and I also made a decision to cut back on spending significantly. My husband discovered Dave Ramsey and if you know how Dave rolls, I am sure you understand.
But as much as I tell other moms to let go of the guilt and show themselves some grace, my ass has been feeling all kinds of guilty for not giving my munchkins a better summer. We never made it to any amusement parks. We didn’t go to the beach this year. We honestly didn’t do a whole lot.
But then I had this moment of clarity. I realized that these kids still did more this summer than I ever did in any given summer when I was a kid.
They visited cousins in New Jersey and had tons of fun with family for a week. They rode their bikes outside and played with water guns. My daughter attended gymnastics camp and Vacation Bible School while my son attended sports camp and a STEM camp. We watched movies at home. We went to the Liberty Science Center. We visited the library. We went out to eat with family a few times. And we all watched and laughed as baby girl grew more in one summer than we ever imagined.
So I am done feeling guilty because my kids wanted to do more. I am done feeling guilty because I wanted to do more.
We had a good summer. We laughed a lot. We played a lot. We rested a lot. And now, we are ready for the fall.
Pumpkin farms, Thanksgiving plans, and all things Christmas. I’m so ready.
And all this holiday fun will happen with every ounce of grace I can muster up for myself. I am not trying to be perfect, and I hope you aren’t either. Doing less for your kids than they expect (or less than you expect) doesn’t make you a bad mom. It makes you human.
And if you think killing yourself to meet every expectation placed upon you will make you feel good, let me assure you that it won’t. It will make you feel worn out, fed up, and exhausted.
So instead of trying to give my kids the world, this fall I am going to focus on just being fully present when I am with them. Baking together, carving pumpkins together, and having fun as a family will be my focus. It won’t require a lot of money and it may not be what everyone else is doing, but I really don’ t care.
I care about doing the best I can with what I have. And right now, our focus is raising well-adjusted, happy, kind kids who appreciate all of the opportunities they have. We are also really focused on trying to create generational wealth. For all of this awesomeness to happen, we have to make a few sacrifices and I’m cool with that.
So whatever it is that has you swimming in mommy guilt, just know that if you are doing your best, your kids will be just fine. They will actually be more than fine. I promise. If you have to cut back on spending, it’s okay. If you are too busy or tired to make a few trips happen, it’s okay. If you can’t bring yourself to bake anything from scratch, it’s okay. If the PTA has to take a backseat for a bit because life has you overwhelmed, it’s okay. If you just can’t follow through with the vision you set for the year, I promise you it’s okay.
Your kids will be fine.
You will be fine.
And as long as you focus on all the things that matter, instead of trying to do it all, you all will be happy.
I have no doubt about that.