I don’t know about y’all, but I’m tired. With a capital T. Physically, mentally, and emotionally. I want a break. I need a break. Enter: summer break. The oxymoron of all oxymorons. Unless of course, you embrace lazy parent summer — which I do with every fiber of my being. Let me explain.
When my kids were wee little lads (have I been hearing too much Royal Family coverage in the news?), we filled our summer break to the brim with camps and classes. Kids were flying in different directions at the same time. Keeping up with the carpool schedule required some kind of expert level project management skills. Which I do not have.
After mornings spent driving them here and there, squeezing in a few hours of work when I could, there was often an impromptu trip to the public pool with friends (where I sometimes took work calls or wrote out an article on my phone). After a quick dinner, I’d finish up the work that I didn’t get done during the day.
These were amazing, glorious summers. They were also utterly exhausting.
Lazy parent summer means the house is a bit messier, with towels strewn about and sand on the kitchen floor.
These days, my kids are older and I am wiser. Lazy parent summers are the secret to a summer to remember.
Lazy parent summer means that my husband now handles transportation to and from kids’ activities. That my kids pick their activities, instead of me researching mountains of options and coordinating schedules. That boredom isn't something to fear, but a gateway to awesomely weird adventures.
Lazy parent summer means having cereal for dinner. Bonus if kids can make their own cereal-for-dinner.
Lazy parent summer means the house is a bit messier, with towels strewn about and sand on the kitchen floor. Dishes sit in the sink. Toys aren’t put away.
Lazy parent summer means skipping the expensive water park and turning on a sprinkler in the backyard instead. It means saying "yes" to ice cream before dinner and staying up past bedtime to watch movies.
Lazy parent summer means spending less time planning grand adventures, and more time enjoying simple pleasures and relaxing with long stretches of time with nothing to do.
Lazy parent summer means cutting myself—and my family—some slack. It means letting go of the pressure to create summer magic for my kids, because summer as a kid is inherently magical.
Lazy parent summer means dropping a pile of crayons, markers and craft supplies on the table and letting your kids go to town. No instructions needed, just their imaginations.
Lazy parent summer means turning off the computer and avoiding social media. It means putting my phone in another room and leaving it there for a few hours. It means turning off the news and reading a juicy novel, for goodness sake.
Lazy parent summer means saying “no” to work requests and taking advantage of office summer hours. It means acknowledging that I, too, need a break sometimes. It means making friends with your "out of office" email response and relying on it often.
Most of all, lazy parent summer means cutting myself—and my family—some slack. It means letting go of the pressure to create summer magic for my kids, because summer as a kid is inherently magical. It means sinking into the ‘80s and ‘90s summers of my childhood.
Lazy parent summer means taking a break from the nagging mom guilt that tells us we should curate every aspect of our family’s life so that the entire family can truly enjoy summer break.