As we are in the midst of summer, many folks are balancing families, work, vacation, travel and perhaps school. Some kids may be in camp, some kids may be home and others just milling around. It seems that depending upon the age of the kiddo – summer can be delightful or a minefield. If you have an adolescent or young adult, they also tend to throw grenades into planning family time
I quickly realized once my kiddo was in high school that summer is the new status stressor….who is going to the beach for a month, who is going to some sports training for the summer, who has a killer job, who is in summer school and who is still under the covers with a parent yelling for them to get a job. Some of this may have all of this in one house..or parts of this all in one kiddo.
Summer Break is labeled such, so it immediately puts pressure on many of us to essentially be cruise directors – and for me, far from having that kind of budget, I’m looking at a rowboat in a large tub. Big vacations were never something we could swing, and maybe a week or two of a YMCA overnight camp (paid often over 8 months) was about the most I could do. I realized after years of this, I actually forgot to actually ASK what she might want to do over the summer.
I’m telling you – give it a shot next run. Once we started talking about summer, what we’d like to do, what we could afford to do, and how to make the most of the time we had while balancing actual needs really made things easier – particularly if you have a young adult. This summer the reality that she really needed a job kicked in (thank you Harry Styles for having a tour and swag she really wanted). We sat down and discussed how she’d tackle applying and what that meant for her personal responsibilities. From there we built around that; she has a sports practice schedule that needed attention as well tournaments. In doing so, it hit her that this wasn’t a summer where we were going to be able to go to the beach for any amount of time. BUT – we were able to look at what she was doing and ways we could affordably build some summery fun around the commitments we had in place. Plus we have to remember some of the absolute best moments are not planned, it’s those moments in the car or simply being together that create memories that last a lifetime.
So, given how we approached this summer, we are both much calmer and enjoying our summer independently and together in a way we have not experienced in the past. She’s learning self efficacy and I am learning to perforate the umbilical cord – which will be needed as she launches to college in a year. I wish you each well in the planning…and perforation.