10 Things I Want as a Parent This Summer


Summer vacation is here for most of us, and it can be rough on parents. For me, summer vacation is always one of my least favorite times of the year. The days are long, my husband is super busy at work and entertaining four kids while still trying to get work done is all but impossible some days. I make it work by waking up very early so I can get things accomplished, and I don’t mind it one bit. The rest of the day, however, is always a struggle for me in that I can’t really do what I’d like to do with my kids. The park is too hot in Florida. Playing outside is disgusting and muggy, and taking four kids swimming when two of them are 1-year-old twins is all but impossible when you’re by yourself. The twins are also at that age when a nap is one of the most important parts of our day if we want any sort of peace, and missing nap time means I have two cranky little ones and I cannot focus on the bigger kids, which makes them cranky in return. All in all, I kind of hate summer (did I mention it’s just too hot?).

Weekends are great. We boat, we swim, we play, we travel, we have a great time. But when my husband is with me, those things are possible. By myself, they’re not. So aside from school starting and allowing me to get things done during nap time so that I can focus on my kids when they get home, I have a list of things that, as a parent, I want this summer.

One Sleepover Night Per Week

I would love, love, love if my  mother would offer to have the kids over once a week to her house so that I could have a few uninterrupted hours to myself, and with my husband. She’s a teacher so she’s home and has plenty of free time this time of year, but she will not do it. She keeps my niece and nephew most of the time, so adding my four kids to the mix once a week is not her cup of tea. I wish, though, that she would offer this. Even every other week or once a month would be nice since 24 hours a day with four kids for 10 straight weeks is trying.

My Husband Home More Often

I’d love if my husband could spend more time at home during the summer, but his job is demanding and he’s usually working even harder than ever with audits and other big events going on this time of year. It would be nice if he were home more often this time of year to spend with the kids and to make life easier on all of us.

A Part-Time Assistant/Nanny

This is happening. I’ve decided to hire someone to come in a few days a week, handle the little things that drain my time (errands, laundry and things of that nature) so that I can save time. Additionally, this person will also hang out and watch the twins at nap time so I can take the big girls to do some fun stuff with just me. I like to be able to enjoy things with them, too, but it’s hard with the babies needing my attention.

More Patience

It’s been summer vacation for 12 days now, and sometimes I think that I’m going to scream if I hear my name one more time. It’s been said at least 6 billion times over the course of the past few days. I’m also doing to die if I hear “Bubble Guppies” on more time. Or any toy in this house. Or anyone singing anything from “Frozen.” Clearly I need more patience.

To Develop Creativity

I’ve learned in the past 12 days that I’m not even remotely creative. And while Pinterest can guide me in the right direction, I’m not exactly creative when it comes to doing art projects and things of that nature. I just don’t have the patience (please reference above).

To Learn more to Enjoy the Small Moments

I could use a lesson in this. The small moments are the best ones, and I’d love to learn to enjoy them a bit more, but I’m not sure how to do it. I’m so focused on making sure everyone is taken care of that I forget to enjoy the moments as they pass.

My Kids to use their Imaginations a bit More

My 4-year-old can do and enjoy anything and everything. My almost 7-year-old has suddenly lost her ability to imagine and wants constant, frequent attention and she wants her sister to follow her around and do whatever she wants to do all day long. Sister, however, is not interested.

To Spend More time with my Big Girls

I love my girls, and they get so much less of me now that we have the babies here. They love the babies, but my husband and I would like to spend more time with them on our own. In fact, we’ve made the decision to leave the babies home with the grandparents in July while we head up to our vacation rental with family on Norris Lake for days of boating and skiing and fun.

To have More Date Nights

I need more date nights for the simple reason that I am constantly cleaning, caring and working for kids this summer. There is not one second in my day in which I am being left to my own devices, where everyone is quiet and where I can just relax. Okay, so it’s quiet right now and everyone is happy, but I feel like these moments are fleeting. We date night a few times a month, but more over the summer would be nice.

To Make Fun Memories

We have the best time in our house, but I feel like that’s only true on the weekends when daddy is home. It almost feels that the rest of the week during summer is a long and never-ending moment of waiting for daddy to come home so that we can make memories and have fun, and I would like to figure out how to still look forward to seeing him but also enjoy the memories we’re making without.

Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images


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