The Best Part of Summer

by Rachael on July 14, 2015

Welcome to the July 2015 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Summer Fun

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month participants talked about getting out to enjoy the warmer season as a family.

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No matter how many times I have experienced it before, every year the damp heat and abundant greenery of summer astonishes me. Whereas the wind and cold of January and February feel utterly real to me, the sunshine of July and August feels too impossibly good.

Impossible, too, often seems the task of surviving these weeks as a work-at-home mom with two young kids around day after day after day. A sitter takes them out for several hours on Thursdays and Fridays, but otherwise they’re my responsibility through these long, hot days until September. I long for a home with a yard for them to run around in; lacking that, I take them to the park, garden, beach, or playground. We spend as little time inside as I can manage, because inside is where everyone seems to get in everyone else’s way, and the bickering, once it starts, is often interminable.

Meanwhile, I’ve temporarily traded my personal writing time for two hours of working on my current job every day before breakfast. Given that I also have a three-year-old who suddenly just won’t nap anymore, I’ve been spending a lot of time outside doing nothing in particular with the kids — but not much time doing my own thing by myself.

I want to enjoy these aimless days! After all, how lucky I am to be able on a Tuesday morning to sit under a tree in the park and share a snack of bunny crackers and raisins with the Gnome while we watch an enormous tractor mow the lawn. But I quickly become a resentful Mommy if I’m only Mommy all the time. When, in our current routine, is my time just for me?

The other night, I remembered that the best part of summer (or one of them) used to be taking tall stacks of books home from the library, reading them all, and going back for more. Though I might not be able to devour books as I once did, I certainly can take one (or more) along with me to the park, garden, beach, and playground, and I certainly can steal some time actually to read it (or them).

So for the remaining hot weeks of summer (eight until L’s first day of school), books will be my portable escape from life as Mommy — the escape that I hope will help me to relax and see the best part of summer as the whole thing.

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Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

The Barefoot Mama July 14, 2015 at 7:44 AM

Thank you for sharing your thoughts about how difficult it can be with young children to find time that is just for us. Enjoy your reading mama!

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Dionna @ Code Name: Mama July 14, 2015 at 9:43 AM

What is it with the non-napping three year olds?! Ailia has been having such a hard time, but she still *needs* them. (sigh) Books are escape for me, too. When Kieran was a nursling, I could do *nothing* (except for sing) while nursing him to sleep. I’m thankful that Ailia isn’t quite as finicky, and I get my best reading done while nursing her down. Obviously *I* still need her naps too 🙂
Dionna @ Code Name: Mama recently posted… How to Make a Messy Fun Car Emergency Kit (+ a Recipe for Homemade Disinfecting Wipes)

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Rachael July 14, 2015 at 9:57 PM

We had a spell of 10 more days with no naps, but in the past 5 days (since I wrote this post, of course) the Gnome has had 4 naps. But I’ve learned not to count on them anymore, alas.

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Life Breath Present July 14, 2015 at 12:12 PM

Books, crafting, and just a few minutes alone help keep me sane. I’m with Baby Boy all day, all the time, so our routine doesn’t change much, but we do still manage to have some fun!

For the longest time he either wouldn’t or it was extremely difficult to get him to nap during the day, now that he’s 2 he seems to be doing so much more frequently, which is nice. Hopefully, he’ll remain that way or I’ll be the next one writing about a non-napping 3yo lol

Sounds like you’re doing a great job trying to remember the parts that are good and easing into them the best you can with young ones around – mama hugs! 🙂
Life Breath Present recently posted… Summer Takes

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Lauren @ Hobo Mama July 14, 2015 at 1:31 PM

There’s so much here I resonate with. I’ve nearly given up this summer on having time for writing, because there’s just so much to DO in these fleeting sunny days. I also wish we had a yard where I could just shoo the kids outside, because as it is, I have to arrange all outdoor time, and I feel obligated when the weather’s fair to do so daily. I’m glad you’ve figured out a way to steal time for yourself and wish you many happy moments of reading!
Lauren @ Hobo Mama recently posted… How to help your kids run a marathon, mile by mile

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Rachael July 14, 2015 at 10:09 PM

Ah, so you, too, know the woes of life without a yard. I really, really feel it at this time of year.

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Stoneageparent July 14, 2015 at 3:38 PM

Hi, thanks for sharing. I also feel there’s a lot which resonates with me here. I am surprised each year by the bounty and the heat and lushness of the summer. I also try to spend as little time indoors as is possible. I also find I need some me time and there isn’t much of that, it needs to be squeezed in but it is so necessary for me to be a happy mummy the rest of the time, whether that’s through yoga or writing or reading, I need it to survive. Enjoy the rest of the summer with your kids, the time just to be with them and simply to enjoy it, as it’ll be gone so soon, and I also hope you get chance to do some of that reading. I also have a pile of books I’d love to read and remember once being able to do so…maybe again, at some point in the future, but now to the kids…
Stoneageparent recently posted… Wild summer days

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Holly S July 14, 2015 at 11:40 PM

We’ve been hitting the library several times per week recently; my son is an insatiable reader, and he just loves getting stacks of new picture books for us to read together. And yes, he’s part of the no-napping-3-year-old club too, so I can feel you there. I generally get 2-3 hours in the evening to myself, after he goes to sleep, but it seems like there’s never enough time for me-stuff!
Holly S recently posted… 8 Summer Picture Books for Toddlers & Preschoolers

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Rachael July 16, 2015 at 3:10 PM

The 3yo is out of the club — for now! He’s napped every day this week, I think, so apparently the trick to getting him to nap is to publish a post about how he isn’t napping. We’ll see how long it lasts. . . .

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