Hi, dear readers! I’m taking advantage of our first week of summer break here to talk about the struggle many moms have in adjusting to summer vacation. Yesterday I had a few thoughts on adjusting our family routine to summer mode. Often, summer break is daunting because everything is disrupted, but that’s not the only reason many moms complain about summer.
If we’re dreading spending time with our little darlings because they’re little brats, we need to work on character formation, ours and theirs. Many wise parenting experts talk about the need to lean in to the child who is driving you crazy, because often she is the one who needs you the most right now. As I’ve mentioned in the past, summer is a great time to do this. If you need some encouragement or inspiration in this area, check out the What Have You podcast from Rachel Jankovic and Bekah Merkle the next time you have to sit and fold towels or something. I need to re-listen to episode 13, where they talk about showing our kids what kind of people we want them to become by living it out ourselves. I want my kids to have a servant’s heart, to be helpful and cheerful in their service to our family and others. And in the podcast, Rachel says, “I need to be blessing my children at the same rate that I want them to be blessing people.” This has been so convicting for me! When a little person sticks a book in front of my face while I’m in the middle of writing a blog post (not that that has happened AT ALL in the past half hour), I can respond with frustration: “Not now! I’m telling other people how to be good moms!” (ha!) Or I can respond with grace: “Okay, let me finish this thought, and we’ll sit down and read two stories in your Busytown storybook. Then we’ll go find your sisters and see if you can play with them.” The former response makes me a double hypocrite–to you all, and to my kids–and the second graciously shows my kids that yes, they are my priority, but adults do not always drop everything they’re doing to cater to every little whim. If I respond with impatience to my kids, why should I expect them to respond graciously to me? I’ve often commented that my kids are little reality checks in my progress of sanctification, showing me what the state of my heart really looks like. These next 10 or 12 weeks are an opportunity for me to slow down and dig out the yucky things in my heart and my kids’ hearts and replace them with the fruit of the Spirit. Now that’s a vision for this summer that I can get behind!
Do you struggle with bad behavior during the summer? What has been your best technique for dealing with it?