Summer. It seems like such a great idea, in theory. A whole season full of warm weather, vacations, swimming, barbecues, fireworks, fireflies, and about a zillion popsicles. Heaven, right? But honestly, summer has historically been probably my least favorite season.
For one thing, the weather isn't just warm. Where we live, it's usually hot and humid, kind of like standing in a spray of water shot out by the sun. The heat, combined with the popsicles, which are generally eaten outside, leads to sweaty, dirty, sticky kids. Vacations can be tons of fun, but can also be totally stressful. And the most irritating thing of all...my husband, a teacher, stays home with the kids while I go to work.
I realize that on the outside, this looks like an ideal situation. We don't have to worry about finding childcare for our kids over the summer. And they get lots of time with their dad.
But here's the thing...
My husband and I have a very different idea of what a summer vacation should look like.
My husband is a great dad. He takes good care of our kids.
He's also much more relaxed about things than I am.
His easygoing nature is a blessing the majority of the time. He doesn't get rattled easily. He is not bothered by lots of noise in the house. There are many times when I'm grateful for his unflappable nature. But during summer this trait of his is frustrating for me because a). I'm a control freak and like things done my way, and b) I spend my working days telling parents about the importance of having a routine during the summer, reading to your kids, taking them to the library, and going outside to play. And then I'd come home and my own kids were still in their pajamas, they had watched television for most of the day, and the lunch dishes were still next to them on the floor. It drove me crazy! Three days into summer vacation, and I would be counting the days until school started again.
I was ticked off, and not quiet about it. It was not good for my relationship, nor was it how I wanted to remember summer with my kids.
I wanted to remember playing outside. I wanted to remember blowing bubbles. I wanted to smile at the memory of a family road trip where we had an impromptu detour and made amazing discoveries. I know. It's the stuff of fantasy land. But it was my fantasy and I liked it!
In all actuality, I didn't really need the fantasy. I just didn't want my reality to be so far removed from it.
So, I did what any reasonable wife would do when her husband isn't behaving the way she wants. I nagged. And complained. And made passive-aggressive digs. I showed some very interesting sides to my personality. It was not pretty.
Several seasons of arguing and sulking later, we eventually realized that we needed to do something different. Many, many conversations ensued. My husband is making great strides in taking the initiative to get the kids dressed, do some chores, and play outside every day. And I am learning to let go a little. I remind myself that things don't HAVE to be done my way. When I relax my expectations on things that aren't high priorities, and really listen to my husband's side of things, he is more than willing to meet me halfway on the things that matter.
The other day I pulled into the driveway, and the kids were having a blast outside with him. It was a lovely way to be re-united with my family at the end of a beautiful summer day.
I am so glad you are here! Welcome to my blog. Look around and make yourself comfortable, because this is your space, too. My name is Amy, and I am no stranger to the ups and downs of life. Join me as we search for beauty and authenticity, tell our truth, and hold space for each other in the messiness of life.