Sunday, July 29, 2012



Overwhelmed With Summer Fun?

As it is not even August and summer is basically just started I already wish summer was over?!?  Is summer fun too much sometimes???  We all remember summer as kids and how fun it was to have summer vacation.  There was no school, we played outside, swam in creeks, played with friends, had the occasional family picnic and played and played till school started again.   However as a children I also remember spending most of our summer home and how my siblings and I enjoyed everyday of summer vacation.  We would be home for weeks in a row and we enjoyed it.  That is the same summer fun I wanted my children to grow up remembering.  Yet the farther we progress into summer the less it seem to be happening and I have yet to come up with a solution for resolving this problem.
This time of year is very hectic for us here and everyone else as well I'm sure.  I come from a very large family that all basically lives in the same area.  The last few years it seems every week something is happening and when its not my family having a gathering Thad's family has something.  Our chaos started back in May with My niece's birthday and our anniversary the same day followed by a holiday/party/gathering every weekend since then and will not end till the kids return to school (I hope).  Some how in between all this celebrating we have had animals to raise, gardens to tend and try to squeeze in some family time.  We have had to enjoy most of our family time in the garden and with the animals which makes me happy we have them but still that time has been limited this year by one thing our another.  Is this the normal???  Is this how my kids should remember summer???  Were we the lucky ones growing up that we were able to enjoy our every day of summer vacation???
Every year we say the that next year we are not going to go to everything but every year its the same chaos.  Are we overwhelming our children with all this chaos?  They are so busy every day I feel they do not get to enjoy their summer vacation.  On the few days that we are home they are bored?  We have plenty for our kids to enjoy here but they are just used to everyday chaos and running around that they don't know how to react to being home.  Makes me wonder what memories they will have of summer when they are grown?
I have tried to think of a way to calm down our summer chaos and miss a party/celebration or two but it never seems to work.  I have had this discussion a lot with my Mom on how they managed to escape the summer chaos when we were little and she simply says to stop doing all the parties.  How can I tell my niece/nephew we can not come to your birthday party or tell our family we can not come to their picnic even though we went to the other family's party the week before?  How do I ask that same family to come to a birthday party for my kids when I didn't go to their party?  How can I tell my kids even though you cousin just had a HUGE party you can not?  If we just stopped doing everything would everyone understand that it is just too much sometimes?
I am typing all this knowing that in less then a week my daughter is having her 5th birthday party.  We have been so busy this year I'm actually dreading having this party.  If I had not already planned and invited family to this party I would change the whole thing.  I feel bad that again we are going to have to ask family to change plans and come celebrate my daughters special day.  But at the same time how can I not make her birthday a special day for her?  We used to have huge parties for our kids and invite the whole family on both sides (aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins, friends and all their kids too) but it was getting to the point that we could barely afford to have a party and still get our child a birthday present.  I have scaled down the invite list tremendously since then.  I know my daughter may feel a little sad that she wont have the huge party she is used to but I also know she will be happy just to have the party as well.  Unfortunately this party also means another week with a party and less time to enjoy summer/life.  I will be starting a new tradition for my kids birthdays after this party.  They will do as I did when I was little.  We will celebrate their birthday the actual day of their birth even if its a school day.  They will have a cake and who ever wants to come is welcome to come but we will no longer have big parties that take a week of planning.  This is just my first step in taking back our life and the next will be saying NO we can not make it to your party/celebration.
I really don't quite know how to end this blog so I will end it by saying I hope everyone who reads this knows it is okay to say "sorry we cant make it this time".  It has taken me a few years of chaos to understand this myself but this is going to be my motto not only for summer but forever.  We are letting our years pass us by and cant even remember the fun we had last week because were are already celebrating something else.  We have a great family (on both sides) and I'm hoping that they actually read this.  I also hope they can understand when we all of a sudden stop going to everything.  I will also understand if they read this and decide the same.  I know if its this crazy for me it has to be just as crazy for them.
Here's to enjoying the rest of my summer the simple way---> with my kids and husband!


  1. Great post. I wondered for years how we could cut back on activities because of the physical stress it put on my oldest child. So one year, I decided to just stop. The first time, I met resistance from our extended family...maybe even the first couple of times, but then they got used to it and moved on. We still attend some family functions, but only when they aren't centered on "an event". We may decide to go to the beach together, or go sledding together, but we have eliminated most of the "parties". Now, for my kids' birthdays, they get to choose what they want for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They choose their cake. And usually, they choose one activity for our immediate family to do. Sometimes they choose to rent a movie, go to a local park, go to the movie theatre, our a campout or campfire in the back yard. Every third year or so, they are allowed to invite a few friends, or a few family members (this works for us as there are only a few cousins their age). Then, in the summer, we try to plan one activity per week (the beach, blueberry picking, a family visit, a petting zoo, etc) and the rest of the days they are home entertaining themselves...sometimes they get bored, but that's part of growing up, isn't it?
    Good luck!

  2. Sorry for the long delay on the replying Natalie. I'm sure we will meet resistance from the family too. As there are a lot of us and the kids are all close in age. Sometimes we just have to say enough!!!
    I'm sure my kids will whine they are bored from time to time but you are right and that is part of growing up. We have plenty for them to do here in the summer and during school they will be too busy to realize we are staying home. I'm not an absolute meanie of a mommy. They did swimming lessons the whole month of July and were able to see their school friends. We will still see family and attend the functions we wish to but at our own schedule.
    I hope this will make seeing family more of a treat for us then dreading another get together.