You started off strong, with lemonade stands and trips to the zoo. You showed off your stuff with perfect temperatures, plenty of playdates and poolside popsicles. The kids all passed out early, drained from long, fun days.
Well done, Summer! You. Owned. June.
Then along came July, with your soaring temperatures… and my short fuse got lit right about the fourth of July.
What happened to this laid-back pool-side mama? What have you done to me? And why can’t I find anyone’s bathing suit bottoms and swim goggles? And why are the children fighting one another and why am I fighting everyone back? And “No you can’t have another popsicle!”
Dear, sweet, much anticipated Summer, you’ve got to know what happens to us when you turn it up past 100 degrees, with 98% humidity! The children wake up disgruntled, begging to watch “one more movie” before 8am. The kiddie pool pops from the heat. THE HEAT alone does it! And the house is in a constant state of awful.
And the slip-n-slide has all but killed our grass. My husband dragged it out to the garbage can last Wednesday, with a train of crying kids in his wake.
We’re halfway through the summer, but I’m singing The Summertime Blues because it’s only 11am here and they’re all begging for an indoor playground – what with the slip-n-slide in the trash. Honestly, I thought long and hard about the indoor playground idea, but that costs $50 for 90 minutes of air conditioned fun, and with juice boxes at $4 a pop there’s no way I can say yes! Except the sound of them whining at me and fighting each other makes me think taking out a second mortgage to pay for some chilly recycled air may be worth it after all!
So here I am, Summer, standing at the sink, trying to get myself motivated to tackle these breakfast dishes before the lunchtime rush, where every one of my miniature people calls for me like a short-order cook. What’s a mom to do, Summer, answer me that!
Just this morning I got a text from a mom-friend of mine who typed out her own summertime lament!
“It’s only July and I’m already twitchy. The boys got up this morning and emptied our entire cupboard of craft supplies onto the living room floor! Content, they colored there for approximately three and a half minutes, before leaving the wreckage behind with the promise they’d “be right back.” Of course they took their creativity out onto the apartment balcony to play with chalk. Needless to say, they covered the entire patio surface with one solid piece of chalk art, then traipsed chalk foot prints all the way to the bathroom, where they swam in the tub to wash it off – because some of them looked like Braveheart with chalk on their faces! Then when I thought I could escape to my own bathroom for a moment, I tripped over the art supplies they’d left on the floor and banged my knee something awful. I went for a bag of frozen peas to help with the swelling, when I heard them yelling over an itty-bitty lego…. one tiny 4×4 Lego! I’m one eye twitch away from the crazy house people.”
You hear that, Summer? Mamas get twitchy eyes and twitchy trigger fingers too! In the heat of the moment, in the heat of the day, moms tend to explode at their kids. Complaints about boredom, incessant cries for more screentime, and their dissatisfied eye rolls cause us to react in anger rather than respond – and the guilt we feel as we lecture our way home from the beach is what we hate most of all!
We don’t mean to be mean, if you know what I mean… we’re just hot and bothered.
We started the summer with a heartfelt Halleluiah, one short month ago, and we love these little people something fierce… but we’re out of ideas, out of money, and out of patience.
One Hot Mess
Are you struggling to keep cool and keep calm this summer? Join me for a SUMMERTIME TRIGGERS parenting series! Over the course of the next week I’ll post three Summertimes Triggers and what we can do to keep our cool when the temperatures rise… when our temperatures rise!
I’ll share my biggest summertime triggers – the things they do that make me explode like a midsummer bottle rocket! Take the challenge – and take your summer back! Sign up here to get each new article delivered directly to your email inbox.
“Sometimes I wonder what I’m-a-gonna-do… cause there ain’t no cure for the summertime blues.”
Triggers are the things our kids do that cause us to react in anger rather than respond Gently. Instead of focusing on getting our kids’ behavior under control, our focus must first be on controlling our own behavior. Just because our kids behave wrong, we must keep on doing right! Order your copy of Triggers: Exchanging Parents’ Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses today.