Thursday, September 6, 2018

We had a great summer

I tried to plan at the beginning of this summer to have a summer to remember and I must say that it worked! We did lots of fun things together, we tried lots of different things and we made some good memories. When the summer was over I wasn't sure I wanted it to end. We had had a great time.

Things I didn't do:

-Summer school work. Whoops. I totally failed on this one. Better luck next year!
-We only did okay with chores. I didn't do it when we had other stuff going on in the morning, and I totally stopped doing them by the end of the summer. But I did improve from last year, so I'm glad!
-I didn't do much with my Powersheets this summer (my personal goals)
-I quit my social media free summer early when my cousin's son started having some serious health problems and I was anxious for updates. I would like to get back to social-media free though.

Things that worked well:

-I LOVED having this summer bucket list. Wow! It was so easy to look at when you had some down time and you needed to think of something to do, or you wanted to figure out an activity to fill a time window. The second half of the summer I was more intentional about planning stuff in (or rather trying to fit everything I wanted to do in before school started). So next year I want to be a little more intentional about what stuff I absolutely want to do, and make sure those make it in over the course of the summer.
-My plan for a few short camps or lessons totally worked. I was so grateful! It gave us just enough structure to keep me from going insane and allowing the kids to have a break from each other, but we still had so much free time and carefree-ness. We had: two weeks of swim lessons (3 oldest kids), one week of soccer camp in the mornings (2 girls), and one week of 'nature camp' in the mornings (2 girls), all spread throughout the summer.
-There was not much tv/screen time going on over here. I know it's not the end of the world for kids to watch tv in the summer, but it felt like an accomplishment in my book because it meant the kids wanted to do more active things. I was glad to see them living their summer to the fullest!

Things I'm still thinking about:

-During the last few weeks of the summer I kind of felt like we were doing too much fun stuff. There was no responsibility, and it sometimes felt like fluffy entertain-yourself-type stuff. I'm trying to decide the balance between sanity, building family relationships, and fun. Fun and building family relationships often go hand-in-hand, but not always. Entertainment is different than building family relationships. But entertainment can often mean a sanity-saver for the mom. For example: Promise the kids we'll go get ice cream cones if they finish their chores. Or take them to get ice cream without enforcing chores just because you need a break from the fighting. Another example: Take the kids to the pool again because they are begging for it and because it means I can avoid stuff at home. I guess I just realized that all activity is not building-relationship activities, and just because you're all together doesn't mean it "counts" as family-building and not fluffy entertainment. I obviously haven't figured out the balance yet and maybe this doesn't make any sense to you, but it's just something I'm still thinking about.

-Should you do things just because you can? This was another question on my mind. I paid for a lot of things out of sanity (i.e. camps) but if we were in a different financial situation we would have had to just make do. We did daytrips, or went out to lunch or the pool, things that cost money. We are a middle class family and so we live middle class. But I didn't grow up in a "privileged" household, everything we did was free and usually at home. I liked the way I grew up, so part of me doesn't see the need for a privileged lifestyle. I don't want my kids growing up thinking they "need" to spend money in order to have fun because I never did as a kid, and I feel like it served me well as an adult, especially as a poor college student, to be content having fun without spending money. But it's hard not to spend money, especially when it saves your sanity or becomes a good memory! I know there are ways I can improve to be more prudent with my money and still feel fulfilled, all while keeping my sanity.  I'm still thinking about this one.


  1. Just asking..did you feel like we were poor while you were growing up? Mom

    1. Not poor, but I knew there certain things we couldn’t ever do that a lot my other friends did— go to Disneyland, or shop for clothes at the more expensive stores, we never went out to eat at a sit-down restaurant as a family, stuff like that. We obviously could afford to eat and paid for choir and all that kind of stuff, and my parents were both college educated, so I don’t think you can call that poor. Most of it just had to do with the logistics of having such a large family, and you guys trying to be prudent/frugal don’t you think? I think being frugal is a great thing to pass on to your kids, and a good way to manage money. It’s harder to do when you have more wiggle room like us, since we only have four kids. I wish I was better at it.