Wednesday, June 2, 2010

freedom

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Jared told me recently about some article he read about a mother who won a mother of the year award (the fact that Jared read this article, remembered so many details, and told me about it makes me worried). Anyway, mother-of-the-year has a “system” that he tried to tell me about, but I tuned him out (I mean, what IS he trying to tell me?!). Something about spiritual, educational, physical, musical experiences for each of her many children each day. Lately, I have been contemplating summer and I’ve read a bunch of blog posts by moms who are full of amazing ideas. Setting up “school” at home for the summer. Or a new letter/number for everyday of the summer with corresponding foods, etc… Or cute ways to display your goals for the summer.

Flashback for a second… I remember being a kid on summer break: I am bored, I play outside, I tease my brother and sister, I bug my mom, I read, I go back outside. Maybe we go to the lake and swim now and then or to the library.

Another flashback, but make it say, 100 years ago. What would a mother of four children think about summertime? Is she coming up with a theme for each week complete with a list of books to check out at the library and a corresponding field trip? I doubt it. She has work to do. Feeding, cleaning, teaching, loving – not just in her family, but her church and community families too. Funny, I have all those things to do too. Sure, the microwave and washing machine lighten my load, but the world seems in need of more loving and teaching these days so I think we balance out.

I know there are moms out there who have “systems” and love them, but let it be known that I am not in the running for mother of the year. I think that we make life harder for ourselves by inventing “systems” and placing new and extra expectations on ourselves. After a lot of thought on our summer plans, the verdict is… freedom! For the kids: freedom from homework and bus rides, freedom to play outside all day or curl up with a book all day, freedom to be bored.  For me: freedom from someone else’s idea of a great summer, freedom to make my kids entertain themselves without me scheduling our every hour, freedom to focus on the basics of my job as mother, freedom to have fun with my kids doing whatever we feel like doing (or not).

PS – notice the cute apron I’m wearing in this random picture of me. My Aunt Martha made them for the ladies in the family for Mother’s day and I love mine.

9 comments:

Jennifer said...

Love it, M-Ann. Thanks for giving me permission to not be "mother of the year" this summer, okay, ever. But I love that I'm not the only one not planning every second and homeschooling my kids and going all the time. I think that we go plenty so the time that we are home I just want to take it easy. It's basically soccer, library and hanging at the pool for us from here until August. Happy Summer!

Karen said...

Kudos to you! That's about how I try to run my house all the time. Enjoy your summer:)

Kimberli said...

Hooray! I know I put myself under too much pressure in the summer. I want to do all these cool things for my kids. The other night I dreamed up another "system," but in the morning I came to my senses and realized how crazy that would make me. I can hardly wait for freedom. We only have two more days. I've been running around so crazy this last week with all the end of school events. I can't wait to just stay home again.

Allen Family said...

Loved this! I always loved visiting with you about this kind of stuff. You have great perspective! I can't stand all the pressure to be the mom that takes field trips, does projects (craft projects...weekly) or even gets on a summer routine. In fact, my goal for the summer is TO NOT feel guilty when come August, I'm ready for my kids to get into school and get going. I know there will be those cute moms that don't want summer to end because they want their kids home longer, but I have vivid memories of my own awesome mom actually saying, "Wow, it is soooo time for school to start! You girls are driving me bonkers!" And I still completely loved her and maybe even loved her more for being real. In August will you do a post that states how anxious you are for school to start again? I think hearing it from someone I consider to be a fabulous mom would really help me attain my guilt-free goal! Thanks!

ps-- I want an Aunt Martha apron! So cute, my only apron is from the Salt Lake Rotary Club...so not cute!
loves, Jes

kseal said...

We're in the same Mom's Club. I'm sure it's considered neglect in this day and age, but my kids aren't in sports or music or dance or fill in whatever other activity that makes them busier than most adults. *I* want to play too. Not sit on a sideline or drop off and pick up or play "teacher" all summer. Top on our list of things to do this summer: Be Kids!

Katie said...

I am now convinced that we must be friends. Seriously. I'm safe now from any expectations because of the twins, but in a few years when "mother of 5 young children" is no longer an excuse, I'm going to need to have surrounded myself with people who are like minded. So, friends we shall be. I'll tell you how I could never do what you do as a medical wife, and you tell me how you could never do what I do with the twins and all shall be right with the world!

Miss Frazzled said...

Funny! I started "school" when summer started, and it lasted about 2 days. Now I only pull the workbooks out when the kids start whining of boredom. They do a few pages and then go back to playing.

cam said...

THIS IS WHY I LOVE YOU! Amen to that!

Melin said...

AMEN and AMEN. That is our exact plan. We have no camps, no teams, no nothing this summer but get up each day and decide what we are going to do--it is going to be great!