The Ups and Downs of Summer


Summer vacation is halfway through and I hit a low point earlier this week. Six weeks in and I was done.  Sometimes summer vacation feels like a constant barrage of making snacks and more snacks, mediating fights, cleaning up continual messes, and running kids around all over town. Mixed in are a zillion questions and requests for whatever catches their fancy and guilt trips galore. It's impossible to make everything perfectly fair all the time and my kids are experts in pointing out discrepancies in a way that gets me every time. Last, but not least, there are no bedtimes. This in and of itself can send me over the edge.

It's not exactly that there are no bedtimes, it's just that no school means no incentive for enforcement. This means there ends up being no minutes where I'm awake and everyone else is asleep. All kids, all the time makes for long days and short nights. 

I've read the warnings everywhere I look to savor every moment, enjoy each day, your kids are only young once, and so on. But truly...don't judge... I felt like I'd soaked in all I could soak and I'd reached my maximum absorption point for summer time fun. We'd frolicked in the pool, went to the playground, and gone out on the lake. We'd had the late night movies complete with cuddles and popcorn. I'd been the fun mom approving sleep overs and play dates. We'd rode bikes and gone on walks. We'd stopped and smelled the roses people and they were wilting in the heat.

But today we had one of those days that makes you love summer vacation. We went to an amusement park with the three younger kids. And had a fantastic time! Bickering was absent. Cooking not possible. Dad was there and able to help. All the kids were excited and happy about the day because water slides and roller coasters are a child's paradise. 

Here are some pictures of the smiles...






Tonight I feel refreshed. There are about five weeks until school starts and we've got some fun things on the calendar. I want to make the most of this time. I know that the school routine I so happily threw off in May will be here again before I know it. Summer vacation is a roller coaster ride that will end too quickly so I'm buckling myself back in and holding on tight to the end. 



I think I will start enforcing some bedtimes though!



53 comments:

  1. Seriously I was just complaining to my husband about the fact that no one in this house sleeps and I am never alone. I am right there with you on enforcing the whole bedtime. If only my kids would actually cooperate! Last night it was 10 p.m. before my 6 year old finally fell asleep.

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    1. Haha! So good to know I'm not the only one bothered by this. Going to start enforcing bedtimes tomorrow...we'll be up late for the fireworks tonight. :)

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  2. Sounds like a beautiful day! At camp we used to say that the days drag on, but the weeks fly by. I feel like I am just getting the hang of summer, and just yesterday I already saw the school supply display out at Target.

    Thank you for sharing an honest look at summer. It's a roller coaster, but I hope that you have more full, fun days and set bedtimes to enjoy the last weeks of sun.

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    1. Thanks, Farrah! I've always liked a similar saying about motherhood--the days are long, but the years are short. So true! Always makes me sentimental!

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  3. 12 week hols in America? Wow we get 6 weeks in the UK and I think that's enough for most parents! I already have bedtime issues with my four year old - he likes to stay up til his two year old brother has dropped off and now thinks 9pm is his bedtime! Definitely looking forward to some days like the one you describe though when the kids are a bit older. X

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    1. Having a 2 year old up until 9 would be hard! I hope he sleeps in late in the mornings for you. The younger ones always want to keep up with the older ones! :)

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  4. I totally remember the days of summer vacation burn out! It's strange to read that your summer vacay is half over - in Washington we don't get out until the 3rd week of June, so we're only a few weeks in! Looks like you had a blast at the amusement park - one of my favorite places! Hope you're having a great weekend.

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    1. Summer burn out is the perfect description! :) I grew up in Western NY so we always got out near the end of June, too. It still feels weird to me to be out in May. Amusement park and 4th of July weekend festivities were a welcome distraction though!

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  5. Even though I homeschool, I hear you on the whole summer vacation thing. The fighting?! Why all the fighting?!

    Maybe we need a trip to an amusement park. Love your pictures!

    Thanks for sharing (and for linking up to the SHINE Blog Hop).

    Wishing you a lovely day.
    xoxo

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    1. Thanks, Jennifer! I think hearing siblings fight definitely makes the temperature rise! :)

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  6. Oh, I feel your pain. This summer I feel like I have been battling for control. The kids are constantly fighting and my husband keeps having to travel for work. Part of me can't wait for school to start back - even though that means I'll have to go back to work too! LOL

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  7. Lovely photos of your family! Soon your kids will be driving themselves places and only home from college for a short while. That is where we are at - and I am wishing the passing of these days would just slow down!

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  8. I used to dread the school holidays and kids only have 6-7 weeks over here in the UK! How on earth do you cope with so much time off? We used to take our daughters to theme parks and it was always their favourite thing to do. Looks as though you all had a brilliant day, here's hoping the kids were exhausted when you arrived home.

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    1. When I read that you only have six weeks off, I was jealous! :) Theme parks are always hit, I wish we lived close enough to go more often!

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  9. Isn't it lovely when days go like this? Well done you. I cannot believe you have 11 weeks of holidays - 6 weeks is enough here! Great idea for a linky this, I haven't seen it before. I will be back x

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    1. Great, Suzanne! We'd love to have you link up! I must admit 6 weeks of holidays sounds pretty good right now :)

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  10. That looks like such a fun day out. Kids love the amusement parks don't they? We're on week 2 of summer holidays here. Only another 5 to go!!

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    1. Hope you're having a great time, Laura! :)

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  11. wow what a trip and a half xx

    thanks for linking up with #MagicMoments

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  12. What a lovely trip! I have to admit the thought of 7 weeks here is enough to scare me and I only have one child!

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  13. I hate it when the bedtime routine gets lost in summer. Glad you got a refresher and some fun though. Hope the next 5 weeks are kind to you.

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    1. Thanks! Bedtimes have been a little earlier, so that's good!

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  14. I love love love your soaking it up/maximum absorption metaphor. It's so true and I find it so much more encouraging when moms are honest about the roller coaster of parenting. There are great days. There are awful days. Most days are both. We can't love every second of it, but it is important to recognize those fantastic moments for what they are, too. I'm glad you had such a perfect summer day. And you always have the best family photos!

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    1. Thanks! I like reading your blog because you don't sugarcoat the frustrating moments either. Sometimes we just need to know we're not the only ones!

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  15. We went to an amusement park last week too, and it was one of the highlights of our summer so far too! Summer is flying by for me so far, but I totally get what you're saying. It's the days of summer that drag. :) Thanks for linking up!

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    1. Amusement parks are always a huge hit with kids. They always remember and talk about them for a long time!

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  16. Looks like the amusement park was a great day! I have those 'I've reached my limit' days too, usually I'm really over tired (more than just my usual over tired) and after a few lay low days I'm re-charged :)

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    1. Recharging is the key! I'm definitely feeling better this week!

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  17. I find these places quite exhausting but great family fun

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    1. They certainly can be exhausting! The crowds were light when we were there though and I didn't go home with a headache this time! :)

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  18. Six weeks is definitely enough for me. You need the routine back after then. But you can't beat family days out like that. Sometimes weekends are filled with doing jobs and you don't make time for fun, so it's good to get out and do something different when you get the chance.

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    1. Routine is needed for sure! I think lack of routine is a big part of my summer burnout!

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  19. 12 weeks for the Summer holidays sounds like an awfully long time! That would tip anyone over the edge. You're halfway through and our holidays have not even started yet! Looks like you've had a nice day at the theme park! Mel #MagicMoments

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  20. I have about hit my max around here, too, but I am looking forward to a family vacation in a few weeks. So glad you could have a "perfect" day at the amusement park. Looks so fun! Those "perfect" days make up for all the bickering and craziness of summer. Hope you can enforce those bedtimes!

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    1. I hope you have a wonderful vacation! Getting away is always so nice!

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  21. Oh I know, bedtime seems to have gone out the window here too! I'm trying to embrace the summer, but there are moments where the bickering makes that really hard :) We are having fun though! #MagicMoments

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    1. Sibling rivalry is too much to handle by this time in the summer! :)

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  22. I hear you and can relate! Running out of ways to keep my two girls from bickering at each other. Looks like a lovely day you had. Thanks for linking up with #mommyreality :)

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  23. This is something I am not looking forward to and I only have 6 weeks to deal with! My son is still at home with me and will not appreciate having 'his' space intruded upon by his sister. Looks like you managed to have a lovely day though, the pictures are great :) #sharewithme

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    1. Thanks! I must admit that I'm a little jealous of you only having six weeks! :)

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  24. We are going through the same thing right now. I love having all of them at home, but schedules are way off, and my youngest has begun waking up at night and coming into our room -- no sleep here! :)

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    1. Oh, I hope middle of the night interruptions are short-lived!

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  25. I bet so many can relate to this with older children. Poor thing. I bet its tiring but glad you are refreshed and had such an amazing time. I am one of eight kids and I can tell you summer or winter we always had a strict bedtime same time no matter what and rules stayed in place all summer long as if it was still school time too. Its easier to go back to the school routine if its in place and helps parents still get their time too! lol May sound mean but I will be doing it with my own kids and it never hurt any of us either. We also knew we had a bedtime so there was no fussing because it was always that way. I guess with eight there had to be. lol Hoping you get some relaxation in and the next weeks fly by and it will be back to routine heaven. Thanks for linking up to Share With Me #sharewithme

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    1. We always had an early bedtime in the summer, too. I can remember complaining it was still light outside! :)

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  26. How fun! Your days at home with older kids sounds like my regular life at home with my young kids. Ha. Glad you had an amazing time at the amusement park! And, I think there is just something about summer and the long hours of sunlight that don't help kids go to sleep at a good time. My 4yos are staying up crazy late every night. I hate it. So much. Ugh. Hang in there for the next 5 weeks!

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    1. Thanks, Katelyn! It's good to know others are becoming impatient with later bedtimes, too!

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  27. Looks like a really fab day out! I do understand your summer holiday woes, we have a week to go before the kids are off and having 3 at home while I continue to try to work is just going to be a nightmare! And yes, those sayings do make me feel guilty, I think thats what they're designed for! x x x

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    1. So glad to hear those sayings get to you, too! Enough with guilty sayings! :)

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  28. It looks like you had a fabulous day. We are just about to start our children's summer holidays and so we are doing lots of planning with trips out here and there, it is so hard to make sure everyone is happy when you have kids of different ages! I have to say I am a little bit of a baby when it comes to roller coasters, but my other half loves them, so I do usually chicken out on those sort of rides! #sharewithme

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    1. I used to go on roller coasters, but now I opt out, too. They give me a headache and I'm just as happy watching the kids go! :)

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