Like so many moms, I usually fall short when it comes to meeting my own parenting expectations. I beat myself up when the laundry's piled, the floors are sticky, and I can't quite get it together to plan that overdue birthday party. It's tempting to label the constant scrambling to keep up as personal failure, because after all, if it's personal, I can pretend to have some control over the chaos; with just the right mix of organization and self-discipline, I should be able to do it all, right?
That's the kind of deluded thinking that wears a body out, but it's a hard habit to break.
That's why I'm so grateful for the arrival of summer. The longer days and lighter schedule help me remember that the school year stress and the chaos isn't all my fault. With no homework, no soccer practice, and almost no email, I'm suddenly a model of patience and efficiency compared to my winter self. And even when things do spiral out of control, it's easier to let go of the angst when the sun is shining. Why not leave the laundry on the floor and take the kids to the pool instead? Why not curl up in the hammock with my daughter and read together, or shoot a few baskets with my son? This lovely season is fleeting, and it makes me want to yes to the good things.
In summer, I still don't live up to my own impossible expectations, but I edge just a little closer to my ideal, and that makes me happy. Now I just need to find a way to get The Summer Mom to stick around come fall.