Thursday, June 6, 2013

'Tis the Season for Unrealistic Expectations

Amy (4th Frog) is a friend I made through blogging a few years ago. She's funny and real and down to earth. You won't get any false "motherhood is so perfect and shiny" stories from Amy - she's all about the reality of motherhood, life, and more. She's got her serious side, as we all do, but I always read her posts and just... relate.


School is out for my bunch. All 3 kiddos are enjoying the sweet reprieve that is summer vacation.

For the most part, our calendar is set. I’ve got it figured out who is going to what camps when. And for the the almost 14yo, I’ve built in some adequate down time, at his request. But then there is the other part of summer. The rosy, magical part where I let myself believe that THIS is the summer that as a family we are going to:

  • Get organized
  • Create, implement and keep up with a daily chore schedule
  • Go to the library on a weekly basis and read all the books we bring home
  • Exercise

Here’s the reality:

To get organized, we need to get rid of STUFF. Seems simple...until I get caught in the never-ending self-debate of “garage sale, Ebay, Craigs List, or Goodwill?” We don’t have a particularly generous budget, so the idea of selling our stuff for a little extra spending money is tempting. But getting set up for a garage sale always seems to turn my house upside down and while I might make a bit of money, most of the stuff will be left sitting there at the end of the day. So take it to Goodwill, right? Yes, but, what if this is the year that our extra clothes, dishes, books and other assorted junk is what is most coveted by bargain hunters?

The daily chore schedule. It needs to happen. My kids are certainly old enough to pitch in on almost all the tasks it takes to run a house. I’ve actually had a list of chores written out for some time. Maybe I just am subconsciously trying to avoid the whining and protests that come with the introduction of the chore list? Maybe I’m just as bad as the kids when it comes to preferring to relax and do what I want to do instead of do what I need to do? I’ll post the list, communicate my expectations and then watch the whole thing cave in as soon as there is a schedule conflict that makes getting the chores done a little bit more challenging.

The library and I have a love-hate relationship. I love that building full of books, just waiting to be read. But I hate that it’s 20 minutes away in a direction that I never drive. So usually what happens is during the first week of summer, we earnestly head to the library, sign up for the summer reading program with its allure of fabulous prizes, stock up on awesome books and head home full of optimism. Fast-forward two weeks and the books are mostly unread, scattered around the house with a few inevitably lost, and the due date comes and goes without the books being returned because the library is too far away. The end of the summer comes with the only summer reading prize being a $47 fine for overdue books.

My favorite go-to excuse for not exercising more often is that the burden of driving kids to and from school and practices doesn’t leave much time for exercise. But in the summer, I tell myself, no one has to be at school so there is plenty of time for me to get up and exercise in the morning. Somehow, I forget that while there is no school, there is camp and Boys & Girls Club and summer health class at the high school. Same busyness, different destination.

I realize that with some discipline and creative scheduling, all of my summer dreams could come true. Maybe if I had a drill sergeant to keep us on task, this could all happen. And I bet I could hire someone for the job with the extra money I could make by having a garage sale...

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