I look forward to summer for myself and my kids. I love turning off the alarm clock, getting onto a more natural schedule, and having time together that isn't hijacked by schoolwork and school schedules. It can also be hard to adjust to new routines.
I have noticed that I start summer with unconscious expectations for myself, my kids, and our time together. This summer, I'm remembering to slow down and make those expectations more conscious and clear. Rather than imposing those expectations on my family and spending the first few weeks frustrated, I'm practicing curiosity.
Starting with myself, I'm reflecting on how to make sure I have time and space for the things I really need--quiet time and space to meditate each day, to write, and to work from home.
I'm reflecting on how to see our house as home base for all of us, finding ways to collaborate on using it, filling it with our interests, and caring for it.
I'm reflecting on what the summer is for each of my kids, taking the time to consider it from their perspective and ask them what they really want to prioritize this summer. I'm talking with them about what I've noticed and inviting them to consider with me what they may need to balance out their school experience.
At each age, summer brings changes into our lives. Long days, garden produce, heat, travel, summer jobs, pools and other adventures change day-to-day life. Do you have unconscious expectations about the summer? Would it be helpful for you to get clear about what you really want and need, and to reflect on your family?
I'm a mom, wife, daughter, friend, and teacher who has long struggled with the desire to be the perfect person I imagine that I should be. Practicing mindfulness has changed my life, helping me to make peace with myself as I truly am and to appreciate my family, life, and the world as they actually are.