Wednesday, July 11, 2012


I have a love/hate relationship with pinterest.  I think I have a love hate with most things.  There's just always two sides.  I think it's the most incredible way to get ideas and save and organize them.  There is so much visual inspiration and it's far more efficient and cost-effective than buying magazines or even searching blogs.

But sometimes I think my head is going to explode with all of the ideas and sometimes I think my sense of worth is going to disappear as I add up ALL of the ideas I will never ever have the time to realize.  I pinned a picture of a garage door (the little one that goes into your house) painted black and thought... "should do that-- my white door gets so filthy. Better pin this to do it some day." But then I thought.... "seriously, of all of the rooms and walls and projects in my home that I see every day that aren't done, like I'm going to spend time on what was always meant to be an ugly, functional door. Who cares.  WHO cares. (please don't tell me if you care.)

Going into this summer I felt so much pressure (self-inflicted) to make it so organized-- so we'd be sure to get in plenty of reading time, swimming time, craft time, cooking time, quiet time, family time.... etc.  We got a white board so we could calendar our weeks for the girls to see and I bought weird things like borax to make slime.... and special colored pencils you can paint with water to make look like water colors.  We have tons of art supplies, but somehow buying something new I saw on pinterest made me feel like I was better prepared for the summer.  I'm such a sucker.

As it turns out: 

-They like their normal crayons and water color paints better.   Like they'd rather just choose one or the other and not some fancy hybrid.  
- They found slime at the dollar store for.... a dollar, and my 12 dollar box of borax sits in my laundry room.  Maybe the creation would be super fun... maybe some day.
- Reading time is harder to make happen than I hoped.  We have incorporated the library in our routine this summer.  Maybe after I spend lots of dollars on pinterest inspired "great books for girls from 4-7" we'll read all the time.  No-- I know it's me.  I try reading aloud in the afternoon while Finn naps and I almost always doze off a few pages in.  This forces Sophia to take over so I can "rest my eyes".  So maybe it's a good thing in the end... thank goodness I can count on Ross to read at bed time...
- Between friends' pools and hotel pools, we swim several times a week... and it doesn't always leave tons of time for other stuff... but when it's 112 degrees outside, we've decided it's the priority. Who wants to be cooped up inside, even if you do have a cupboard full of pinterest-inspired super-mom crafts?
- They still default to drawing and painting and glueing and taping every afternoon when we're home.  I think I've decided it's ok if I'm not there monitoring a new and awesome craft.  They're creating and they'll do it on their own.  Am I really going to mess with that?
- "Cooking time" consists of them playing with a miniature ball of dough when I make bread, cracking an egg any time there's an egg to be cracked, stirring the waffle or pancake batter while I add to it, and eating cookie dough when it's done.  They don't care much beyond that and frankly I cook much faster without them.  Am I awful?
-  Quiet time happens when they watch a movie after a morning in the sun and water, while Finn naps.  I think quiet time is supposed to be a time for reading and reflection.  We've got room for improvement there.  At least it's quiet and we can all recover from the fast paced morning.
-  Family time is all the time.  Maybe this needs to be scheduled in when they're teenagers.  But they can't do much without us now.... so by default, we rock at family time.  

So mostly-- we're just going with it.  We fill our weeks with friends and swimming and chaos and fill in the holes with whatever we feel like.  It works for us.  I guess this is my public declaration that I'm letting myself off the hook for any list of 101 things to do this summer.  I am a horrible planner and I'm afraid of commitment-- but I love to be busy and happy.  So I'm soaring with my strengths.

(p.s. If you are organized and fabulous enough to have done some incredible summer plan with a check-off list, I am obviously just super jealous. )


Keith and Courtney said...

It's not just you. Free time and unstructured creative time are fantastic for kids and for us!
P.S. Love seeing all the pictures. Your family is adorable!

kerwin said...

I am a big fan of not being stressed out, and just the thought of planned crafts, reading time, etc scares me. I blacked out during a portion of your post because it started to stress me out. We didn't have structured activities when I was a child and I think it was pretty perfect. I think the lack of structure, particularly when it comes to crafts, fosters creativity. Of course, I am the least creative/crafty person I know, so maybe my Mom could have done something there. But I am a freaking scientist, so I don't think my mind was wired right for crafts.

I agree with your approach (you were seeking my approval, i know this) and feel that the summer is a time of a relaxed structure for the kids. There's a time for work and a time for play. And summer is a time for play.

Megan O. said...

It sounds like your summer has been awesome! When I start to stress myself out about not being "martha-stewart style super mom" I think back to my own childhood--some of my happiest memories are my parents letting us play in the empty refrigerator boxes my dad would bring home from work and throw out in the backyard. And then I feel better about my own parenting! :)

Sarie said...

We are A LOT alike! That is all----