Ask Maggie: Put the Fun Back in Summer by Simplifying Your Days

June 4, 2019

Dear Maggie,

Help! Sometimes I HATE summer. Endless playdate requests, friends over every day, summer camps back-to-back, and the endless “What are we going to do NEXT?” I thought summer was for fun? Am I selfish? 

Dear Selfish Soul Sister,

Summer to me is a special treat. But not all families treat it this way. A year or two ago I stopped what I felt was pure madness and went on a personal mission to bring back summers of old. 

I offer select activities -- when I want to. Special treats. Activities that I can bear and ones that surprise and delight my children. Things like surprise visits to a local farm. Or a visit downtown. That’s what summer is all about to me -- delighting in time off to relax, be with your neighborhood friends, and connect with your family. To remember and be surprised by the awesomeness that summer is. To me that means fireflies at night, bats creeping out at dusk from your neighbor’s house (Thank God not ours!), flashlight tag, and Nerf gun wars. 

I do NOT cobble together daily activities just to keep them busy or to keep up with the Jones'. Soon enough commitments to high school sports and clubs will gobble our calendar up.   

During the summer I do the minimum as far as feeding them adult-prepared meals, and instead, teach them to care for themselves in a healthy way when they feel the need for another feeding frenzy. Periodically I surprise them with a special treat and we go to get ice cream or have popsicles for dinner. These are the little things that they remember when we talk about summer. 

Do we have friends over? Sure. I entertain the thought of having friends over on a periodic basis. When this happens, it’s then indeed, a special treat.  

Surprise and delight your children with a summer that’s special. Not a planned calendar jammed full of "what’s next?" I say bring back summers of old. And don’t for one second feel selfish about it.




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