When we were little it seemed summer fun just landed on our laps, with zero effort at all. The school bell rang on that hot afternoon and we knew adventure awaited us even it was merely expressed by the slip n slide in your backyard, a fast melting popsicle on a stick and a late evening ice cream run after dinner from the creepy van that wondered around selling overpriced ice cream to neighboring kids.
And that was OK. That was all we needed.
That and a little bit of mischief kept me in good trouble throughout the summer. But now, in the world of responsibilities and adulting, it doesn’t seem to land on our lap as easily as those many years ago. If we’re lucky enough, we get a vacation.
For many single moms a staycation at best!
Summers were most often a struggle for me as a single mom. I was either gearing up to send my girl off to an unstable environment where I would soothe her innocent heart through many nights until she was home safely. Or, during the time I had her, I was working full time and trying to help her feel as if all my paychecks weren’t going to bills.
In making my best effort, our staycations would consist of simple things. Her favorites. Frozen yogurt. Often. The local pizza place. Frequently. And as many playdates and slumber parties as I could handle. But the guilt was heavy and the summer working hours were long.
So, my friend, as summer settles in I think of your heart.
I pray if it is heavy as you let your littles go or are busy keeping all the balls high up in the air, you welcome my invitation to the many ways you can rest your mind and heart from the hard work you’ve accomplished this last year, regardless of what a vacation looks like for you and your family.
Yes, I’m suggesting you take the time to reflect on all the hard work you have mothered through. Another academic year has come to a close for you and your littles. Another year of sports and buying and putting away groceries. Another year of folding and putting away – er fumbling through the laundry on the couch – keeping toilet paper in the house, all the sick days you managed to get through, doctors and dentists appointments made and possibly rescheduled and then hopefully kept.
Mama, you have done well!
I came across a great quote the other day and offer it to you here, “Summer is the annual permission slip to be lazy. To do nothing and have it count for something. To lie in the grass and count the stars. To sit on a branch and study the clouds”. (Regina Brett)
If and only if this is what your summer rest consists of, I ask that it be enough that you simply sit in a place of telling yourself you did it another year. As you drive to and from work, as you make dinner or don’t, as you come and go in your daily routine, you remind yourself you got your babies through another year. Alive.
Rest in knowing you are enough. You made it this far and will have all you need to get you through to the end of the race.
For now, it’s time to settle in and enjoy some downtime from all your hard work.
Enjoy the long summer nights. Indulge in all things illegal. Dirty laundry for till you’ve turned it all inside out, ice cream in all the places, skipping bath time to stay out longer for four nights in a row, routines and schedules loosen a bit, dinner consists of another frozen pizza and candy in bed, a day trip to the mountains, a beach trip to have lunch and dip your toes in the water and warm sand.
With our without the littles this summer, I pray you celebrate and revel in the joy of making it through. YOU DID IT! Now rest in it.
This is my last post through August. I will be taking a little hiatus myself. We skipped vacation this year so I will be enjoying the late night summer nights, mainly from home, and skipping bath some nights to laugh a little longer and play a little harder. I may even find myself at the beach dipping my toes in the warm sand too!
Will you join me?
*I will be active in a few places, if you find yourself looking for encouragement or needing support in a community of single moms please join our Facebook group, The Savvy Single Moms.