Friday, July 27, 2012

Grace on a Thursday: the Dog Days of Summer

It happens to me every year.

I miss my kids so much during the school year that by Easter, I'm dying to get them all to myself. The last few weeks of the semester seem to drag on so slowly. And when summer does finally arrive, I am so happy.

We always start strong, what with my zillion ideas that have been waiting for them to be released back into my full-time care. But by week two or three, I start to feel burnt out.

This summer is no exception. I realized about three weeks in that I had NOT ONCE given any planning or forethought to providing for myself and my sanity once summer started. I was full-throttle Super Mom. And I can do that job fairly well. For about three weeks. But that window is gone and now I need grace. Super Mom has changed into less attractive Running-On-Empty mom

So that's where I am, friends. Summer-worn. The "dog days" of summer are typically when the heat is so heavy and the summer is nearly spent that one yearns for falling leaves and a cool breeze. But I've decided my dog days are right now, in the thick of it. Summer's end is not in sight yet, nor do I want it to be. But I can tell: the kids and I are starting to get a little tired of being around one another every day, all day long. I'm irritable. They are bored. Which irriates me since they shouldn't be bored. You get the picture.

Because I'm an extrovert, I don't pine away for time alone, and I don't melt down if I don't get much. I'm pretty happy being around my husband and kids 95% of the time. It's the expectations I put on myself for how that time is spent that starts to wear on me. I get focused on being productive, at least in some way, every day, and I have low patience for things that waste my time. I don't mean productive in a work sort of way; I'm not doing housework all the time. I consider even reading to them productive. We just don't sit around with a lot of do-whatever-you-want time. Once in a while, I take the whole being intentional parenting concept a little too far. 
And it's not only that. I am also worn by the sheer noise of three in a house all day long. I'm worn by the meal prep and clean up so many times a day. And I'm worn by how everything seems to stay messy, no matter how often I'm picking up (or asking nagging them to do so).

For these reasons and more, tonight, I'm needing grace. I need an atitude lift and a second wind. I need quiet time with the Lord, and His supernatural refreshment.

In these dog days of summer, I need extra long drinks of living water.

And I'm looking to you friends for some latter half of summer survival tips

I'm not one for signing my kids up for 87 different camps. We participated in our church's VBS, but that's it. I love to be with them daily. I really do. But we all need a break from one another from time to time. Any suggestions for this tired mama on how to incorporate some regular breaks from one another into our days? Like, without having to hire a sitter or actually leave the house? 

Well, it's now officially no longer Thursday. I'm 5 minutes over.

Guess I'll be needing some grace for that too.



  1. We have quiet time at our house. I homeschooled my son for two years and it was my sanity-saver. My kids are in school now but also home with me all summer. After lunch we all get a book and go to our rooms and read for at least 30 minutes. It gives us all a little break from each other in the day. And we do much better with it!

  2. thanks for this. I've felt guilty this summer for getting worn down by the kids. I've realized I need alone time, more than some friends. Even 15 minutes of alone time after dinner is so energizing to me. One thing thats really helped us is having some things scheduled each week. This week is swim lessons..

  3. These pics are gorgeous Leslie... just like your beautiful family!
    With 5 kiddos in the house, I hear ya on the noise level business. I need a bit of quiet each day because my extrovert morphed into introvert around child #3. :) I'm a fan of the afternoon reading hour. Alone. In our own rooms. We have made a reading tree in our house where the kids get to write the name of the book they've just finished and one thing they liked about it. By the end of the summer, our tree is quite lovely (which feeds me creatively) and we've enjoyed an hour of quiet reading time each day.