The WORKING MOM's Guide to a GREAT SUMMER!!!
So if you follow us on our podcast (which sidebar: if you don't, you totally should because it’s lit…but any who…) you know that this year has been quite a year for us in the parenting category. Our oldest is finishing up Kindergarten and academically she has excelled but socially and behaviorally…challenge to say the least! The Fall months were especially difficult and to be quite honest with you, I can't tell you how many times I was brought to my knees, crying out to God. I fasted on a couple of occasions…shed many, many tears…asked for plenty of advice and even picked up a book to help me with my strong-willed child.
There were times where I didn't know what to do. I knew that I needed to train my daughter, to mold her character but I found it incredibly difficult. I mean..how do you explain something to a five year old? I really was speechless and tongue-tied at times and that caused even more frustration. Then there was guilt…oh the GUILT. From feeling like a bad mother, to feeling like I was failing my daughter and even feeling guilty for feeling embarrassed of her! Whew…embarrassment was truly a rabbit hole for me because I couldn’t deny those feelings but I felt so bad for feeling that way towards my daughter. I’m suppose to be her biggest supporter, her biggest cheerleader but instead I was ashamed. Yes guys…I’m keeping it all the way REAL!
Well, after MUCH prayer, fasting, advice-seeking, and being challenged/encouraged by loved ones, I came up with one simple prayer…
God, help me to see Farrah. Keep me from trying to change her but show me how to help her, encourage her, love her, and meet her needs so she can be who you created her to be.
That was it! I knew that the feelings I was feeling was all on me and not her and that I needed to change…not her! My heart was convicted and pierced so I ended my pity party, put on my big girl panties and waited to hear God tell me what to do. During this time, there were tons of scriptures that I clung to. I compiled a list of them to have handy when I needed encouragement. I’ll link that list HERE. I can't explain it but I would have this push in the direction of what my daughter needed. Questions would randomly pop in my head and it would start a conversation with her. I learned & still learning so much from her. I’m at a point where I can see her clearly & it has guided me in my parenting.
So you may be thinking ‘Ok Kim, what does this have to do with a guide to a great summer?’ Well, everything! I mention all of this because this is what drove me to create a guide for a great summer for my daughter. Hopefully, you can take some inspiration from what I'm doing for my girls and implement it for your children. DISCLAIMER: the title says working moms…honestly this is for any mom, dad, grandmother, grandfather… anyone who cares for children. In my case, I am a working mom and some of the points that I'm going to make have to do with the fact that I do work a full time job but again these things apply to anyone. So, let’s dig in:
Consider Your Child’s Interests & Personality
So one of the things that I did not see or think about was the fact that in this day and age when you start thinking about signing your kids up for extracurricular activities you think of sports, you think of ballet class, you think of those typical activities but, one of the things that I am very intentional with my oldest is to really keep in mind her personality & the things that she likes to do.
Proverbs 22:6 AMPC says:
Focus in on the part “keeping with his individual gift or bent” meaning the goal is not to form the child into what we think they should be but keeping in line with how God may the child. The only way that we would be able to do that is to ask for guidance from God to help us to accept the child for who they are. For my daughter, she is a very creative person. Already at 6 years old, I can see this clearly! So I happened to stumble across a theater camp which will allow her to be able to be a part of a musical. They teach the children acting, singing, dancing, & production…all the things. The great thing is she will be with her age group & most importantly exposed to things she naturally gravitates to.
Now like the title states, I am a full time working mother and my family means more to me then anything on this earth. At the same time, I am faced with the task on how to serve my family but also financially contribute to my household. I have learned (in my short 6.5 years of parenting) that I need to pace myself. It is sooo my nature to be overly zealous when it comes to activities and load up our schedule. I have to be honest with myself & not carry guilt… I work. In order to offer my daughter an engaging & enjoyable summer, I staggered our activities. Kim, what do you mean? Glad you asked! First, I’m mindful of how many activities are going at the same time. It won’t work for us if more than two activities are happening. Here’s an example: June 3-7 (Monday-Friday), Farrah will be in a theater camp. From June 1-July 1, she will also be in a jazz dance class. The way this works is because the dance class is on Saturdays only so even though 2 activities are running simultaneously, they don’t conflict with each other or any other activity.
You may have noticed something in the previous. Farrah’s theater camp is during the work week. Well, I enlisted help…GRANDPARENTS! My parents are coming in town to take her To & Fro that week. The hours of the camp are 9:30-2:30p & of course Melvin & I will definitely be working. I’ve gotten to the point where I have to accept help. Honestly, it’s prideful to not ask or accept help & I’ve had to realize that I am only one person & cannot physically do everything. GET HELP, GIRL!!!
Throw in Education
It is very important to me that my girls are always learning. In our household, we have the mindset that you can learn from anything! I try to immerse them in activities that are fun but are also educational. Though it’s the summer, I do not want Farrah to lose any knowledge she’s gained from school. One thing that’s a MUST is a Summer Reading program. Your local library always has a free program, your child’s school most likely has a summer reading list for each grade, and there are plenty of inexpensive community programs. The one I’ve opted for is a program put on by a local university. It’s based on grade and will help Farrah to improve her reading speed and comprehension. In addition to this, I will also have my girls doing at home activitIes such as writing and flash card work. If you are interested in FUN & EDUCATIONAL activities for your kids, I’ll link it at the bottom of the post.
Short & Sweet…At the end of the day….HAVE FUN!!! We have a ton of activities, day trips, and a family vacation planned for the family. I’M EXCITED!!!
Well guys, that’s all I got! I know this was a lengthy post but I wanted to unpack it completely. Because I am quite the TYPE A person, I put together some FREE PRINTABLES to help you organize and plan your summer as well. These printables will include a list of fun & educational activities to give you inspiration, a sample schedule, a brainstorming tool, & three blank calendars to write in your plans! Click the button below to get SIX PRINTABLES!
So tell me, what summer plans do you have coming up? Drop them in the comments below!