Thursday, June 7, 2012

Summer Vacation

Photo by ShedBOy^ via Flickr Creative Commons
It's the first day of summer vacation here. Boy #1-3, plus a friend, are currently picking stones for a local farmer. (Don't know what I mean by "picking stones?" Check out this 2009 blog post.)

Boy #4 is a busy as busy can be. So far this morning, he's helped organize his home-from-school supplies, listened to a story, watched and discussed a video of an iceberg flipping over (remember, this is my Titanic fantatic), tested his homemade boat and played the piano.

Me? I'm trying to keep it all together. My goals this summer include:
  • Taking some time to have fun with my boys everyday. The "fun" doesn't have to be anything ambitious. It can be as simple as reading a book to my 6-yr-old (check!) or playing a game of cards with my 11-yr-old. Trips to local forests and ice creams shops count too.
  • Taking care of business. I'm a self-employed freelance writer. The good thing about that is that I get to set my own schedule. I can work when, and as much, as I like. But that comes with a caveat, because, you know, I still have mortgage and food bills to pay. So at the moment, I'm working on my laptop in the kitchen while Boy #4 plays upstairs. Friday afternoon I'll take off early to watch Boy #3 play in a baseball tournament, but that means I'll probably be working both tonight and tomorrow. The goal: Keep the money coming in while being present for my boys.
  • Come up with a system to keep the house in relative order, and use it consistently. Given goals #1 and #2, there's simply no way that I can manage the house on my own. And I should haven't to. My boys are all old enough to contribute, and I believe they should. I haven't been great about household management and delegating chores in the past, though, because 1) I hate housework, 2) I'll always prioritize fun or learning over housework and 3) it takes time and energy simply to come up with a system! So this summer, on the advice of another blogger, I've downloaded the Motivated Moms app for my iPad, and started color-coding daily chores. I've told each boy that they will have assigned chores each day, and that they will be expected to complete them before they get to the fun of the day. Their response was about what I expected: whining. I vow to push ahead, though!
I've also scheduled some summer fun. About two years ago, I realized that summers tend to slip by in a haze of ballgames and commitments, unless I purposefully make it a point to include some of the things we want to do. So our summer calendar already includes a week-long camping roadtrip, a shorter weekend camping trip with friends and a boys-and-uncle Brewers game. I'm sure we'll take some time to visit the county fair as well.

What about you? What are you and your boys up to this summer? And how do you manage household chores at your house?

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