Today I am so excited to have Justine from Justine in Pearls sharing how she plans to live intentionally this summer. Welcome Justine!
It’s summer! School is out, the kids are home, and we moms are fired up and ready to rock and live intentionally this summer!
No? Maybe? Not yet?
I’ll be the first to admit that this summer hasn’t totally started with all of the gusto that I expected it to. We had an amazing Memorial Day weekend, but we quickly fell back into our normal routine of figuratively treading water until bedtime. But I’m not ready to give up on this season yet. In a brave attempt, I’m setting some goals to live intentionally this summer. This will be the best summer yet!
The three ways I am living this summer intentionally:
I’m not usually not the first one to notice that I’m spending too much time behind a screen. The screen could be a computer, tablet, TV, or phone. Whatever it is, too much screen time will not help me enjoy my summer, plain and simple.
We hear it all the time with our kiddos: they should play outside, explore with their senses, have new adventures, and read more books. Looking around, we see how the beautiful art of creativity is slowly getting lost behind the constant bombardment of information and stimulation from the entire internet or TV networks. However it’s hard to take a step back and apply it to our own lives.
Recently, we moved the TV out of our living room, which, I admit, was pretty radical for us. We still turn on a show or movie as family bonding time or so I can just get some dinner on the table. Since we’ve “unplugged” that room, the kids have fought less, read more, and shown more creativity playing with cardboard boxes and egg cartons.
And I don’t think that’s a coincidence.
Then I look at myself, taking every spare moment to browse Pinterest, scroll social media, or snap more pictures of the kids that I tell myself will eventually end up on the blog, framed on the wall, or the very least on Instagram. I tell myself I need my phone on me for the baby’s feeding timer or because it’s my way to unwind.
Instead, I’m realizing more and more that that blaring screen is becoming a sort of black hole, where time disappears (or at least moves slower, so actual hours feel like minutes). My mind gets filled with all of the things we could be doing or should be doing. In the meantime, only halfway being present to what we are doing right now. So I am choosing to unplug, set the phone down and spend more time with my eyes on the world around me instead of the world in my phone.
Be a “yes” mom.
Especially with my eyes behind a screen, I’m catching myself slowly becoming a mom whose knee-jerk reaction for requests is to say “no.” With every request, comes my quick reaction.
I don’t want to deal with the mess of painting,
If we bake cookies, tantrums will erupt.
Playing outside will result in dirty kids and bath time when it isn’t bath day.
What’s the common denominator here?
I want to do what’s right by my kid and have them learn healthy habits. Some days I do not want to put more on my shoulders when I am at the end of my rope. The last thing I need is to try to get blue paint out of the new carpet. And that’s totally fine.
But how many moms look back on their child-rearing years and think “Gee, I had too much fun raising my kids; I should have told them “no” more often.”… right??
You know what? We might get blue paint on the carpet, and I might not ever get it out. But in the end, we’ll be able to look at that spot and remember that day that we listened to Moana and painted pictures of the ocean. We can bake cookies in the afternoon and if, once in a while, I let them taste a fresh baked cookie before dinner, it’s not the end of the world. So what if they don’t eat their veggies that night… we are making memories.
Eat my eggs how I like them.
I’m referring here to the 1999 Julia Roberts/Richard Gere masterpiece, Runaway Bride. If you haven’t seen it (watch it!), I won’t spoil anything. What you need to know for this post is that our beautiful protagonist is a serial dater/fiancee, who tends to adopt the interests of whoever she is with. At one point in the movie, when she is finally posed the question “but how do you like your eggs?” She could not answer. She had always “liked” whatever eggs her partner did, so she never took the time to learn or decide for herself.
Let’s stick to the eggs example for a minute. We are all busy. Mornings are the hardest in my house. It is a challenge in itself not to just toss some Cheerios the kids’ way and call it good. Sometimes I manage to scrounge up some meatless breakfast burritos for them. However, for myself, I just end up eating their remaining scraps for breakfast.
However, if I would rather have a tomato, spinach, and feta omelette, I can go ahead and make that. Self-care is important. And no one deserves to be the one who only eats the kids’ scraps.
As moms, we need to make sure that we are not at the bottom of the priority list. I think the phrases “happy wife, happy life” and “If momma ain’t happy, nobody’s happy” are funny, but rooted in a deeper truth. If we are not taking care of ourselves, we cannot effectively and sustainably pour back out into our families.
This summer, I’m taking a break from hashtag searching, denying mud-pie making, and eating PB&J crusts. This summer, I’m stepping out of survival mode. I’m ready to put the phone down, get a little messy, and eat my eggs how I like them. I’m embracing the crazy, the peaceful, and everything in between. Let’s allow the season to fill our homes with life, love, and adventure.
Let’s live intentionally this summer.
Justine shares over at JustineInPearls.com about navigating marriage, life with littles, family bonding, and a few home decorating ideas inspired by their little fixer-upper. She’s a self-proclaimed underachieving perfectionist, coffee-addict, and teller of cheesy Dad jokes. Connect with Justine on her blog, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
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