At the end of the school year, we sat down with the kids and helped them come up with some summer goals for themselves.
Their lives are pretty crazy in the summer, running back and forth between houses. Then they have various activities and camps that they attend. Then vacation time with both of their families. Despite the chaos, change and overall inconsistencies between houses, we are trying to instill in them the idea that it is “their own life” and they need to develop “who they are as people” regardless of their environment.
It is certainly easier for Zach and Josh as their Dad and I (with Rob included) are able to get on the same page when it comes to parenting stuff and what we want for the boys. It is a little harder for the kids (Gabe, Zandra and Sam), but we are trying to teach them integrity, honesty, responsibility etc. to help guide them wherever they are.
That was the idea of summer goals: things the children can be working on independently in the summer, with our help and support when needed or wanted. They had a lot of fun making these goals and came up with a few in several different categories: physical, mental and spiritual. We had to help guide them with making realistic goals – but they are trying to work on them (albeit with a little encouragement on a weekly basis during family night). We’ll see what the end result will be – but I think it’s important to always have a direction to be heading in. I’m a big fan of goals and planning.
Which got me to thinking about my own “Summer Goals”. One of them was to get into a good routine of blogging…which I am trying to do and enjoying very much. I always have my standard goals: read more, eat better, exercise more, get more sleep, learn a new sport…blah blah blah. Certainly all things that are still on my radar – but they are always on my radar.
However, life is so busy and sometimes my goals seem to slip by the wayside. So I decided I better do something shorter term and came up with my “Summer Goals while I am on Vacation”. These seem less daunting as they are only for 1 week in July and 1 week in August. That, I can commit to.
We leave this coming Saturday for a “Road trip” to the Outer Banks, NC. I am SUPER excited about this trip. It was a dream of mine: to rent a beach house and spend the days frolicking in the waves with my hubby and kidlets; then sit in a hammock and read before enjoying the sunset with everyone oohing and aahing while we polished off some fresh steamed lobsters and shrimp…. Well, we rented the beach house and we’ll have to see what happens after that!
I decided that I could make a few goals focused on making that dream a reality (or at least make the vacation fun, relaxing and memorable!):
1. Say “Yes”…I spend so much time saying “No” or avoiding saying “No” outright, but coming up with a dialogue that would lead the kids to saying “No” themselves. Well, on vacation, I want to limit saying “no” and say “Yes” more often. Obviously, I still have to say “No” for things that are clearly unsafe…but I don’t have to say “No” to extra snacks, one more story, an extra hour to stay up, or things that I sometimes don’t have the time or energy to do at home. If it’s not dangerous (or insanely unhealthy or going to make them sick:) – I want to say yes. Yes, I’ll come swimming, yes I’ll play cards, yes we can go for an early morning swim, yes we can go to the beach at night and play flashlight tag, yes (Josh) one more dessert…yes yes yes.
2. Spend one on one time with each child. This one is usually not so hard to do as we try to do it often even at home… but it is extra special on vacation so I want to make sure it is a priority.
3. Find the positives and vocalize them! What is it – 5 compliments for every “constructive criticism” that we’re supposed to do? I may think “positives”, but I admit, I don’t always say them. So I want to look for the good so I can share them with my kids and make them feel really good. I also want to do the same thing with Rob. I think nice things all the time…but don’t always say them.
4. Spend some quality alone time with Rob. Going on vacation with 5 kids in tow does not necessarily make for a romantic vacation. But that alone time is also my sanity time! So it’s a priority to make the time for just us.
5. Read – every day. I never have enough time to read and everytime I do find the time I think how I need to make more time to read in general. When we vacation without the kids, I usually can get in a couple of really good books. But, it’s harder when the kids are around. Harder, but not impossible. Apparently we have a lovely hammock on one of the balconies overlooking the ocean….
6. Eat fish or seafood every day. Seems like the thing to do when you’re hanging by the ocean….
7. Creat more movies of my kids. I look back at them when they were so small and marvel that they were every once like that. As they have gotten older, I have gotten lazier with the videos. I need to remind myself that in a few years THESE years are going to be the ones that I am marveling at and missing. So I need to capture these memories live now!!
Of course, I may not be able to achieve all these goals, but the mere fact of having goals makes everything I do a bit more deliberate. And that is my overall goal: to be a bit more deliberate in everything I do: A more deliberate mother, a more deliberate wife, a more deliberate friend, a more deliberate person overall.
We leave on Saturday, and I still have to squeeze in 16 work appointments this week, kids’ activities, countless loads of laundry and 2 more nights of overnight guests before I go. I think I need a deliberate plan to get me going on the packing….