My husband Seth could write this for you. He could tell you all about my summer meltdowns. I wake up on Saturday and I feel it. The summer pressure. The self-imposed summer pressure that I put on myself. Summer is so short, and I feel this internal pressure every summer to fit in as much summer fun as I possibly can. My family doesn’t agree to these terms. These are my own terms. In fact, after the crazy busy hard working school year, my kids would probably tell me they want to sign up for as much down time as they can get.

My head started to spin, and I felt very cranky. I realized this was a Saturday pattern for me. I felt cranky almost every Saturday morning and it was time to get to the bottom of this and to change my state. I didn’t like this pattern and I wanted to identify the problem and fix it. Ready, set, go!

I slept in thankfully after a week of not enough sleep. In the summer I tend to go to bed later. If my kids have camp in the morning, I still have to get up early so it wasn’t summing up to enough sleep. After a lot of sleep, I made my way downstairs to find my family relaxing. I want them to relax. This doesn’t upset me. What upsets me is the lack of summer ideas from any of them. Even if they want to do something I tend to have to come up with all the ideas. I am the idea lady. I am the social coordinator. I am the vacation planner. I am the shopper, chef, and taxi driver. I am a lot of things to my family. Let’s face it, I’m the CEO who keeps everything running. I just have to keep owning it, accepting it, embracing it, loving it, and stop resisting it. P.S. You don’t have to love it. You may need and want more support from your family and you should ask for what you need. The more specific we can be the more they can give us what we need.

I asked my children what they wanted to do today. This was mistake number one. I should come up with the plan and then tell them what we are doing. That is one of my repeated problems that my husband continues to point out to me. Lillie says she wants to go to the mall, and I realize that it would be a responsible and practical thing to do as a family. I needed a new phone and Max needed new sneakers. Why was I still cranky? The mall is not a summer adventure. That is why!

I scored a new phone, awesome new sneakers for Max and yummy cookies from Mrs. Fields. My girls bought stuff along the way too. Things were looking up and I was going to go out with a bang at the mall with a good meal. The mall has a ton of restaurants, and I didn’t care what my family said – I was going to get a good meal at a good restaurant. Max says, “Really, you want to eat at the mall?” Yes Max, I do! Mamas out there, know what you want and go after it. It isn’t always about your kids!

Max wanted Five Guys

Lillie wanted Santora’s

Cheesecake factory always has a long wait!

Aloha Krab!! Did you see Aloha Krab? I drag the children to this restaurant for me. Yes, some things are for me. I have learned to own it and be okay with that. Everyone is easy and finds something they like on the menu accept Lillie. My fantastic husband goes next door to Santora’s (we love Santora’s), orders a pizza, and they deliver it to Aloha Krab. We are eating right near their opened garage door, so I get to eat outside, and my family gets to eat inside. I felt like I was at a tropical restaurant and my summer needs were meant. Good drink, good food, good company and sitting in the sun.

Seth is smiling on the drive home. He had a really good flaming drink, (the drink was on fire) and his wife was happy. I explained to Seth that summer is so short, and I feel this internal pressure. I told him I want to swim in the pool, go to the beach, plan a summer trip, go to amusement parks…..etc. etc. I kept talking and I realized how I sounded. I was doing this to myself. I didn’t want to ruin my favorite time of year with my own pressure.

Seth tells me that he and the kids are happy. We all like down time too and I have to remember this part. I don’t want summer to end and for me to have regrets that we didn’t do xyz. Seth is so used to me. I do this every year. You think I would learn something. How am I going to change? What am I going to do differently to make this better?

  • Realize that ALL the pressure is from myself. It’s not from my family. They are happy. They aren’t putting pressure on me.
  • Realize that we also need down time. I don’t have to schedule things every day and every weekend.
  • If I want a summer trip that I need to make time and plan it, or it won’t happen.
  • Ask each child one thing they would like to do this summer. Seth tells me he is good. Ella tells me she wants to go on the Tiki boat ride. I know Lillie wants to go see Minions at the movies and have a picnic with her friends. They are much easier than I think they are!
  • Ask for help where I need it. This is a continued theme that I don’t ask for help when I need some. I need some summer idea and summer fun help. You can all probably help me with ideas!
  • I don’t like summer bucket lists. They are too much pressure for me. I do however think I need to sit down and think and come up with a few things that I want to do this summer.
  • My overachiever mentality doesn’t have to apply to everywhere in my life. I don’t have to be a summer overachiever.

Those are some of the things that I think I need to work on to experience a better summer. However, I do think there are a lot of things that I am good at in the summer, and I want to remind myself right here and right now!

  • I love to stay up late and enjoy summer nights.
  • I love to be outside and enjoy the sun.
  • I love to take summer walks – my kids don’t agree but my husband and dog enjoy it!
  • I love to spend time in the pool.
  • I love to try something new.
  • I thrive being off the normal schedule. I love a change. I love a break from school and activities!
  • I love to find fun camps for my kids to enjoy.
  • I love to find new summer adventures that we can go on (and adventures we have already done).
  • I love more time with my kids.
  • I love that I can fit work around my kids – it’s much more challenging in the summer and I’ve had to ask for help!
  • I love to sleep in when I can!
  • I love relaxation time!
  • I love summer reading outside! Especially in my hammock.

I’m doing a lot right. Sometimes we need to sit back and reflect on what we think we are doing right. I hope you will spend a few minutes thinking about that. I have some summer stuff to work on to feel less internal self imposed pressure and I also have a lot that I can continue to do right! We are always learning and growing every day!

I hope this inspires you to think about your summer and what you want it to look like. I hope you are enjoying your summer! I would love to hear some of your fun summer plans to inspire me!

Enjoy the sunshine!

Laughing, Learning, Loving,

Rebecca Greene, LCSW-R

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