HAPPY SUMMER, moms! You did it! You made it through the weirdest school year ever! Take a moment to celebrate that win with your family. Talk about what you learned and how you’ve all grown this year. And now, it’s summertime! And we know that while some moms LOVE the freedom that summer offers, others are starting to freak out a little bit. We get it! You’re not alone. As much as we love vacations, lazy mornings, and lots of time at the pool, we also know that too much free time isn’t good for anyone!
Most moms I know work hard to “balance” so many things in life! We work to balance work and home, to balance being a wife with being a mom, and so much more. But perhaps, instead of working to find balance, we’d be better off acknowledging that there are moments or seasons when we are “all in” with work and others when we are “all in” with family. There are moments or seasons when we are mostly a wife and others when we are mostly a mom. Instead of a balanced scale, it’s more like a pendulum.
Picture in your mind the pendulum of a grandfather clock. It gently sways back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. It doesn’t stop, but it continues to move just a bit this way and just a bit that way. This way, that way. This way, that way. A lot of things in motherhood are like this pendulum, moving back and forth from opposite directions. Sometimes the pendulum swings far this way or far the other way. But the goal is the gentle swinging, the steady rhythm, the back and forth. In Fearless Mom, we call these PARENTING PENDULUMS. One of the Parenting Pendulums we talk about a lot is that of play and order. We know that our children need both, so we work to manage the motion of that pendulum. We strive to do our best to set our kids up for their best by working to provide both play and order in our homes and on our calendars.
While we know that our kids need both, we also understand that most of us drift toward one or the other. Most moms drift either toward play or order, toward either flexibility or routine. As a matter of fact, you have likely built one or the other into your home without even knowing it! So, whichever way you drift, you can choose to manage the motion of the pendulum and choose to create the other. If you drift toward play, you can choose to also work order into your home. If you drift toward routine, you can choose to work flexibility into your calendar.
Play is powerful, and laughter is life-giving! Play provides an opportunity to build trust, and laughter communicates ease and comfort. In the same way, routine helps create a restful, peaceful home, and structure provides predictability and security. Both play and order, along with flexibility and routine, are necessary to create a home where a child can feel: I’M HOME. I’M SAFE. I LIKE IT HERE.
So be intentional with your time and efforts this summer. Put some daily routines in place such as morning and bedtime rituals. Make a weekly commitment or two like reading time at the library or a class that provides movement. And also leave room for lazy mornings or late evenings, allowing for spontaneous movie nights or pajama days. This summer, perhaps more than any other summer before, our kids need opportunities to play with other kids! Preferably active free play, with no structure at all, with no goal or objective other than having fun together.
We can do this, moms! We can be aware of our kid’s need for play and order, and we can work on doing the one that doesn’t come as naturally to us. We’ve got this! Now, go enjoy your summer!
She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. Proverbs 31:25
For God is not a God of disorder but of peace—as in all the congregations of the Lord’s people. 1 Corinthians 14:33