What I’m Saying YES to This Summer 5

DSC_0744The kids and I had a big day of living life today. First I woke up early, with the intention of writing a blog post, but then I settled into the couch, with coffee and “For the Love” instead. Have you read it? I am about 1/3 of the way through and I can’t get enough. Slowly one, by one, my sleepy heads emerged from their room. I made them bagels and eggs for myself. Then we all got ready for the day, took big brother to school and headed out to a MOPS playdate. 

Playdates are something I believe in. I know. So many Moms are over it. The posts have gone viral about why we don’t  need playdates. But as for me and my kiddos….we disagree. Being around other Moms makes me want to mother better. Just the other day, we went to a friends house and listen up…. This sweet Mama needed a few minutes before we came in to vacuum up the glitter her girls had decorated the house with earlier in the day. And you know what we did when we came home? We painted. Her authenticity and her willingness to do real life with me, made me want to break out the paints and let my kids make a mess.  Her mess made me accept and welcome my mess. And that friends, is why I believe in playdates.

After our playdate today,  we went to my sister’s house to clean our chicken coop. After visiting, we came home with just a few minutes to spare before heading to the library and then back to school for pickup and baseball practice.

Tonight we cooked dinner, did a science experiment (since that’s what the kids wanted to do, and as exhausting as it can be, we’re trying to be good parents) and then we read stories, tucked kids in and then as I laid in their beds, listening to stories about their days and all the things they want to invent someday, I could hardly stay awake. 

All of this. Good, real, life. And at the end of the day, sometimes I’m so tired I want to cry. Heck, sometimes I do cry. Mostly because I want to be productive, but I just can’t. 

There’s just so much to enjoy and do and only so many hours in the day. I want to write amazing things and grow this space to it’s full potential, but I couldn’t even turn on the computer today. And I want to read all the books and also read to my kids. I want to hike all the mountains and go to all our friends houses. And I want to have parties, and drink wine with my girlfriends and kayak at sunset, go to farmer’s markets every Friday and never miss a yoga class.

So, I stood in the kitchen tonight, while my hot water for tea heated in the microwave and I thought about our summer. The days ahead are a like a treasure and I am it’s keeper. This will be the only summer where my kids are 3, 5 and 7. I must guard these upcoming days, as if they’ll never be returned to me, because they won’t.

13ca5bf57f8cbe7ff9faf02cae00c7abHere’s what I’m saying YES to this summer:

•Early mornings, for me. Our house is a completely different place in the best way possible, when Mama is up early and come on, summer mornings are one of the best things ever. They make me feel high on life.

 •Reading time. For me and for my kids. It’s good for our kids to see us read and it’s good for them to learn to play independently sometimes and have a few minutes where they don’t.need.something. Reading to them is one of my favorite things too…and so that’s a priority this summer. We have library reading logs to fill, baby!

•Time with friends, for myself and the kids. Relationships are huge to me.  I was the girl who would cry herself to sleep because she was lonely in elementary school. Now as an adult, I love my people something fierce and I want my kids to feel like I have their backs when it comes to friendships. 

•Adventures, as a family and NOT. Hiking as a family, getting outside and seeing new places. Camping. Hiking with friends. These things are on my list for sure.

•My health. Working out. Eating well. Truth is, when I feel bad about myself, I feel less social and then I want to stay in, which makes me only feel depressed. And working out…oh my word, it’s a sure fire way to a happier life. Yes, it’s not always easy to make it happen, but it’s a game changer!

•Allowing myself to say NO. This is our life and our summer. It can be as busy or as open as we want. If something isn’t going to benefit my family, it’s okay to eliminate it right now.

What I’m saying NO to:

•The pressure to do all the things. I simply can’t be everywhere, say yes to everything and do it all. I wish I could, but striving for this leaves me tired, overwhelmed and grumpy with my people.

•Social media all day, everyday.  I love following everyone on Instagram and Facebook. I want to like all your photos and hear all about everyone’s day. Honestly, I do! But darn it, I can’t even keep up anymore. I don’t even do Snapchat or Periscope and for a moment, I feel like I’m failing. I just can’t do it all and no lie, it’s hard. But the people in front of me are more of a priority, although I do love me some social media. 

So, what are you saying YES and NO to this summer? How are you planning on treasuring this summer with your kids?

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About Angela Strand

Angela is a wife, mama to three little ones and a lifelong Washington State resident. Besides facilitating the NW Healthy Mama website, she loves being involved in her kids' school, hiking with her girlfriends, growing all the things, writing, reading and taking photos.

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5 thoughts on “What I’m Saying YES to This Summer

  • Meghan

    Oh I love this so, so much. Sometimes I want to be online a lot, because it’s fun, but it’s nice seeing other mamas declare their commitment to the kiddos, as we all know they’re the most important thing, but it’s also nice to say that out loud and remind ourselves that it’s ok if we’re not on social media all the time, to put aside the productivity of internet time, in favor of more time in the dirt with the kids. And heck yes to saying no. Also, I like what you said about play dates – I don’t even understand how people could be against them. They’re amazing! Great post. 🙂

  • Melody

    Lovely! I, too, am in a season of discovery with how I spend my time and with whom. A book I recommend if you haven’t scrolled already is Breaking Busy by Allie Worthington. Lots of great little nuggets.