How To Ruin A Summer In Six Easy Steps …

Our Family’s Summer Fun List 2012! Are We Having Fun Yet?

I start off every summer with wonderful intentions and high hopes for wringing every last drop of summer fun out of the few short months before school starts up.

In my summertime delusion vision, my girls and I spend our days together making memories (all documented in glossy pics and HD video):   picnics in the park, sand angels at the beach, long walks around town, make-believe play at every playground in the city and visits to all museums within a five-mile radius.

We’ll play hopscotch, badminton, and frisbee with the neighbors, eat homemade popsicles, ice cream and s’mores out on the deck, and go on zoo, aquarium, planetarium and arboretum adventures before our math fact and reading marathons (to prevent that insidious “summer slide” I keep reading about).

And on the second day, we’ll tackle the water parks – don’t forget the water parks!

Our days will flow from one joy-filled activity to the next. Television/computer/iPads/phones – who needs ‘em? Other than the occasional movie night complete with cuddles and popcorn, we’ll be far too busy bonding to let electronic diversions into our lives.

Beginning on June 21, I started pressuring myself to get out of the house and enjoy the summer in a big way. With July 4 coming up next week, I’m in full on panic mode. We haven’t even begun to check-off our summer fun list. What will become of us?

I’m beginning to think that my hyper-intensive focus on having fun this summer may be is strangling the joy right out. If your goal is to sabotage your summer and ruin a perfectly lovely season, you’ve come to the right place. Here are my top six tips:

  1. Focus on how much summer is already gone (1/3) rather than how much is left (? – don’t make me do fractions – it’s summer, remember?). Why should I let a little sunshine and warm weather turn me into a glass half-full person? I’m not emotionally prepared for that much change inside of 12 weeks.
  2. Pressure and bully yourself into getting out and doing fun things. Beat yourself up for not living up to your expectations of making wonderful summer memories for your family. Nothing is more fun than feeling pressure to relax and enjoy. “Have fun now, damnit,” is a time-honored inspirational rallying cry! Right?
  3. Ignore the fact that your children are perfectly happy not running around town doing all those “fun” things. Do not believe them when they tell you they are having fun throwing water balloons or sliding down the arms of the sofa for hours at a time. They, along with your well-meaning friends (see #4), obviously are delusional and don’t know what’s good for them.
  4. Do not give any credence to your kind friends who suggest you quit trying so hard and accept that you’re in transition-mode; that slowing down to summer speed takes some time. Listen instead to the nasty voice in your head that tells you “if you take any longer to slow down, summer will be over and you’ll be in mom fail.”
  5. Try to jam all the same activities you accomplished when your kids were in school into a summer break schedule. Also, be sure to obsess over not posting often enough on your blog and having nothing sane witty to say on Twitter and Facebook.
  6. Compare yourself mercilessly to other mom bloggers who somehow manage to take their kids to the beach, amusement park and science museum on the same day, prepare a picture-perfect summer meal and write a fabulous blog post about the day, complete with Instagrammed photos. Do not compare yourself favorably – that would ruin the effect.

I know what you’re thinking! And I agree! We need … a hammock. A hammock will fix all of this insanity angst and ensure we enjoy the summer! Think of all the great conversations we’ll have swinging on that hammock drinking lemonade, identifying the constellations and catching fireflies (that I’ve never seen a firefly within ten miles of our home notwithstanding).

Thank you for reading my mind! You. Are. Genius.


Well then, smartypants, you must have other ideas. Please – save me from myself. How can I let go of my inner bully and salvage what is left of the summer? If you can’t help, please commiserate! How do you sabotage your summer joy and fun?