Mother, Moms, we know how you feel!
The summer of 2020 is here, and it looks far from ordinary. Your kids’ day or overnight camps may have been canceled, and this leaves you working from home with kids underfoot. As a single mom, there isn’t anyone else to tag-team into the equation. It’s just you, a full-time job, and bored kids.
While some blogs would give you a list of educational activities and crafts that will entertain your kids for at least a half-hour, we know that many of those blogs are written by moms with extra time on their hands. Either that or they were written by ex-teachers who now stay at home with their perfectly-behaved daughters who enjoy crafting and sewing.
None of those blogs were written by single moms with rowdy, energetic kids who would rather eat the popsicles instead of making a god’s eye craft with yarn and the leftover sticks.
None of those blogs were written by single moms who can’t afford to purchase the gallons of glue and shaving cream for their kids to make slime. You have a hard enough time keeping milk in the fridge, and some of the writers for these websites want you to add soap and food coloring to it to create tie-dyed milk as a fun, educational activity? Ridiculous.
None of these blogs were written by single moms who barely have enough time to go to the grocery store, put away the piles of laundry, and clean out the kids’ disgusting bathroom sink. They don’t have time to sit with their children as they do a virtual tour of the Met. And they don’t have time to console their daughter, who freaks out when the art project doesn’t turn out exactly like the online example.
Do you need ideas on what to do with your kids over the unending summer of 2020? We could provide a list of activities for you, but instead, we think you need to read these words of reassurance.
1. Your kids are going to be ok.
Think back to your own childhoods. Were your parents concerned about keeping you entertained? Did they worry about you practicing your times-tables or learning the presidents’ names in order over summer break? Did they have a science experiment kit delivered to your doorstep every two weeks?
While all of these activities are good, they aren’t necessary. Your child will still be able to do well in school regardless of how much time or money you can spend on projects at home.
2. You’re going to be ok.
Your home is probably going to look like a disaster zone all summer. There will be Legos underfoot, toothpaste in your bathroom sink, and dirty dishes on every surface.
Your kids are going to fight, whine, and complain because that’s what kids do.
Through it all, remind yourself that thousands of other people are in the same boat as you. Do the best job that you can, and leave it at that.
Each year, your summers will get easier as your kids grow older. Even though you will still worry, you will worry about different things.
And one day, you will notice that it’s a little easier to keep a tidy house. The dishes and laundry won’t seem so overwhelming.
Until then, know that you are going to be ok.
3. Those moms on social media are big, fat liars.
Please do not judge yourself, your kids, or your parenting abilities by what you see on social media. We know that you have heard this before, but most of us are gluttons for punishment and find ourselves scrolling through the pages of high school classmates at 2 in the morning wondering why their lives turned out so perfect when they were such a disaster in high school.
Their seemingly perfect summers are filled with bickering kids, broken dishwashers, and dogs that refuse to relieve themselves outside when it is raining. They just don’t put those moments on Facebook and Instagram.
We aren’t going to sugar coat it. The summer of 2020 may be a difficult one. Your kids are going to go crazy without their camps and trips to the neighborhood swimming pool.
But they are going to be ok, and you will too. You are from tough stock. Your parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents went through difficult summers as well. They went through depressions, wars, disease, and drought. Show your kids that you can handle anything that the world throws at you with class and patience.
This article was originally posted at Midlife Single Mommy.