One of the hardest things about running a company has to be the constant feeling of wishing I could do more, both as a leader and as a parent. We all want to do fun things with our kids when they are on summer break. We also want the best for the staff and for the company. When things get intense, my focus is necessarily split. Last summer, I cried when school started because a few ridiculous issues at the office kept me from having any focused fun with my kids. Even our week of vacation was peppered with various work issues.
I blinked, the summer was gone, and we were back in the crazy cycle of hoping we make it to school before the tardy bell rang, with all the kids fed, wearing shoes, and proper clothing, trying to get something done on the never ending to-do list at work, hoping we are not late picking kids up from school, cramming homework between calorie intake and bedtime, praying the kids sleep enough before we have to start it all over again. Then we realize still didn’t get everything important done so we stay up half the night working. The alarm goes off, we get out of bed bleary-eyed and start the insanity all over again.
The last day of school was Friday. And I’m done. By choice, this summer will be mine. My kids are growing up. Andrew is ten. This is probably the last summer I have with him before we start into teenager-like issues. I am going to enjoy him. And Oscar. And Elsie. And Louis. We wanted them. We love them. And I pick them.
So every week this summer, I have at least one day set aside that is sacred. I may be available by phone, but, no matter what, I will be with my kids somewhere, doing something fun. Here in St. Louis, we have a variety of fun family-oriented activities to choose from. To be sure that we have fun this summer, I made a list of things for the kids to choose from on the days that I get to be home:
- Six Flags (season passes)
- The Magic House
- The Children’s Museum
- The Arch
- The zoo / Monkeys, Bugs, Snakes (free)
- The History Museum (free)
- The Butterfly House
- The Art Museum (free)
- Photography day (free)
- A tea party in the park (free)
- Fishing (free)
- Bravely spend one night in a tent in the backyard (free)
- A picnic by a river (free)
- The Zoo / The river’s edge (free)
- Grant’s Farm (free)
- A tour of the Brewery (free)
- The Zoo / Birds (free)
- More fishing (free)
- Find a fun, lazy river to walk by and throw rocks into (free)
- Go to Pevely and see the animals at Purina Farm (free)
- Play in the backyard and do nothing. (free)
Today, we got soaked picking up our season passes from Six Flags. We saw the rain coming before we left home. I almost decided to stay home and go another day, but not going would have felt like letting the summer get off to the wrong start. We braved the rain, were rewarded with a front-row parking spot, and came home ready to go back for more fun.
I am determined to have fun intentionally being a cool mom this summer. Care to join me?