Donegal mum Maria Rushe explains why parents shouldn't let online comparison affect how they spend time with their kids.
It’s August; which if you believe the Interweb and the Instafluencers, means it’s practically January already.
So apparently it’s time for Happy New Year already?
Ok, I will agree that once the 1st of August arrives, I get a bellyflip of panic. It means the long (and for once glorious!) summer is almost over. It means it’s high time I was sorting Mini-Me for Back to School. It means that I now only have 3 weeks to get through the mile long to-do in the summer list I wrote on the first day of her holidays. It means everyone trying to cram all the things on the Summer lists into 3 weekends.
But it also means return to routine, which if your house is anything like mine, is something that I can not deny missing.
And then begins September; a month of sunshine and still long evenings where the dust settles on the chaos of the summer months and where Fridays take on a whole new meaning.
Then comes October, with the crisp coolness and warm colours and the excitement and build up to Halloween.
And then we have November, the month which will last 498 days and drive us all to stews and hot whiskeys and panics about how it’s nearly time for Santa Season and we haven’t even “started yet”…
And then it’s December and there’s a whole month of glitter and Christmas and Grinches and never-ending darkness and fires and heating blasting and cold and ice…
And we have ALL of that to do before we even think about next year.
So while YES, once August arrives, the end of the year does suddenly seem right around the corner, in reality, we still have 5 whole months until then. 5 whole months of birthdays and new beginnings and fighting and eating and laughing and growing and sniffling and working and parenting and everything else that our lives entail.
So take it easy on allowing memes and such online images to make you feel like you’re losing time. You’re not.
You didn’t make it to every waterfall or family day out you’d planned. Your kids didn’t get to go on nature walks every day. You didn’t get that catch up with your cousin that you’ve been promising each other all year. You didn’t actually get that night out with your besties that you’ve been putting off until summer since January. You didn’t get your children to the top of a mountain. You didn’t make it to the beach and the fancy picnic basket remains unused since last year…
Who says these things have to be done in summer? What’s wrong with getting that family trip in September if it suits your work better? Why can’t you go to Glenveagh or to the beach in October? Who says that all of these things have to be done within school holidays?
So while these images and memes are quirky and cute and we find ourselves laughing or nodding in inst-agreement, they’re just another example of how we’re letting strangers online affect our own perceptions of our own lives.
Instead of thinking “sure the year’s nearly over”, ask yourself what you can still do and fit in and enjoy in the 5 months that are left…until next year, where guess what? We start all over again!
Scrap the summer bucket list and make up a new one for yourself and your family that doesn’t have a deadline.
Because yes, summer is limited, but thankfully, there are 3 other seasons and no one is measuring you, except yourself.
Psst, The S-Mum has been nominated for a Boots Maternity and Infant’s Best Parenting Blog Award!
If you love Maria’s blogs, consistent posts, funny, heart-warming and honest views on life as a local mum, then give her a vote at: http://bit.ly/VoteforMammy
It only takes one click!