Mother and son playing with a sprinkler


How I’m Planning To Slow Down For Summer With My Kids

Jul 17, 2018

Do you feel like you spend the majority of your life rushing around?

I do. I rush to get my kids out the door to activities, I rush to get them snacks, I rush having a shower so I don’t find the house in shambles or the boys fighting when I get out.

Sure, we have work, obligations and to-do lists a mile long, but do we have to be in such a rush?

Even activities that are supposed to be pleasant (like eating) end up being done in a hurry because, as all parents know, kids’ needs are so immediate that everything can feel urgent.

But you know what I just got home from? A vacation! Not like a real kid-free vacation, but a vacation nonetheless. My husband and I, along with our two boys, spent the week at an amazing beach house, tucked away from all the hustle and bustle of our daily schedules. We were in a tiny, laid-back beach town, where the main event was the lake and weather conditions that day. And because there was nothing we really had to do while we there (and also no Wi-Fi or TV), it forced us to slow down and be in the moment.

You'll Also Love: 30 Fun And Inexpensive Things To Do With The Kids This Summer

Our vacation was punctuated by beach visits, long paddles on our SUP board, barbecues for every meal and as much relaxing as possible. I read and went for a sunset beach walk every night. The kids ran around in the sand, played in the lake, helped build campfires, ate ice cream and played with a multitude of new-to-them toys. We had sand in our hair, dirty feet and sun-kissed cheeks.

My aim for this summer is to take some of our vacation’s chill vibes and carry them with me into our busy lives. Sure, we have work, obligations and to-do lists a mile long, but do we have to be in such a rush?

This summer? It’s going to be a slow one.

This summer, there will be no rushing to various activities. And I’ll try my best to avoid my usual reminders of “OK, let’s go guys! Come on! Hurry up!” Instead, I’m aiming to go with the flow.

There will be bike rides, popsicles, bare feet and at least a few visits to the beach. We will eat whatever we can scrounge up/whatever I know they’ll eat without protest (cheese, crackers and fruit is 100 per cent an acceptable summer kid meal IMO). Sometimes, we’ll throw bedtimes and rules out the window and let them stay up late to play outside, go for a sunset walk or hang out with the grown-ups.

You'll Also Love: Travel Ideas — Best Canadian Destinations For Families

This summer? It’s going to be a slow one. Because sometimes I forget that these are the actual days — the ones we’ll look back on. And I know I’m not going to look back fondly on my ability to shower in two minutes or speed-eat my lunch at the counter while fielding snack requests. Instead, I’ll remember my kids running naked on a rainy beach, the way my eldest son likes to stop to pick up every bug he sees and the sweet way my two-year-old says “can you shnuggle me, mummy?”

I’ll remember how I paddled far into the calm lake with my four-year-old sitting on the end of my paddleboard. How, when I asked him what he was thinking as he sat there, he said, “Nothing, mummy. I’m just watching the waves go by.”

Article Author Katharine Reid
Katharine Reid

Katharine is a freelance writer and editor who loves libraries and nature. The former editor of a health website, she now spends her days with her three adorable young kiddos. A big believer in the power of unstructured free play, she can usually be found either going on outdoor adventures with her kids, setting up invitations to play and create, snuggling up to read or escaping the chaos to head to a yoga class.

Add New Comment

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Submission Policy

Note: The CBC does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that CBC has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Please note that comments are moderated and published according to our submission guidelines.