5 Ways to keep your cool this summer

If you’re equal parts excited and terrified for summer, welcome to the club! This is our first summer with no Mother’s Day Out a few days a week so I’m a bit nervous too.

I want to share a post I hope will help you and me keep our cool when the mercury (OK, our phone apps) and a car full of cranky sweaty kids signal that it’s time to erupt like a volcano.

So today, I’ve got 5 of the most highlighted lines from Grumpy Mom Takes a Holiday and will expound on how they can transform the everyday summer moments.

I think one of the big reasons the book is making an impact is because we kind of know we get grumpy but the book gives so many examples of what this looks like in the subtle moments and helps us identify them so we can start transforming them.

 

1

“If we didn’t put so much pressure on our children to accomplish what they were never intended to, I think we’d enjoy them more.”

 

How this makes me see motherhood differently:

When I slow down and see the reasons I get frustrated with my kids, it’s usually because I’m expecting more from them than they’re capable of. I’m usually expecting some level of perfection. I’d never say that but if I expect my toddler to never spill milk, I have the problem, she doesn’t. Many times, we demand from our kids what only God is capable of. When I really think about that, I realize how unfair my expectations are and can release the pressure and diffuse many situations that in the past would have been day-ruiners.

2020 Yearly Prayer Journal 

FIND FOCUS. ELIMINATE DISTRACTIONS. EXPERIENCE GOD.

No more waiting! It's in the shop now!

How this plays out in your summer:

  • When you kid takes 30 minutes to put on a bathing suit, remembering your a grown adult and still struggle to put one on because bathing suits are just difficult sometimes. Just me?
  • When you envision the most magical 4th of July watching fireworks and your kids act like they do every other day of the year and don’t sit completely still or cry at the loud noise.
  • When you imagine sleeping late on vacation because IT’S VACATION and your kid doesn’t get the memo and wakes up even earlier than normal.
  • When your toddler slips, falls, hits a wall, falls off the couch, remembering they are balancing on relatively new feet the size of a cell phone. I think I’d fall over too. Ok, this is kind of a joke but seriously, when I remember they learned to walk like 2 years before I can extend a lot more grace. ; )

A quick note: Maybe you’re expectations are reasonable, like asking a teenager to not say the word “booty” a thousand time is different than asking a toddler. Maybe behavior does need to be changed. Instead of getting upset, see it as an opportunity to train your child and remember how many times God has to tell you something and you still don’t get it. This sobers me up fast, y’all. Getting upset doesn’t change their hearts and we only prolong the behavior that we think is causing us to be grumpy anyway.

 

2

“It’s time to stop doing what God never asked us to do and ask Him what His priorities are for the day ahead.”

 

How this makes me see motherhood differently:

God has a plan for our life but many times, we do too. (Proverbs 16:9) That’s where the rub happens, where the frustration comes: us clinging to our plan more than we cling to Jesus. What if this summer, instead of having a big agenda, the goal was to spend so much time in tune to the Lord that you felt confident whatever you did was what God called you to? Then even hard and scary things or just really boring  unsummery-fun things would be met with a confidence that this is right where the Lord wants us. This gets me excited for summer. This sounds like the freedom I’m craving when summer hits.

How this plays out in your summer:

  • Maybe letting go of the bucket list and being available for adventure or opportunities to serve. I’m not against bucket lists but if it’s stressing you out, keeping your family focused on themselves or becoming something to cram in and check off, it’s not serving anyone and is probably adding unnecessary tension to summer.  
  • Less consumption of content (ironic to share in a blog post, granted) and more quiet moments tuning into the Holy Spirit.
  • It might look like looking for God to work and getting expectant and excited for what He can do with a day that to us can look like a series of prep breakfast, eat breakfast, clean breakfast, play, prep lunch, eat lunch, clean up lunch, break, prep dinner, eat dinner, clean up dinner, bed.

 

3

“We cannot do motherhood for the praise.”

 

How this makes me see motherhood differently:

The quote continues with, “No earthly praise will ever feel like enough for all we do as moms. So rest, friend. Stop fighting for it. If we don’t, we will turn into negative-focused, attention-starved women who dwell on the hard moments and file them away so we can bring them up later when someone forgets how hard we work.” Waiting for praise not only doesn’t help us, it goes against how God calls us to live. He calls us to work as unto the Lord (Colossians 3:17). And we also miss out on a heavenly reward when we demand it now. (Matthew 6:1-4). Waiting for praise has other effects. We don’t normally wait quietly for someone to notice the hard work we’re doing. We make grand gestures that illustrate just how hard it is to be a mom much like the people in Jesus’ day who fasted and made sure everyone noticed by their rough appearance (Matthew 6:16-18).

How this plays out in your summer:

  • You might not get any credit for the epic trip you planned over months of evenings spent researching the perfect destination, route, hotel or outings. You can’t let that steal from an amazing trip.
  • Your husband may not praise the extra work that goes into planning three meals a day or the extra laundry that comes with sweaty summer activities. You can’t let that steal from serving with joy. (2 Corinthians 9:7)
  • Your mom friends who work may say how jealous they are that you get to be with your kids all summer. You might want to remind them how hard it actually is, but you can’t let that convince you that it’d be easier to be working. It’s easy to start seeing moments with our kids and keeping a tally of the hard stuff as your defense. 

 

4

“It’s possible to enjoy our blessing when we don’t depend on them for the satisfaction of our souls.”

 

How this makes me see motherhood differently:

Can we talk about some of those seemingly good moments of summer? Enjoying a snowball on a hot afternoon, savoring nap time after a morning of swimming. It’s possible to totally miss the good moments when we expect them to satisfy us like only God can. But when we see them as unearned gifts from the Lord, we can enjoy them so much. The gift no longer sparks the “let down” we feel when it doesn’t satisfy the monumental task we tried to give it.

How this plays out in your summer:

  • Savoring your morning cup of coffee as the kids play even if it is extra early, instead of waiting for it to kick in and make you a nice person.
  • Enjoying an unexpected Sunday nap as a blessing from the Lord without relying on it for whether you feel energized or dead to the world.
  • Relishing every bite of the occasional treats without woofing them down in an effort to get through a hard day.
  • Enjoy a glass of wine during an alfresco dinner with friends without daydreaming about how a glass of wine after the kids go to bed will be the highlight of your day.

 

5

“The good life isn’t on some distant beach; it’s right here in front of us.”

 

How this makes me see motherhood differently:

Your feed will likely overflow with happy vacation pictures. With that comes the assumption that a relaxing vacation holds the key. If we could escape for even a day and get refreshed, we could return ready for what comes our way. This is literally the theme of Grumpy Mom Takes a Holiday. Every mom needs an escape – not from motherhood, but the world’s definition of it. The world tells us we’d feel a lot better if we could escape.

The truth? It’s just not true.

Until we change our heart and mindset, nothing we will try apart from God will provide refreshment that outlasts the smell of sunscreen on our favorite cover-up. We will come back or likely on that very vacation, experience the same trials as we would at home. The good life is available right where you are this very minute.

How this plays out in your summer:

  • Slowing down to see the beauty in every mundane moment. This isn’t the norm for me but when I do this, I’m blown away by how grateful I am for something as small as watching lizards on our porch.
  • Keeping an eternal perspective. I do this by remembering that Jesus died for a sinner like me and gifted me eternal life and the opportunity to do life on earth in His presence. (Psalm 16:11) The fullness of joy is not about the sun, sea or an expensive trip. It’s about the presence of the Lord and that’s available right now.
  • Remembering that I have way more control over whether I’m experiencing the good life that’s not determined on whether I packed a suitcase in recent months. See this post.

As my family and I get ready for our summer trip, I’m all too aware that we take with us the same opportunities to be grumpy and tense. I’ll be taking these truths with me too!

And can I tell y’all? This book was made for summer. Sure, it’s encouraging any time of year but I think this is where Grumpy Mom Takes a Holiday shines brightest. Add her to your summer reading list, start a summer book club (if you do, we can help!) and enjoy refreshing truth that could transform your summer and beyond!!

And if you’re not a big reader but still want refreshment, check out our 31-day devotional, Fresh Start for Moms! It’s got the same goal of helping mommas suit up with truth and fight for (and find!) joy in motherhood. Find in our shop or on Amazon.  

Leave a Comment!!