#1 Summer Parenting Hack

I have this new summer parenting hack. It’s pretty much the opposite of everything I’ve tried before. Gone are the chore charts, bribery and allowance strategies. (which I’m way past at this stage anyway) It’s not that I have given up on my ideals, or that I’m living in denial. And I still care. I mean, if something major come up with my 17-year-old half child/teenager daughter & 20-year-old man/child son, you can be sure that I’ll speak up. I’ll intervene. I’ll insert my most unwelcome 2 cents when I feel I must. That’s pretty much a guarantee. 

But the rest of the summer?

My best parenting hack?

Lip biting. 

That’s right. This is the summer of “Shelly bites her lip.” I made this decision about a month ago when an apartment’s worth of smelly items came back for the summer and things got a little out of control on the home front.

HOW DO I PARENT THIS STAGE? A common question I ask myself all the time, in caps. Yelling internally as I try to figure out exactly what independent yet dependant kids needs from their parents. 

So, I decided I could have a great summer or I could become the world’s crabbiest human. 

I went for the great summer option. Because, summer is my favourite. 

So, this is the new me. 

Crusty chunky dishes in bedrooms…

I bite my lip.

Ice all over the kitchen floor left for me to walk in…

I bite my lip.

Listening to arguments about the food you hid that someone found and ate…

I bite my lip.

400 pairs of shoes gathered directly in front of the door for me to trip over…

I bite my lip.

Empty containers of food put back in the fridge and cupboards…

I bite my lip.

A whole meals worth of dishes magically appearing in the sink overnight…

I bite my lip.

My shampoo taken but not returned to the shower…

I bite my lip. 

So far it’s working great. My lips are chewed raw and I’ve developed a twitch, but I’m committed to my strategy. 

I realized that I could spend my days barking at everyone all the time for the things they do wrong, or I could just chill out and enjoy the moments of being together and living a messy life of imperfection.

Don’t judge my silence. 

There’s still chores.

I’m still annoying.

It’s not complete chaos. 

We all have responsibilities.

The house is not running wild. 

I grumble inside my head a lot.

I make deep, deep sighs. 

Mostly, I’m just trying to let go of my sometimes impossible expectations and love my imperfect almost-completely-grown-up family. 

Isn’t that the best we can all do?

Sometimes living imperfectly, is actually perfect. 

So this summer, step over the wet towels and ignore the piles and the clutter. Quietly pick up the empty freezie wrappers that have trickled a sticky mess over the floor, and willingly vacuum up all the grass tracked up and down the stairs.

Mostly, love the long summer days.

Address what’s important.

Let the rest go. 

And if you need to,

Bite your lip.