I told my kids this the other day: “I’m so excited for school to be in session. I’m a better mom when I am teaching.” All three of our kids gave me a blank stare.

Our youngest said, “Mom, you’re always a good mom.”

Our middle daughter asked, “Are you telling me you’re a bad summer mom?”

Our oldest said, “That makes no sense.”

In all reality, this makes sense, I’m a better mom when I’m teaching and have a routine.

Trying to Overachieve in the Summer

Don’t get me wrong. I’m extremely blessed to do all the summer things—go on adventures, go on bike rides, go to swimming lessons, go on those extremely late-night ice cream trips. I love all of this because we can just pick up and go. I’m even the mom who comes up with the summer bucket list of items I want to do with my children.

However, I realized this past summer, I tended to become an “overachieving mom” most days, and it just wreaked havoc around the house. I like knowing there’s a to-do list that needs to be accomplished because I like routine. But summer days are not filled with routines, so I had to make sure we had a routine and a to-do list every day.

Most days, the to-do list brought about complaining, bickering with siblings and frustration. Frustration mostly on my part because chores weren’t getting done. The plan was not going accordingly, and it seemed that every hour there was something new to complain about.

I even remember telling my children one day, “I love you all very much, but today, I just don’t like you.” Yes, that statement really did come out of my mouth. I didn’t like the behavior they were displaying when in all reality the drama was probably caused in large part because my expectations were not being met.

The School Year Provides More Routines

We’re all wired in different ways. I personally am a better mom when I have a routine. Now that school is in session, mornings are calmer, supper time is more enjoyable, evenings are set aside to play outside or read. The weekends are still on-the-go, but I don’t worry about getting everything accomplished in an orderly fashion. I know that, during the week, I get the much-needed routine out of the way, as do our children.

It’s also clear to me that I don’t see my kids for a good portion of the day, which makes me value the time I have with them even more. My grading can be put aside, blogging can be put aside, and dishes and laundry can be put aside, allowing us to spend quality time together.

So, yes. “I’m a better mom because I have a routine” does make sense for me. I’m more dedicated, more focused, and share more joy. Parenting is hard no matter if you stay at home or work. We just have to know how we are wired, what works for us personally, and then embrace our time with our children.

Shelly Mowinkel

Shelly Mowinkel

K-12 & Teens

My husband and I have three kids. Our oldest is a freshman in high school, and our youngest is in second grade. Most days, I feel like we are a “tag-team chauffeuring” service, yet I wouldn’t have our life any other way. Not only I am a business/technology teacher at Milford, I am also the district technology integration specialist. I love teaching because I get the opportunity to make those around me better. My hope is that, through my blogging, I am able to inspire, encourage, and share with you my adventures of being a wife, mother, and professional.

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