poolparty

Embrace summer: let go of imperfections

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by Sandy

Sandy Coughlin is an author, blogger, wife, and mom to three children. She lives in Oregon and loves to develop recipes, cook, and host dinner parties. Read more at Reluctant Entertainer.

As you start this new week, may you learn to let go of imperfections. When your child invites a neighbor to come over, or shows up with a car full of teens, be mindful of the gifts that surround you as they come into the house or out into the yard or the pool.

Learn to not look around at the things that are wrong – your house a wreck, your agenda messed with, your to-do list not complete, the food you may need to provide.

Instead, embrace the beauty of summer. Sprinklers, popsicles, chips and popcorn. Pool time, hot sunny days, and floating schedules. People, babies, toddlers, tweens and teens.

My daughter reminded me, Mom, you love to have people over. I quickly changed my bad attitude, as it had caught me off guard when they all showed up. I said, Baby, it’s not about perfection, it’s about being given notice.

But do I really need notice? Spontaneous can be good.

The years go by quickly, they are fleeting and fast, and before you know it, you’ll have a pool that never gets used, or a patio that gets dusty, and deep inside you’ll long for the years when you were needed and people wanted to be in your home.

Learn to embrace summer, the carefree days, a floating agenda, the freedom and beauty of children.

Share what’s on hand, and set aside your angst for their joy.

Summertime is a great time to remember that there are some things that are way more important than waiting for the perfect moment.

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Comments

  1. So needed to hear this tonight. I was quite upset earlier today because we had people coming over and the house wasn’t big enough, the backyard wasn’t clean or nice enough, etc., etc. The evening is coming to a close now and it has been wonderful. I was stressed out about imperfections that do not matter at all. Instead of being happy and looking forward to guests, I spent the afternoon upset and stressed, for no reason at all. Thanks for reminding me of what the beauty of summer is…

  2. Oh so true. Thanks for the reminder!

  3. This is awesome. Thankyou!

  4. Once again just what I needed to hear as I begin my week. Saturday we kick off birthday week at our house 3 birthdays in 6 days, my daughter then my hubby then my son. Such a busy week, and I keep thinking, I can’t seem to get rid of the ants in the kitchen, and the bathroom is still not fully renovated, and don’t get me started on clutter. Yet, always this week is such a memory filled week if I just breathe and relax and let it all unravel. (but I am still calling the bug guy today to get some tips on how to get rid of these ants!)

  5. Beautiful! It stresses me out when we’re outside playing and all of a sudden the neighbor kids are over…. How do I manage all these kids?? I loved your comment about how it’s not about perfection, it’s about advance notice! I wasn’t prepared to entertain the neighborhood! Thanks for the reminder about softening into the moment ~ most of life doesn’t come with advance notice! :)

  6. Oh, this is lovely. A good reminder for plan-oriented me. Thanks, Sandy!

  7. Yes! Hard for me to do, tho, as it goes against my type A-planner (control freak?) personality. Your last line about “summertime” could be replaced with “children”… they teach us to just let go and embrace the here, the now, the imperfect… or else we’ll miss those small moments of joy!

  8. It’s hard to remember, but I do want to enjoy the summer! :-)

  9. So, so good. I love my plans and schedule but it is so great to go with the flow and embrace the right now. =)

  10. I needed to read this! Yesterday, I freaked because my kids invited their friends over without telling me and my house was a wreck. Today, when their friends came over to swim, I realized, those kids don’t care a bit about what my living room looks like, they just want to play!

  11. What a wake-up call! With summer school, camps, and activities starting this week, this is a reminder to embrace summer and all it’s beauty that the rest of the year doesn’t offer. Thank you!

  12. Great reminder! In response, I just invited some friends over this weekend!

  13. “The years go by quickly, they are fleeting and fast, and before you know it, you’ll have a pool that never gets used, or a patio that gets dusty, and deep inside you’ll long for the years when you were needed and people wanted to be in your home.”

    Wow. Big tears are rolling down my face. It really does go by so fast….
    My oldest is only 9 but I can already feel him pulling away, not needing me as much, doubting Santa and The Tooth Fairy, and I know that his childhood is ending too quickly… or at least it is for me.

    I want to stop time. I know that’s not what this post is about but it’s hitting me all the same.

    And I do need to let go of my perfectionism and open my home more often than I do.

    Thank you.

  14. I have struggled with this for YEARS! We have a pool and when the kids were young it was a HUGE responsibility because the moms would come and not pay attention to their kids in the water. I was a wreak watching them constantly. One summer, I just gave myself a break from the responsibility. A boy at our local swim club had drowned and I just didn’t want to deal with the pool and guests.

    Sometimes, I make myself just be more flexible and am thrilled when kids just show up. Other times, I just need a break! My older son has a friend that is a difficult guest and sometimes I am just not in the mood.

    I have tried to stop feeling guilty about entertaining or just having kids over. We just had 2 huge celebrations and I need a little break (until Poker Night for my older son and his friends on Saturday).

    I will say, when people come over, I feel like my house becomes a home.

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