All of the Totally Selfish Reasons Why I Love Parenting in the Summer

OK, so it’s not technically summer yet but Memorial Day Weekend is the unofficial start to the season and it feels like the bearable temps might actually, finally be here to stay. I know some of the stuff coming down the parenting pike can be a drag (the ice cream man, sunscreen application, the fact that my six-month-old is definitely going to eat sand) but there are so many other things on the horizon that I’m positively giddy about. Because they make my job as a mother easier. And so in honor of the lazy days, I give you my favorite summer shortcuts:

1. Dirty kids + hose = bath time.

2. No one has to do homework—not my first grader and, more importantly, not me. Getting my very-capable-but-very-active son to sit down every night for math facts I barely grasp stopped being enjoyable in October.

3. Cooking on the grill + eating dinner outside = one less time I have to scrub my kitchen from top to bottom. Also: Rosé (for me, not them). And: s’mores (for me and them).

4. I loosen the reins on most things (outfit choice, ice cream, bedtime), which means I say yes more than I usually do, which cuts down on the tantrums and makes everyone happier…at least until Labor Day, when the nos creep back in.

5. Catching fireflies, collecting seashells, playing capture the flag, wading in the waves, lying in the grass: All endlessly entertaining and completely free. (Bowling excursions and movie tickets during the Polar Vortex nearly broke me.)

6. Flip flops slide right on and don’t require tying, which means I won’t have to tack an extra 20 minutes of please-tie-your-$&@#!! shoes time on to every excursion.

7. Swimming, camp and all the other fun-in-the sun is better than a dose of Benadryl for getting kids to the heavy-lids, no-more-books-necessary stage of the bedtime routine. (No, I do not drug my kids.)

8. Jackets, hats, gloves, scarves, and extra layers are not required. And then lost.

9. No shirt, no shoes, no problem! Wearing fewer clothes = less laundry = fewer baskets of clean stuff taunting me to be put away. (Oh, and you can wear a bathing suit like a dozen times before you need to wash it. Right?!)

10. Having no school and fewer organized activities on the docket means we’re not constantly racing around, which means I’m not hustling the kids to get dressed, brush teeth, find their $&#! shoes, grab the lunchbox, get strapped in, get it together! (My least favorite version of my mom self is when we’re running late to be somewhere, which, by the end of the school year, feels like a daily occurrence.) Bring it, summer!