As we slide into the summer months, I’m overwhelmed by social media declarations of how excited people are to be outside swimming, playing, and barbecuing after a long winter.
I’m happy you’re happy. Really.
I know many people feel a sense of existential dread slip over them come November, awaiting snow and ice. But I feel that dread sometime around May.
See, I kind of hate summer. I don’t like being hot. I hate sweating. I am pale and sunburn in ways and places most people don’t think possible. Bugs seem to especially love me, so I wind up covered in welts. Oh, and I’m allergic to grass, trees, pollen, and basically anything that grows or blooms in the summer months. It’s just…not fun for me.
And you know what? My kids kind of hate it, too. My five-year-old is hopefully asking, “Play in the snow?” already and my seven-year-old has declared he’s part penguin. They like being outside but quickly get cranky and turn bright red in any temperatures above 75 degrees.
There’s so much pressure to create a “summer bucket list,” and frankly, that fills me with panic. The only activity I want to do in the summertime is drape myself over an air conditioner and stare longingly at my hoodie collection. I do not want to go to the pool every day or sweat through my bra at summer festivals, sorry. I see the word “picnic” and read “mosquito buffet” and “lukewarm potato salad.” It’s just all a hard pass for me.
If you are also a summer hater, here’s a few tips I’ve found useful to get through:
- Okay, okay, I know getting kids outside and running around is important. We do this early in the morning or late in the evening. It pretty much takes an act of God to get me to go outdoors between noon and 4:00 p.m. in the summer.
- Kids don’t have to play organized sports in the summer. Really. If things wind up reopening this summer, we plan to do indoor swim lessons as our physical activity. The kids can play fall baseball or soccer instead and be JUST FINE. And yes, I will be sending dad to those practices until it cools off.
- OWN IT. I’m working on telling friends “no” to certain activities due to heat. It’s not fun for anyone to be sweaty and cranky. We can go to parks in October and it’ll be less crowded anyway. How about we go to Science City or do a fun library activity instead? Being a heat-hater doesn’t mean you have to be antisocial.
- Focus outdoor activities on water. We are big fans of the kiddie pool, hose, and water balloons. Both of my kids love to freeze toys in containers of water and use small tools to “rescue” them, too!
- I once mentioned to my kid that every day the temperature goes above 100 degrees was a day we would go get ice cream, shaved ice, or another frozen treat. This was probably four years ago—he still remembers. I’m honestly not mad about it. (Bonus educational content: Your kid will learn to read weather forecasts very carefully.)
- Don’t feel bad about screen time. My kids are the ones watching cartoons indoors in July…but they’re also the ones out running around in the ice and snow come January while everyone else’s kids are hunkering down inside. It balances out.
- Planning a vacation? Consider heading north! We go visit a lake in the north woods of Wisconsin every summer and get to go boating, swimming, and fishing in much cooler temperatures with lots of shade! Want to go somewhere that’s traditionally a warmer destination? Consider going in the winter instead. (Truly, Disney World has perfect weather for us delicate flowers in February!)
Anyway, if you hate summer, too, say it loud and proud! You are not alone!