What's A-Parent

Mom Decides To Plan 'Literally Nothing' For Her Kids This Summer, And People Are Grateful For Her Honesty

"I just want to remind parents that we all have the power to create the life we want."

What's A-Parent is a series highlighting those who get real about the hardships that come with raising kids. These often untold stories help show parents they are not alone in their struggle, and are doing an amazing job.

During summer, kids get a chance to relax and enjoy not having to spend all day at their desks. While they're decompressing, their parents feel the added pressure to plan activities for them — whether it be a cool camp, a family vacation, or at-home learning exercises. It's easy to feel guilty that you're not doing enough to enrich your child's life in the summer when other parents are constantly sharing all the plans they have on social media. But Kristen Hewitt decided to take a different approach this year. 

Hewitt, a TV reporter for Fox Sports in Miami and the mom of two girls, recently shared the plans she has for her daughters this summer on Facebook: Nothing. 

"I had big plans to be a 'good mom' this summer. There were going to be chore charts, reading goals, daily letter writing practice, and cursive classes. There would be no screen time until the beds were made, and planned activities for each day of the week," she wrote. "Today was the first day of summer vacation and our scheduled beach day. But here's what we did instead. Lounged in our pj's until 11 a.m., baked the girl's pick - chocolate chip cookie brownies, started an art project we never finished, then moved to the pool."

She uploaded a photo of her two girls napping on the couch cuddled up in their Frozen blankets. 

Social media can certainly make parents feel like they're not doing enough summer scheduling for their kids, but Hewitt says screw that. 

"Let's be real -—we're all tired. Tired of chores, tired of schedules and places to be, tired of pressure, and tired of unrealistic expectations," she wrote. "So, instead of a schedule we're doing nothing this summer. Literally NOTHING. No camps. No classes and no curriculums. Instead, we're going to see where each day takes us." 

Courtesy of Kristen Hewitt
Courtesy of Kristen Hewitt

Since she shared her family's summer plans on Facebook two weeks ago, her post has been shared nearly 4,000 times and liked by more than 11,000 people. People are happy to see a mom speaking out about the pressures parents face in the summer and reminding them that they don't have to feel guilty for not planning "enough." 

Of course, every family is different. For some parents who don't have the luxury to stay home with their kids, camps, daycare or other planned activities, are an essential way to ensure their children are cared for. Others view such as activities as a way to enrich their children, but also as a way to get a well-deserved break from 24/7 parenting duties. 

Hewitt recognizes she is fortunate enough to have a flexible schedule and work from home this summer. "I realize many parents don't have this option, and I'm not judging anyone that uses summer camps and activities. This is just what works for our family," she told A Plus. 

Courtesy of Kristen Hewitt
Courtesy of Kristen Hewitt

It's taken her awhile to get to this point, though. In the past, she's tried camps, homeschool activities, swim lessons, art and dance classes, and sports during the summers. "But what I've realized is we're always rushing. Trying to hurry through life and not really focusing on what's important, spending time with our kids," she said. 

She hopes her post will inspire moms and dads to just have some fun this summer. 

"I just want to remind parents that we all have the power to create the life we want. We don't have to do what our friends or neighbors are doing if it doesn't feel right to us. Even the sun needs down time!" Hewitt said. "Let's the take pressure off of ourselves and kids, and do what makes US happy as a family. They have the rest of their lives to do schoolwork, and STEM camps, so let's give our children a few weeks off. Let's let them run barefoot and chase butterflies. Learn how to ride a bike without training wheels, build a fort, go to the library, and for heavens sake get bored!" 

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