This Summer


Summer is around the corner and I wonder how it makes you feel. I wonder which memories you are going to create this year. Not the ones that the pictures will capture but the ones you and your children will keep in your hearts. I invite you to read the scenarios I created for my Summer with my loved ones. Scenario 1 has the “glass half empty” perspective while Scenario 2 focus on having the “glass half full”. Honestly both have gone through my head these past couple weeks as I prepare for Summer. I am happy to share, though, that I am committed to choosing Scenario 2 (glass half full) over, and over, and I suggest that you consider doing the same. But for now, just read them and decide for yourself which Scenario you will be choosing this Summer.


Scenario 1. This year, I am not looking forward to the Summer. I am afraid of its uncertainty. This Summer, after four straight years, I am losing my in-law’s support in raising my children. My father-in-law has started his battle against cancer and my mother-in-law is right there by his side. Understandably, they are busy with no time for us. I am afraid of losing him, of my kids losing their grandfather. I guess I am also very afraid of taking care of my children, my house, my life, my marriage, “all by myself”.

AN4A1686Scenario 2. I am very excited about Summer this year and all the surprises it will bring to us. I am looking forward to the fun, the challenges, the bonding experiences with my family, how we will be facing life when “life happens”. This Summer, my father-in-law is battling cancer and mother-in-law is right there by his side, caring for him. And here is our chance to learn how to support both of them, these two people that have been loving us unconditionally, supporting us in everything, especially raising our children, for the past four years.


IMG_9790Scenario 1. This Summer, my husband will keep working long hours and my parents and the rest of my family are back in Brazil. I feel like I lack help and support from those that I love and can count on the most. I am afraid of being overwhelmed with my children out of school, being with them ALL DAY LONG, with no time for myself, my blog, my friends and my husband. I am afraid of losing patience, yelling at my children and letting them drive me crazy. I am afraid of running out of ideas to entertain them, letting them watch too much TV, not being able to always cook healthy meals and not keeping up with all I have to do. I am afraid of being tired all the time and taking the kids for granted.

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Scenario 2. This Summer, I am so grateful that my husband has a job that allows me to stay at home raising our children and enjoying every minute with them. Now that they will have a Summer break, we will finally be able to spend all mornings of the week together. We can go to the beach, to friends’ houses, parks, city pools, nature walks, picnics and library. There so many options to choose from that I am sure we will be perfect explorers of this whole city of Tampa! Who will have time to watch TV?

I know that in order keep up with my children and my emotional well being, I will need to be prepared. I am going back to wake up a little before them to meditate. I will also be working out at the YMCA more often, so I can recharge my energy while they play in the the gym’s nursery. I am creating an easy meal plan to follow during Summer and establishing Sunday as our food preparation day, with the whole family involved. Friday is pizza night! What about a night with fruit salad and grilled cheese for dinner?


IMG_9099 2Scenario 1. This Summer, I am afraid of an even more disorganized house, with piles of dishes in the sink, sticky floors, laundry and toys everywhere…I am afraid of giving up on keeping up. I just hate cleaning and I am disorganized by nature. I am afraid that by the end of long days, I will “greet” my husband with “I can’t take it anymore. Here, you handle the kids from now on. I am done!” instead of looking into his eyes, kissing him and fantasizing that we will be making love later on.

IMG_0054Scenario 2. This Summer, I want to declutter and have a more organized house. I will minimize to 12 the number of toys the kids will have access to. I will also involve them in the process of putting dishes away. Sunday night will be laundry day and the kids will participate by putting their own clothes inside the washing machine and taking them out of dryer. This Summer I declare a battle against disorganization, I will need a lot of help with this matter. Should I start with affirmations every morning? “I am organized, I am organized.” Just kidding. Please, share tips with me here as well. This Summer I also will consider coming out of my shell and reaching for help but also offering help. I plan to occasionally ask a neighbor and another mom friend to watch my children for a few hours. I might hire a babysitter from (I have a big resistance against this right now) and practice the skill of trusting people other than my in-laws to watch my children.


Scenario 1. Finally, I am not excited about the hot days in Florida. And the beach? All that sand over me, my car and my kids. Just think about the mess. What about the messy sunscreen staining everything? And all the heavy stuff I always have to carry to the beach? Umbrella, snacks, water, extra clothes, water diaper, chairs, towels, the kids. Forget the beach!!! Can we skip Summer all together?

IMG_0330 3Scenario 2. Summer is just the perfect excuse to go the beach more often! We love going late afternoon and staying until Sunset. We love the warm ocean water, that beach noise, the sensation of stepping on the warm sand, the feeling of the breeze, the sun rays on our smiling children’s faces, the calmness that the sunset hour brings and the magnificent colors that God or who knows who paints the sky. Can it be Summer forever?

This Summer, we deeply hope that when my father-in-law’s treatment is over and the tumors are gone, he can join us at the beach. I can see our family there at Sunset. I can see us, all together, experiencing some ordinary moments that for us will be extraordinary.




Author: theoctopusmama

My name is Ana Rubenstein. I am a mother willing to inspire other mothers and to be inspired by them. I have two children and I often feel just like an octopus with its 8 tentacles multitasking and juggling the many hats I wear in life. Wife, daughter, sister, friend, Zumba instructor, and motherhood blogger. Nice to meet you, I am the Octopus Mama.

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