Ready for a BORED summer?

I keep bumping into this sign on Facebook and Pinterest these days.


Could it be that moms are preparing themselves for that dreaded whine “I’m booooooooored!!!” this summer?

I happen to be one of those mean moms who believes kids have a right to be bored, and that the feeling of having “nothing to do” and being “bored out of your mind” often precedes the best kinds of creative play. Bring on the boredom!

Some semblance of a summer schedule will probably be essential to my sanity this summertime, but I plan to also leave room for some good old fashioned “boredom” and free play, for myself and for the kids. How about you? How do you handle the “I’m bored!” complaint and what does summer look like in your house?

About Danielle Bean

Danielle Bean

Danielle Bean, mother of eight, is editor-in-chief of Catholic Digest and Faith & Family. She is also author of My Cup of Tea: Musings of a Catholic Mom, Mom to Mom, Day to Day: Advice and Support for Catholic Living and (with Elizabeth Foss) Small Steps for Catholic Moms: Think. Pray. Act. Every Day

  • Maria Rioux

    Not on topic, just a quick note: I was wondering about the possibility of changing the title of this thread to Momnility or something linked to humility. Momnipotent, while focused upon that which we can and should do, also seems so self-aggrandizing to me. We’re not omnipotent; only God is. But in humility we are made strong: when I am weakest I am strongest. (St. Paul) Just an idea.
    Liked the sign. :) We’re building an addition/sunroom on our home this summer and are not only not bored, we’re happily wiped out and sore at the end of most days. Even our under two grandaughter comes by to carry 2X4′s now and again. :) Must be done by the end of June when Jean will go back to preparing for his classes/the fall semester.
    God bless, Maria

    • Danielle Bean

      Thanks for your question, Maria. Of course, the title “momnipotent” is meant tongue-in-cheek and none of us here suggest that we are perfect or omnipotent. The idea behind MOM-nipotent, though, is not a prideful one at all, but a reminder of the greatness that every woman is called to in her vocation to motherhood. It is my hope that every struggling mom can come to know that God not only calls her to greatness, but that God gives her the specific grace she needs — in the form of unique feminine gifts and strengths — to answer that call. That’s what discovering “momnipotence” is all about.

      • Maria Rioux

        I did totally get that as your intention, and I do also appreciate why that might be helpful in various ways. I still prefer Mom-nility or some sort of version of that, and think it can incorporate all you say without the possible pitfalls. As I said, just an idea.

        • Maria Rioux

          How did Mary answer that call? Would she go for Momnipotence or Mom-nility, do you think? Something to consider.

          • Danielle Bean

            I’m glad you mention Mary! I think Our Lady is both inspiringly humble and awesomely momnipotent — the perfect example for each of us to follow. Mary never shied away from giving glory to God through the greatness and perfection he called her to, and neither should we. It seems like the word “momnipotent” is upsetting you because you are giving it a meaning that is not intended.

          • Maria Rioux

            Good morning, Danielle. I sometimes find e-conversations so frustrating because it seems all too easy to fail to “hear” what is being said, and especially, _how_ it is being said (tone, etc.) I’ll try to be more clear, though I think my previous notes/comments ought to have conveyed the fact that I am not at all upset, just have a kind of preference that I thought you might like to kick around and consider. I _do_ get what _you_ intend by the use of momnipotent, and, in addition to the good things you intend to convey, it is also kinda clever and catchy. It remains that words have specific meanings, and the meaning of omnipotent is almighty, and having virtually unlimited authority and influence. I can see how one _might_ apply that to mothers, but one would only _rightly_ do so in a spirit of humility. Hence my comment.
            Obviously, you have a different preference, and the confusion I envision does not spring to your mind. Perhaps I am an oddity. :)
            It’s interesting, if only to me, that not only do we tend to sin because of our fallen nature, among extremes (virtue always lying in the mean) of any given virtue, we tend to the _further_ extreme. For example, courage being the virtue and the mean, we don’t generally tend towards the extreme of recklessness but to cowardice. We also tend towards pride and have to really work at true humility. Maybe that is about as clear as mud, but I hope it better expresses why I bothered to comment at all.
            Btw, I was arranging a playdate for our younger sons and did at the same time ask my good friend her reaction to this topic/use of momnipotent, just for fun She at first had exactly the reaction I think you would expect and hope for. She loved it. :) But, after thinking about it for a few minutes, said that that probably did not come from the best part of her. She still loved it. :)
            In the whole scheme of things this is not any sort of big deal. It’s not even a small deal. :) But I do think you are rubber-nosing a word to mean what it in fact does not mean, and I don’t think Mary would embrace the moniker, “almighty” nor characterize herself as having unlimited authority, though she certainly has had and continues to have a profound influence, by and through the grace of God.
            I’m super busy today and will also be tomorrow (homeschooling conference), and after that I will continue to be super busy helping my husband build an addition to our home before the fall semester starts. If you would like to have a conversation on this further, I’m not opposed, but I imagine there’s not much more to say.
            Perhaps it would be helpful to add that I’m really grateful you use the gifts God has given you so wonderfully well.

  • Claire

    I agree with you, Danielle. I don’t believe in overscheduling, and I think that downtime is important. Although I have to include some structure since my son doesn’t have siblings to play with, and he has also been known to get into trouble when he has too much time on his hands. We do a lot of playdates at parks, berry picking, library activities, and some programs at our local nature preserve. I am also going to try to do some academics a few times/week to avoid the “summer slide”. And lots of reading.

  • Kate33

    My kids are still little so I haven’t really had to do with this too much…. but I will say, as a junior high religion teacher, there is nothing worse than having a group of kids who expect to be entertained all of the time. Maybe if these kids had been allowed to be bored at home during the summer they wouldn’t expect a laser light show while i am presenting class material.

  • Michelle

    We don’t go on elaborate vacations or participate in lots of structured outings or play dates during the Summer. Backyard play, neighborhood walks and playing with neighborhood friends in our neighborhood defines our Summer. They need a break, I need a break from the busyness of the home school year and all the running around. We have time to do pleasure reading, thinking, reflecting and relaxing. I think boredom is good for all of us! It helps us recuperate so we can jump into the Fall refreshed.

  • MTL

    I personally embrace the unstructured months of Summer. “I’m bored” can be met w a list of chores that cure that ailment sooo quickly! Summer is just as much for me as it is for the kids, I think,