I’m going to let you in on a secret. I love warm weather and being outside and all things Summer activities. I love cookouts and vineyards and the beach and pools. I love picnics and parks and tanned skin and the smell of my skin after spending time outside (weird I know). BUT. The lack of routine and structure of Summer with kids kinds of makes me wild. I’m not super structured and I don’t plan minute but minute, but I do like a general routine. I know that during the school year Mondays and Wednesdays are my long work days and Monday and Friday evenings are kid activities and Tuesday is small group night. I love the predictability of it.
And then Summer happens. Everything ends, schedules unravel, it’s impossible to plan things because someone is always on vacation or traveling and mostly preschool is non-existant and there is lots of work to be done.
So what’s a mom to do? A few things that have helped me.
- Plan for unstructured time. I keep my own schedule for both sanity and productivity, but also leave more unstructured time. Several mornings per week we leave wide open. We might end up at the Splash Pad or blowing bubbles.
- Play Date Planning: Pull together a group of moms and a sign up calendar. Everyone plans a playdate throughout the Summer. You don’t have to plan as much and are likely to try things you wouldn’t otherwise. This has been a huge help to me.
- Plan Structured time. The opposite of #1. If you have a job or commitments to keep or thrive by being on a schedule, then do it! Plan to have a block of time each day or week that you can commit to the “things” or work. Plan camps or childcare accordingly. Don’t forget to factor in time to prepare healthy meals and exercise!
Create a Project. Is there a house project you’ve been putting off? Maybe something outside? Something you’ve been wanting create on Pinterest? Or a basement that needs organizing? Employ your kids to help you for 30 minutes per day until it’s done. What a fun thing to accomplish together!
Vacation Bible School. Send your kids to a local VBS. It’s FREE and you’ll enjoy a little free time to enjoy the pool by yourself 😊
Find a Mother’s Helper. Got little kids and need to get some work or projects done? Find a neighborhood kid to help keep your kids entertained while you get it done. It’s well worth the small investment (or pay them with pizza) and your kids will have a blast too!
Let Them Entertain Themselves: Technology and helicopter parenting has led to this idea that children must be entertained (by us) all their waking hours. You can turn off technology and keep yourself busy while they figure it out. Send them on a scavenger hunt or get out the water guns or open the dress up chest and then stay out of it.
Here’s to Summer! Enjoy your freedom, flexibility, and adorable kiddos and don’t forget to take a few minutes to yourself!