Ah summer. The months we look forward to all year. The days are longer and there are lots of things to do outside. Moms everywhere approach this season with a little trepidation, especially if they have little ones at home. Fear not! I have some ideas to help you get through the summer months with your sanity intact.
Avoid the Snack Trap:
I don’t know about you, but last summer I almost lost my mind with the incessant snack requests. My daughter would literally ask me for a snack while I was still putting away the breakfast dishes. NO. I started right away with a pretty clear schedule that included all of the times that snacks would be served. There were only two “snack” times and neither one of those times took place ten seconds after a meal was finished. This little schedule saved my sanity, let me tell you. This is a great way to help get them adjusted to a much looser schedule at home.
Have a Bucket List:
Before you lose your mind, you absolutely do not have to do everything on your bucket list. More importantly, you don’t even have to make your list involve lots of elaborate or expensive activities. At the beginning of the summer I like to make a list of things I would like to see or do during the break. These include things like trips to libraries or museums in other towns and beaches or parks we haven’t explored. Many are free, but some have a small fee. I like to spread the indoor things out so that I can wait for a rainy day. If you have a mom tribe like I do, you can even coordinate bringing the kiddos together. You get some company and the kids get to hang out with their friends in a new and fun place. Everybody wins!
Get the Scoop:
After you have compiled that bucket list make sure you find out the scoop on the locations before you go. If you have ever spent time driving to a location that turned out to be closed, you know what I am talking about. Lots of places have summer hours which may be drastically different from the hours that they keep during the year. Know before you go is my slogan. If you find yourself in a pickle, grab your phone and do a local search on Yelp. You may find something nearby that would be a great alternative.
Plan Home Days:
Summer is all about kicking back and enjoying yourself. There are some days when I don’t feel like packing up my life to head to the beach or pool. The backyard is pretty awesome if you have the right tools! Last year we rigged up our pool slide to slide into an inexpensive blow up pool and the kids spent HOURS going up and down. It was the best thing ever. If water play isn’t in your comfort zone, there are lots of great outdoor activities you can do that doesn’t involve water. Simple sorting games or relay races help are fun and they help with brain development and motor skills! Never underestimate the power of a good game of red light green light. No, I’m not kidding.
Let go of the Guilt:
Feel like going to a movie on a beautiful sunny day? Then do it. Don’t feel obligated to entertain your kids 24/7 with mountains of activities and trips. The weather may be nice but don’t beat yourself up if you don’t feel like rallying for a beach trip. There were plenty of sunny days that we spent doing an indoor activity just because I didn’t feel like being outside. Guess what? It was all good and we both enjoyed having some time away from the constant sunscreen applications.
No matter what you do, be sure to include time to rest and relax. You don’t need to be your child’s personal concierge of entertainment. Some of the best days we have had is when my daughter is exploring the beach or backyard and I am sitting back and enjoying being an observer.
What are some of your favorite summer activities?