Wow, summer has only begun and you may already be feeling exhausted. Your kids may be fighting, they may already be saying that they are bored, and you may already be wondering how in the world you are going to make it through the rest of the summer.
No worries, I’ve got some tips to help save your sanity this summer. We all love our kids, but let’s be honest, it is certainly an adjustment during this part of the year. Everyone needs to learn how to be around each other nearly 24/7 without the hustle and bustle of the school year to keep everyone busy.
For this reason, I thought it might be helpful to share a summer strategy for keeping your sanity. This is another one of those situations where a little proactive planning can make a huge difference in keeping mental breakdowns (yours and your kids’) at bay.
- First things first. Take one day at a time as life unfolds. We are talking about planning here, but don’t stress out about the length of the summer. Don’t stress out about busy times that are coming down the line. Don’t stress out about anything other than what is right in front of you, which actually won’t be stressful because you’ll be putting this plan in place. So, just live in today while not paying attention to the overwhelming feeling that the entire summer can produce.
- Slow down. So often we pack our summers so full of events and activities that keep us even busier than we are during the regular school year. This rarely does anyone any good, especially us as moms. Generally the end of the year things, which may not even be completely over yet, are a marathon that leaves moms feeling ragged. Plan to slow down this summer—and then do it!
- Schedule down time, and, schedule family time. It may sound kind of crazy to schedule time off, but if you are like me, I always seem to take on more than I can get done, and, life gets in the way of my plans. Then, any time off I may have had becomes overtaken by these sorts of detours. If you have down time scheduled and avoid letting this be your “catch all” for things that simply don’t get done at other times, you will have that down time to rest, relax, and regroup. These things are so important for summer survival as a mom.
- Schedule time with you and your kids to get together with your friends and their kids. Also known as playdates (which is not the term you will want to use with older kids), these are times that I always look forward to—even if they are a bit off into the future. Having them on the calendar helps.
- Schedule time for you to have with your friends alone. Go out for a movie, go out for appetizers, or start a summer book club. Spending time with your friends doesn’t have to be expensive or even cost a thing. Just as in spending time with your kids with friends, having these times on the calendar provides a way of breaking up the monotony of the day to day during the summer that we as moms so often feel.
- Organize. Organize your days, organize, your weeks, and have a plan. Schedule some fun activities like the ones I spoke of in this post of 50 free activities, but having an overall map of the summer in terms of plans helps keep boredom, frustration, and feelings of being overwhelmed to a minimum.
- Get some help. Find someone to give you a break once in awhile. Sell a few things to get a little money to be able to pay a babysitter, swap kid sitting with a friend, or enlist the help of grandparents or a grandparent fill-in if you don’t have grandparents around, but find someone who can give you a break each month for a few hours.
- Be proactive. Spend a day doing some freezer cooking, plan easy meals using your grill more, be efficient in your kitchen, and enlist the help of your kids more since they are home. Plan how you can be more efficient and delegate more things to those around you to give yourself the break you need.
Having kids home for the summer is both a blessing and a challenge in most families. If you are already feeling at the end of your rope, take a deep breath and only worry about today. Slow down and schedule down time while also creating some fun activities for both you and your family. Work smarter, not harder, and ENJOY the summer days since they always go by way too fast!
Do you ever find yourself feeling beyond overwhelmed with the summer and having a bit of a meltdown? Do you ever have a “mom emergency?!”
Come back tomorrow when I will have your 9-1-1 plan for your mom emergency moments to help you regain your sanity.
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