Every year towards the end of school, I start to get the summer itch. By that point, I’m tired of making lunches every morning, tired of doing the after school pick up, drop off, run about. Tired of homework & schedules, bedtimes & obligations. Tired of all the structure & always having my kids gone here, there & everywhere. By the end of the school year I am more than ready for the long, lazy days of summer & having my kids all to myself.
I know not everyone feels the same, but I love it. That’s not to say we are all always frolicking through a meadow together, sharing & signing & playing nice. We most assuredly are not always doing that. But every now & again I do find my kids actually enjoying each other’s company…which is always a nice surprise.
I’ve found that in the summer months is the best, most time intensive season I have to teach them the things I want them to learn, which oddly enough, doesn’t include any pinterest crafts. If you’re looking to enjoy your summer a little more & maybe like your kids & yourself along the way…here’s my 5 tips:
Manage Expectations: both yours & your kids. At the end of each night, if you like to lay in bed & have a mental tally of the things you ‘got done’ during the day, I guarantee your summer is not going to be very enjoyable. It’s just not the nature of the season. To expect to check everything off your list every day is going to turn you all in to summer grouches. Manage your own expectations & give yourself a break. This is not the season to tackle a big project that includes a to-do list a mile long each day. That being said, feel free to make a list of one or two ‘must do’ things & allow yourself to feel accomplished if you’ve managed them when you lay yourself to sleep at night. With your kids, let them in on the game plan: First we have to stop at the grocery store, then we can swim. Give them something to look forward to while still accomplishing what you need to do.
Get Some Sleep: This summer, my kids are old enough to be staying up a bit later than they have in the past. I’ve made the mistake of letting them stay up later than normal & then still enjoying my 2-3 hours of quiet time before getting myself to bed. It hasn’t been pretty. Some times I’m climbing into bed right after my kids, dirty dishes in the sink & all because SOMEONE has to be well-rested & it may as well be you.
Inflict A Schedule Upon Yourself: I know I started this whole thing telling you I was over being on a schedule, so when I say set a schedule for yourself, I mean it loosely. Our summer schedule is pretty flexible, but mostly includes work out (for me) breakfast, swim team, chores, reading, lunch, and then…whatever we choose for the afternoon. It might be friends, swimming or running errands, depending on the day. Starting the day with a bit of routine allows you each to know what to expect & fall into a routine for the day. Also, having a relatively routine schedule in the morning allows the TV & other screens to be off & by lunch you feel like you’ve accomplished something & the guilt for wasting away the afternoon is usually pretty minimal. 😉
Take Care of You: Summer will kick your butt. Go into it knowing that & schedule time to take care of yourself. I workout most every morning on my back patio…its super glam, in case you were wondering, but I’ve found that 30 minutes to myself allows me to start my day on the right foot. I also schedule a babysitter here & there to run errands solo or grab lunch with a friend. My kids love it & so do I. If a babysitter isn’t in the cards, head out when your husband gets home & skip bed time every now & again…you’ll be glad for the break.
Let Yourself Go: Jump in the pool, go on the hike, ride the waves, swing on the swings, I dare ya. Be a kid again. Don’t worry about keeping a perfect house, doing your hair or always having make-up on. Its summer, live like you’re on vacation even when you aren’t…and somehow it will start to feel like a vacation for you + your kids.