We only have 18 summers with our kids living at home! I heard this fact a few weeks ago and it has really stuck with me. Only 18 summers to fill with memories before our children are grown into adults and living their own independent lives. It’s a little sad to think about, but ultimately, it just gave me more motivation to make sure this summer is one to remember! Summer is a great time to get away from all the hustling that a typical school year brings and enjoy time together as a family.
I am fairly new to this summertime mom-entertain-me-all-day-because-I-don’t-have-school stage of motherhood. My oldest just finished Kindergarten, and truthfully I was dreading summer starting because all of my kids would be home at the same time. All the time. Every day. That is a hard thing to swallow for someone like me who loves having a busy schedule with things to do. I am not the kind of person who is okay with sitting around at home all day watching TV. I love to be out doing things with my kids and seeing them learn and excel in various activities. If my kids watched TV all summer long they would get so bored and whiny, thus I would get frustrated and ornery! It isn’t easy feeling like, as a mom, you have to entertain your kids day in and day out, but it is possible to enjoy the time you have with your kids at home during the summer without feeling drained from running around all over the place or going on vacation every other week! I’ve come up with some ways to make sure you get the most out of summer with your kids still living at home. Those 18 years need to slow down, am I right?!
1. Come Up With a Routine:
I am a mom who lives for routine. If my kids don’t get to bed at 8:00 pm on a Sunday night it seems the entire week is thrown off! At least in my dramatic opinion. This summer I am a little more lax with wake up and bedtime routines, but I still try and make sure my kids know we still get dressed, do our hair, and brush our teeth every day! Even though it’s summer, there are still chores to take care of and limitations set on TV time, etc… Whether you set a daily or weekly routine, stick to something that will allow for flexibility (since summers can be crazy), but will still give you some sort of control at home. That way everyone isn’t running around doing whatever they want all the time and taking control over you! Yes, there are still expectations set in our daily activities around the home, but I want my kids to feel like they can let their hair down during the summer and just have FUN! Fun along with some sort of boundaries, of course.
2. Create a Summer Bucket List as a Family:
We did this as a family a few weeks before school ended. Prior to heading into summer it was nice to set some goals together and figure out what each person expects out of their summer vacation. It can include maybe a big trip where everyone contributes to the vacation itinerary or it could be lots of little activities such as swimming, going out for ice cream, or having a movie night outside. If everyone is included and knows they each have something to look forward to during the summer months, it makes the weeks not drag on as much where it feels like there is “nothing to do!” Not all of my kids can read yet, but they’ve had fun watching us “check off” some of the things we’ve done this summer already! They are really looking forward to more fun activities as a family and praying every day for a Disneyland trip. If only the budget would allow for everything that’s on our bucket list!! We are almost halfway into June and summer is here, but it’s not too late to start a summer bucket list with your family!
3. Sign Your Kids Up for Summer Activities:
Camps, swim or music lessons, classes to learn a new skill; it is totally okay to give yourself some time away from your kids by signing them up for extra activities during the summer! I love my kids, but I don’t feel the need to spend every waking hour of summer together. Ha! During the school year, life can get too busy to make time for extracurricular activities. Summer is the perfect time for your child to try a dance class, learn hands-on at farm camp, or spend a week at swim lessons. These are all good things that will allow your child to have some time away from the home with their peers that they probably miss seeing every day at school. I’m all about signing my kids up for as many camps as they want to do. It’s always nice to have a reason to leave the house and prevent the onset of summer boredom.
4. Set Aside some “ME” time:
Setting aside time for yourself is important all year round, but it can easily be forgotten during the summer months when your kids need you a lot more. My favorite way of spending “me” time is at the gym. I love this time of year because the sun is up early so it makes it easier to wake up before my kids and before my husband needs to leave for work. I try to get a good workout done early in the morning as often as I can. The endorphins from exercise makes me such a better mom because I am happier and have a head start to feeling accomplished with my day. I would advise to not setting aside “me” time to browse Instagram. Do something first that will fill your cup instead of potentially causing a drowning effect into a world of comparison. You don’t need to see what other people are doing with their kids this summer while you are trying to get some alone time away from your kids. Some great ways to spend some quiet time are reading an uplifting book, writing in a journal, creating some form of art or crafts, or going on a walk to reflect. Every day my kids know we have “quiet time”. Not only does mom need quiet time, they unknowingly need it too!
Since we only have a short time with our children before they venture out into the world, it’s so important to make the most of our summers! That doesn’t mean we have to spend a lot of money on trips or expensive toys. The quality time we spend with them matters most. It is up to us to choose whether we want to be stressed out and tired of our kids at home or to make it fulfilling and completely enjoy the time we have with them. May you have a joyful and fulfilling summer with your kids! Long live summer!!