Summertime. The weather is warmer, the grass is growing, the flowers are blooming. It’s a time for everyone to get outside, to smell the fresh air, to enjoy life after the past 7 months of school and cold weather.
And yet, the prospect of summer fills many moms with a sense of dread. What exactly to do with your wonderful, but usually in school, kids all day every day.
I am here to tell you that not only can you survive the summer but you can truly enjoy it!
# 1 – Schedule SOME time for your kids to go to camp.
Summertime should include some summer camp. It can be any kind of summer camp – a science camp at the local elementary school, an art camp at the Y, a week away at a camp on a lake in Maine. Whatever is the right kind of camp for your kid.
Modern day children have so much scheduled time that the sudden onslaught of free time when school gets out can be overwhelming. So schedule them some camp.
The key word here is SOME camp. It is essential that kids have down time for proper development. They need to have time to entertain themselves, to be dreamy or adventurous or whatever makes their hearts sing.
So schedule them SOME camp but also schedule them some free time. One of my clients has her kids go to camp every other week in June and July and then leaves much of August free for downtime and family activity.
#2 – Let yourself off the hook.
You have a TON to do. A TON. Every day is packed with chores and errands and work and having the kids under foot all summer makes those things difficult to accomplish.
So let yourself off the hook. Choose some chores and errands that can be let go a bit this summer. Like keeping the house super clean or super involved family dinners. Tidy up when you have some down time and get the kids to help. For dinners use your grill! Grill some meat or fish, make a salad, pop some vegies in the steamer and you are done.
Of course there are some things that can’t be put off. Schedule some time every day, or every other day, to get these things done. Choose a time that you know will work for you: first thing in the morning when everyone is slow to rise, after lunch when people are lazing, after dinner when the kids are running around outside with the neighbors. Pick a time and put it on your calendar and get those things done!
And don’t forget that your kids can HELP with these things. Your child can do the dishes or the laundry or clean their rooms. And the kids can go on errands with you and learn a thing or two about how the world works. Don’t be afraid to get your kids working. It’s good for them.
#3 – Embrace playing.
Remember summertime when you were a kid? Our parents didn’t schedule us at all…we were sent outside in the morning and told to come back for lunch and not a moment earlier. And remember how much fun you had?
So it’s summer! Do some things with your kids that you love to do. Go to the beach, hike in the woods, take out the canoe, go to the park, climb a tree. Get dirty and sweaty. Play!
#4 – Do something that you like to do.
As I have said in earlier blogs it is essential for your mental health that you do something for you as often as you can. Putting everyone else’s needs ahead of your own is exhausting and life sucking. Yes, hopefully you will let things go this summer and play with your kids but still you will be very tired at the end of every day.
So schedule something that you love to do. Take a yoga class, volunteer at the local hospital, go on a date with your partner. Whatever it is that takes you out of your life as a mother and reminds you about the woman that you are.
#5 – Eat a lot of ice cream.
Come on! It’s summer. And if there was ever a time to eat ice cream this is it.
Keep a box of popsicles in the freezer, all different flavors. Make a regular trip to the local ice cream spot and try a different flavor each time. Maybe even have a sundae.
There is a television ad about a room full of children who are bouncing off the walls, having a great time. In the next scene there is silence…because everyone is eating ice cream. Ice cream is one of those foods that makes everyone happy. So indulge.
These tips work for both stay at home and working mothers. Working mothers have the extra challenge of keeping the kids occupied during their work day but by applying some of the principles above you too can enjoy your summer and not let it go by without stopping to smell the roses.
And how that you have read my blog, GO OUTSIDE and start enjoying your summer.
Need more ideas about living the life of your dreams? Contact me now and we can get started!
I am a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. My writing has been published on The Huffington Post, Prevention, Psych Central, Pop Sugar, MSN and The Good Man Project, among others. I work with all kinds of people to help them go from depressed and overwhelmed to confident and happy in their relationships and in their world.