Summer is here. Solidarity friends. I freaking love summertime, but solidarity. I think what I love is that we don’t have a schedule, there is nothing we have to do and that feels like a deep breath for me. BUT, my kids don’t feel the same way. Oh, you relate to this? Your kids want to be everywhere and do everything and want all the things from the concession stands at the pool? Oh, yeah, same. Here is what I am doing to try to stay sane, I have done this each summer and I have days that are better than others, but for the most part, this works for us:
#1: Summer check list and chore list.
I posted about this a while back, maybe you remember? Well, I print out these lists and laminate them and have my kids do these things before they can do anything. They know this. I know this. Dad knows this. The neighbor kids know this. We are allll on the same page! This gives me some direction for the summer day and where my kids are at. If they are crushing their list, then I better crush mine because they are craving an activity. If they are slowly going through their lists, then I know we are probably going to have an easygoing day at home.
#2: Write down things your kids want to do.
This is always fun to do at the beginning of summer (or whenever). Hear what your kids want to do and try to plan for them. Maybe it’s a day at the aquarium that is going to take more planning or maybe it’s a family day at the pool that you know you can easily do. This helps give you ideas to do each week. This also allows for everyone to set and adjust expectations. Like, I know you want to go to all the zoo’s in the U.S.A., but probably, most definitely, not going to happen.
#3: Get out of the house.
Sometimes, it’s just easier to strap the kids into the car and go to park and let them run wild and free. This gives everyone a moment to breath fresh air and to get out all that extra energy. I have found that when my kids have a lot of energy and are stuck at home, we all go a little crazy. This is when messes and fights happen. The dishes and laundry can wait, go out and wear them out.
#4: Eat lunch outside.
This is one of my favorite perks of summertime. Less mess inside! Yay! My kids will eat on the trampoline or on a blanket or at the picnic table, but anyway, they are outside having fun and all the crumbs are out there! Win/win in my book!
#5: Get books for the summer.
I will go to Barnes and Noble and let the boy’s pick out a couple of chapter books that they can read. I will often have them read when I need a quiet moment or instead of TV. This helps everyone slow down and relax. Especially me! When they finish them, let’s go get another! I will always encourage and support them reading.
#6: Pack snacks and eat before the pool.
Our local pool has an awesome concession stand that my kids LOVE to ask to buy things from. They want all the things. They have zerooo chill when it comes to the concession stand. Pretzels, nachos, candy, ice cream, pizza, hot dogs. $70 later, they are fed. Here’s what I have been doing lately:
- Feed my kids prior to the pool. Not like a snack, I’m talking, lunch.
- Pack sandwiches and snacks. Things full of protein that keep them full. Bring water!!
- Have a few treats in my bag to surprise them with. You’d be surprised how exciting Swedish Fish can be.
- Talk to them about the concessions and about how we have food and if they don’t want this food, then maybe they aren’t truly hungry, but rather bored and maybe it’s time to go home.
#7: Do things with friends.
This always makes my kid’s day when I say we are going to the pool with so & so. This makes them feel like you’re thinking of them and this gives you another mom to sit in the shade with. I also think that my kids stay entertained longer when they have a friend at the pool/park.
#8: Make time for you & your partner.
Get a babysitter. Go out to dinner and enjoy yourselves! You cannot pour into your children if your cup is empty. Take time for yourself and fill that cup! Summertime is to be enjoyed and that means mom & dad should enjoy it too!