Ah, summer! The time to kick up your feet, sip a cool drink, and work on your tan. Oh wait, you’re a mom! That’s what your summer used to look like pre-kids. Now you’re kicking your feet into the minivan to get your kids to swim team, sipping on a melting iced coffee, all while hastily applying sunscreen on your toddler.
I have a love/hate relationship with summer and work to find the right balance with kids. I want enough activities to keep the kids busy and engaged, but I don’t want to run myself (or them ) ragged by constantly being the entertainer and chauffeur. It’s OK to have downtime and let the kids ‘be bored’, but then I’m left cleaning up the ‘boredom.’ All the while, I’d like to enjoy the summer with them too!
With summer approaching, I reflected on what I found successful to keep a balanced summer for my kids and me!
Don’t Over Do It
During the school year, I feel like I spend half of my time in the car. Between preschool, kid’s day out, soccer practice, and swim lessons, my car sometimes feels like my second home (and has started to look like it too…). However, during the summer months, I intentionally try and slow down. This summer, for example, I have designated Mondays and Fridays as our, ‘fun, free days.’ These are the days we can leisurely go to the pool, get in a play date with friends, or simply veg at the house! This also gives us some flexibility for travel.
But Have Something To Do
My goal this summer is to do one activity a day. We will have a few scheduled activities (swim lessons, art class, and my sitter coming once a week), but I want to have a few ‘summer specific’ activities too. Run around in a splash pad, pick blackberries, open a lemonade stand, etc. We can even have a fun ‘water day’ at the house! The activities don’t have to be elaborate, but having something planned helps maintains some sort of schedule for the kids and me. Check out our WMB summer bucket list for some amazing summer activities!
Get Out of Town
A summer trip always does the soul good, even if you are traveling with kids (however, notice how I said trip and not ‘vacation’. I even know that going out of town with small children is not a vacation). Even if you can’t hop on a plane and stick your toes in the sand, a long weekend away is always a fun adventure for the summer!
We love Colorado, Branson, and the Lake of the Ozarks for quick summer getaways. Check out these family day trips to spark ideas for a summer getaway!
Remember You, Too
Summers with your kids can be a blast, but you need a break from the splish and splash. Consider enrolling them in a Kid’s Day Out program or hire a sitter to come once a week. I love knowing that I will have the morning to run errands, grab coffee with friends, or simply just watch an episode of Real Housewives uninterrupted. If you can’t get time completely alone, try listening to a podcast, read a book, or even spend a few minutes in the fresh air alone. Just a little ‘me time’ allows me to recharge and to look forward to another summer activity.
For me, summer is a balancing act. Finding the right mix of adventure, wonder, and fun, all while making sure you as a mom can enjoy the warm weather too. I hope these tips help you and your family enjoy the summer together!
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