Tips for Moms to Thrive This Summer
Buckle Up Moms It’s Summer! Field Day, Volunteer Appreciation lunch, Principal retirement lunch, 8th grade beach day, 8th grade graduation practice, graduation, graduation dance, party and ½ days for the next two weeks. Somewhere in there you strive to schedule things for you. Workouts, personal appointments and oh yes, if you work from home or in an office you have to schedule your work around your kids already crazy schedule.
End of school year and Summer can be tricky, overwhelming and exhausting – but I’d like to think that I’ve found some tips to help you keep your sanity and actually get the best of time with your children and still get it all done at the same time….You know, that thing all mothers crave – BALANCE.
We are all in different places and phases of motherhood. Some are stay at home moms. Some are corporate moms. And then there is me. A Mom who works from home. Some have younger kids, some are gone – and yep some have come home for summer which brings so much joy but a whole other set of dynamics. So what’s the answer? How do we survive the summer?
Tips for thriving as a mom this summer:
Let’s start with the Calendar. Not your iphone, google calendar, or the device of the day, I’m talking a BIG old fashioned calendar that you can write on. Assign each family member a color. Then enter away. Fill in any camps, sports practice and games, travel, doctors and other appointments. See where your conflicts are and see where your openings/opportunities are.
Now start finding solutions. If you work a corporate job like I used to, summer brings great solutions to town when all of the responsible college kids come home. They are looking for part time work and you have it! If you don’t have enough hours, team up with a friend and guarantee x amount of hours per family – get a schedule and your kids can get to and from their activities. If you don’t have activities – get outside and have them take them to the beach, on hikes, on bikes. The outdoors in summer is a playground. You don’t have to spend your income on a camp every week of summer. Your kids don’t want that either – it’s supposed to be their downtime, let them have it! You should not be left out either. I found that by taking as many Fridays off as possible it gave me a long weekend with my kids and I was not always missing out!
If you work from home – this takes some adjusting to. Your calendar is just as critical. But you will likely need to change your business hours. You also need to DECIDE if you are taking the summer off or if you are going to treat your job like a career. I’m all about working hard and playing hard. This starts with a family conversation about expectations. I have specific conversations with my boys about my business hours, what they can expect from me and vice versa. I get up extra early and typically work from 6AM-12 take the boys to do something and resume my work in late afternoon early evening when they are at their sports. I used to call it camp Kara. Truth is – now with two teenagers, they are not going to want to hang with me every day – but I love the beach and they do too – they can meet up with friends and I can get my tan on, make calls, and keep my life and business moving forward in a great atmosphere. You can also team up with other moms – I have a group of mom friends who each take a day per week to take a crew of boys to do fun summer activities. The kids get to be with friends – and you get days to focus on other kids and life.
Keep your refrigerator and pantry full. Do some pre-packaging of snacks so the kids are not asking you to make something at any hour of the day. I have found on line shopping helps in this area. I shop on line for as much as I can to save trips to the store, and everything comes to me. Who has time to bounce from store to store?
Be PRESENT when you are with your children. Enjoy the time. Put the devices away during the time you have dedicated to them. If at meals, we play the phone stack game. Everyone’s phone goes into a pile in center of the table with ringers off. Parents can’t take calls, return emails, and kids can’t play games or work on their snapchat story. You get the idea. TALK to each other.
Moms, summer will be what you make of it. ENJOY every minute you get with your kids. Yes, you will be ready to get them back to school in the fall but soon you will blink, they will be driving themselves everywhere and you will wish they needed a ride. Take control of your calendar up front and enjoy every day! Let’s thrive not survive the summer.