When I had my first child, I was curious to why other veteran stay-at-home moms moaned and groaned about the summer months with kids at home more than the school year. I enjoyed the relaxed schedule, the opportunity to do new things and the opportunity to do all things water during the summer. After last summer with three kids at home, I suddenly understood. I myself moaned and groaned this past spring knowing summer was around the corner. What was I to do without my kids having a structured school day and week?
With summer more than half-way over, I have survived and without much effort. It has been busy for sure. We have squeezed in a lot of fun as well as multiple regular appointments to avoid missing days at school throughout the year.
My tips to survive the summer with kids at home:
Make a Summer Bucket List
This can include items you already know you are going to do. As you mark items off, it will show them what you are saying yes to more than what you are saying no to. Begin making the list before school is out to give your kids something to look forward to.
Burn Energy Early in the Day
There are multiple benefits to morning energy burn; it is cooler and usually, kids are more manageable for the rest of the day. We did swim team five days a week during June putting us at the pool for practice by 8:30 in the morning. Sometimes it was followed by appointments, errands, home or fun things like bike riding, but my kids had burned tons of energy by the time lunch rolled around. Other days we took a morning bike ride.
There is nothing wrong with needing some time alone or caring for yourself. My youngest is nearing three, and there are many days that both our stubborn attitudes clash. My mom took her for four days this summer to help me out. I missed her but the reprieve from all the toddler drama was a breath of fresh air to help me reserve some energy, and she got one-on-one time with my mom.
Travel with Others
As our kids get older, we have accepted that a vacation is really a working trip without much rest, but we have found vacationing so much easier when we take grandparents along with us or other kids. Other kids provide playmates so that we are not the sole entertainment source. They are happy, and we are happy.
Prepare Meals and Snacks
Make some freezer meals before summer starts and plan snacks for the never-ending questions about food. Because of the lack of schedule structure, mealtime can be rushed, late or a last-minute fast-food option if not prepared.
If your kids are old enough, pick some days and spend at least three hours at the pool. Every Friday in June, we packed a lunch and camped out at the pool for three hours or more. Although my kids no longer nap, most Friday pool days resulted in all three taking naps leaving me time to also rest.
Writer Bio: Summer Bolte
I spend most of my time and days with my three kids, husband and dog. My kids frequently play near me as I garden, cook, DIY and volunteer. My most unusual paying job has to be feeding fruit flies in a research lab, and my most fulfilling job was being an oncology nurse for seven years.