Start planning now to ensure a fun and easygoing summer.
In the summer, stress-free living is only easy if you plan ahead. With the month of May comes Memorial Day. It’s the day that our country honors those who died while serving in our country’s armed forces; it’s also unofficially the first indicator that summertime is just about here. And that means that school is out and schedules are in flux. I alternate back and forth from loving and fearing the lack of routine that comes with summer. As a working mom, I am raising a 4-year-old, while growing several businesses. The only reason I’m surviving it is because I have a strategy each day, week and month. I always give and abide by specific deadlines for myself and my family. If you’re a working mom, then time is typically the problem — and the solution is figuring out how to manage it.
You might think that waiting until the last minute will let you keep more of your options open, but that’s absolutely not true. When May rolls around, moms are moving on from securing their kids’ spots in fun camps. In fact, some popular camps can fill up as early as the fall before, so it’s best to secure your child’s spot as soon as possible. Summer vacation is the perfect time to help our children set a goal to learn a new skill or improve an old one. It’s amazing how just a little vision and direction can inspire children to work together and accomplish big things. If a camp that caters to the arts or mathematics isn’t for your child, then set a goal together! As moms, we need to lead the way.
As we plan for this summer, let’s remember that — to our children — we are bigger than movie stars. We don’t need to break the bank and take them to Disney World. We don’t need to buy them the latest toys and gadgets. We don’t need to send them to the coolest camps. A child’s best memories will be the ones they make with their parents. All it takes are simple traditions, personal interactions, the chance to see Mommy at her silliest, staying up late one night playing games or cuddly story times.
Memory-making standards are on a different level for children than what they are for adults. Too often, we adults do what we think is fun. We spend way too many dollars on something and then get upset when our child can’t appreciate all the effort and expense it cost us. The truth is that all they need and want is a little time, a little creativity, and a lot of love and affection from their parents. That’s the beauty of summer. It’s spontaneous and free. But having a routine to fall back on can keep us healthy, happy and sane.
Mommy Summer Survival Tips
- Label everything! And give each week a theme.
- Plan on a week-by-week basis, but structure one or two big events that need more planning further in advance (such as camp or a family vacation) for everyone to anticipate.
- Make your car the fun-time headquarters. Pile in a bucket of games or activities so that it’s easy to enjoy the moment when you’re on the go.
- Create a goal for you and your family to conquer. Consider it a summer bucket list for 2015.
It’s the little things that make summer so good, so don’t be hard on yourself as a working mom. Always remember that you are good enough.