Summertime and the living is…easy? Think long sunny days, sipping lemonade on the hammock in your straw hat.
Now wake up.
Try sweaty and bored children looking for some fun on the 34th day of summer vacation.
Looking for solutions to this dilemma, we got the scoop from SuperMom (and one of our favourite authors) Kathy Buckworth, mother of four, on how to keep your sanity (mostly) intact until September.
1. Schedule It
Days stretch on forever with kids around when there isn’t a set time for activities. You still have to get things done, but they just want to have fun. On Sunday night, sit down with the kids and have them pick one or two activities they’d like to do during the week (zoo visit, swimming pool, picnics, movies, bowling). Pencil them in so they know when they’re happening, and then book your own obligations around this.
2. Take a New Twist
With the kids around, planning meals and getting domestic chores done can be tough. Have them help where they can with dinner planning and preparation (SuperMom tip – get the chopping done first thing in the morning before you head out for some fun). Look for small chores they can help you with to earn money or treats.
3. Trade Up
Find a friend with kids of similar ages and offer to take them along on your planned activities. Your kids will have more fun, and then you’re owed some time off yourself from that same friend. Or go together and have some adult conversation.
4. Break It Up
Summer day camps are great but you still want the kids to have some downtime. Try to schedule camps one week on and one week off, if you can. Same goes with lessons and clinics. Don’t bunch everything up all at once or the kids will feel stressed…and so will you.
5. Be Flexible
If the summer weather is beautiful, scrap the grocery shopping plans and head out to a nearby farmers’ market to pick up your fruits and vegetables instead. Work with the weather, not against it. Stinkin’ hot? Cool off at the movies.
Kathy’s recipe: mix together a bit of planning, a load of flexibility, a dash of creativity, and a freezer full of freezies. With the right ingredients you might just find some well deserved time on the hammock.
Kathy Buckworth is the author of “The Secret Life of SuperMom”, and “SuperMom: A Celebration of All You Do”, available at bookstores everywhere. Visit www.kathybuckworth.com for more.