I’m bracing myself. The kids are out of school and that means I’m on kid duty all day, all the time, while I’m also trying to manage my work-from-home job.
Don’t get me wrong, I love to be with my kids and summer’s a great time to spend more time with them. There’s just a lot to juggle.
Instead of panicking, I’m getting organized. I’m making plans for the kids, and I’m trying to streamline my life so I don’t feel like I need a personal assistant by the end of the summer.
Here are my tricks for not only surviving my kids’ summer break, but enjoying it, too!
1. Don’t cook every night. Seriously. Between the thinking of what to cook for dinner, the buying the groceries, and the cooking of dinner, my day is eaten up (pun intended) by cooking. So sometimes I’m not going to do it. We’ll order a pizza or get that roasted chicken the grocery store makes far better than I could.
2. Ease up on your bath time routine. Unless the kids are covered in paint, mud, or chlorine, they might not get a bath as often as they do during the school year. I’ll call it water conservation, but it’s actually Mom Conservation, too. Sometimes, I just don’t have it in me by the day’s end.
3. Don’t do it all yourself all the time. Every summer I get the bright idea that I won’t schedule anything for my kids and everyday we’ll just “figure it out.” I call this Camp Mommy, which ends up being amazing for everyone but me because I entertain them all day and don’t get anything else done.
4. Take advantage of day camp. I suggest signing your kids up early before the prime sessions in late June and July fill up. Kids like to be with other kids and those 20-year-old counselors have a lot more energy for camp cheers and water fights than I (and maybe you too) do. Sign up. It’s worth the cost. The kids will have an amazing time and make new friends.
5. Embrace drop-off playdates. If your kids are old enough to be dropped off for a playdate, do it. In exchange, tell your bestie she can drop her kids at your house for an afternoon or more. Chances are the kids will entertain one another and you can get some of that work done that’s been piling up.
6. Get your groceries delivered. I’m absolutely the last mom I know to jump on the grocery delivery bandwagon, but this summer I’ll be partaking as a means of survival. The last thing I want to do all summer is schlep the kids to the grocery store and I certainly don’t want to spend my free time doing it either.
7. Let your kids watch too much TV. Sometimes a movie or a show is just what the kids need to unwind and what you need to have a bit of free time. Don’t feel guilty. It’s summer. No big deal.
8. Get the kids to help. Even my three-year-old can help clean up her room so there’s no reason why all our bigger kids can’t help with errands or cleaning up. And, no, they don’t get allowance for cleaning up after themselves. I don’t.
9. Buy enough supplies. Your kids will spend their summer in swimsuits and shorts, but that doesn’t mean you have to spend your summer in the laundry room. So buy enough for each kid to have a week’s worth of summer stuff so you don’t have to do laundry more often. That is, unless you like doing laundry.
10. Don’t panic. Some days the kids will be bored and some days you’ll be exhausted by 10 am. But some of our best childhood memories are from summer, so just relax and enjoy help your kids make summer memories this year. Oh, and September isn’t that far away!