We’re one week into our summer break and already I’ve had a crash course in surviving this summer with a smile on my face. Summer is definitely a relaxed affair around here. We travel, we chill out on our usual bedtimes, we’re more free with screen time and desserts, we spend lots of time reading, playing in the pool, watching movies when it’s too hot to do anything else, and just recharging.
As much as I was looking forward to this break, I momentarily forgot that I can’t take a break from everything. It took two days of forgetting plans, dropping for me to realize I needed to get my head back in the game. I won’t neglect my beloved planner this summer as I need to keep track of plans, make lists, and generally stay on top of life. In spite of all that, I definitely want summer to feel like a break for me, too so I took a step back and put a few small routines into place to keep everyone happy. I want to be the fun mom, but also the mom who remembers to have clean clothes for the kids and food for everyone to eat along with time to read the giant pile of library books I brought home today.
Plan Ahead for Summer Fun
As thrilled as I am that I don’t have to pack lunches daily anymore, I still kind of need to pack lunches daily. My friend A’Dell had the genius idea to make lunch in the morning while she’s making breakfast so it’s ready to go. If we decide to head to the pool or the park, there’s no scrambling to get a lunch together. If we’re home at lunch time, the kids are free to grab their own lunches whenever they’re ready, within reason.
In addition, I’m sticking to my routine of making a nightly to do list for myself and now I’m making one for the kids. My kids love to know what’s up for the day, so I make them a small schedule of our plans, if we have any, and a list of things they need to get done that day, including any chores and their reading time. Turns out they love crossing items off of a to-do list as much as their mother does.
Set a Laundry Schedule
Wouldn’t it be great if you could take the summer off from laundry? I have never really had a laundry schedule in the past, but in the summer it’s imperative that I do one load of laundry every single weekday. The wet swim suits and towels alone are enough to keep my laundry room and me well acquainted. I really love a fresh pile of clean laundry and always keep Downy, readily available at Walmart, in my laundry room. It’s a total mood-booster to take a pile of laundry out of the dryer with that familiar scent. Plus, there’s something about the sound of the washing machine running while I enjoy my morning coffee that makes me feel like I’ve got things handled.
Of course, the benefits of Downy go beyond scent I’ve loved for so long. I tend to have a bit of a summer uniform, wearing my favorite summer things over and over again, and I like them to last well beyond the summer. Downy has you covered there as well, helping my favorites bounce right back into shape post-wash.
Make time for fun
Lest you think I’m the least fun mom in the world, I assure you we do a lot of fun things in the summer. I’m the mom who’s always willing to host playdates, who doesn’t really care if the kids take out every single toy in the playroom or spill bubbles all over the backyard if it means my kids are entertained and happy.
In the pursuit of summer fun, I sat down with the kids last week and asked them to list the things they definitely want to do this summer, along with some input from me, and we came up with our own summer bucket list.
Summer Bucket List Printable
We’ve already managed to have a backyard movie night with all the neighbors, we’ve been to the pool nearly daily and we’re reacquainting ourselves with some of the parks we haven’t seen in a while. I’m certain we’ll check all of these off the list before summer is over. If you want to make your own list with your kids, we’re including a blank printable for you! We’ve updated these for 2017 and we have some without the year, too! Simply click on the image to print!
How do you keep yourself sane and your kids happy during the summer? Is clean laundry the closest you get to aromatherapy these days? Give us all your tips for having a great summer in the comments below.