6 Summer Hacks for Staying Sane
Oh Summer, how we love you! The vacations, the time off from school, the pool days....all the things that make Summer so amazing and the same things that can totally derail you in your business and life. Kids are home EVERY.DAY, unless of course you find all the Summer schools, VBS, and camps to send them to. If you plan just right, you can get just about every day of Summer covered and THEN it can really be that "vacation" you have been waiting for. But then, as you are sitting at your computer, obviously doing very important things like scrolling FB and IG, checking out the latest news from Huffington Post and basically all the productive things that are making this all worth it, you find the post and the blogs about how you only get 18 Summers with your kids. Crap, my kid's already 7 so I'm instantly down to 11 Summers left. Then they will, according to the post, leave you forever and Summer will never be the same to bask in the bliss of spending every waking moment of the day with your kids and making memories that will shape the success of their entire life.
Mom guilt is creeping in and you feel like you are wasting precious time to do what exactly? You have been scrolling FB for the last 3 hours while your kids are very likely sweating their butts off at a Summer Camp only to come home and crash of exhaustion every night.
There has to be another way, right? You have things to do, but you still want to get to make those fun and special Summer memories like you just saw in your FB scroll sesh from all your friends.
It's so easy when that school bell rings for the last time, and the kids are suddenly home ALL.THE.TIME, that things get hectic, schedules go out the window and before you know it, you haven't done your Instagram scheduling for a week (or more), your emails are piling up, and it's actually the 15th of the month, not the 4th, like you were thinking. GAH!
There are ways, my friend, to keep the flow going right on into the Summer and I am going to share the ones that I have found work best for me. But first, I want to put a disclaimer out there: There is no shame in utilizing that Summer School, camps and VBS during the Summer. Some years, that's all you got and you just have to go with it. Mom guilt has no place here, and even though we all struggle with it, just let it walk right out the door with the kids in the morning on their way to Summer School.
Ok, now that we have that out of the way here are some things that can keep you sane during the Summer and that work:life balance game strong:
1. Make a Summer Bucket List
Include the kids in this one, ask what things they want to do this Summer. It can be small things like going to the pool, taking a trip to the closest amusement park, playing outside in the sprinkler, doing a few fun crafts... just like with anything else, if you don't write it, it doesn't happen. I have a list of things that we want to do. As I am scheduling my weeks (another key part of keeping the sanity) I check the list and see if there is anything that will fit in to the week that we can do for fun.
2. Get a Housecleaning Schedule
Kids need things to keep them busy, so whether they are skipping from one activity to the next or sitting around the house all Summer, start with a list of chores they can complete (even my 2 year old has her chores she can accomplish). Then print out a weekly calendar OR use a chore chart to keep track of when they need done and when they actually do them. Bonus: they feel accomplished by contributing and that boosts their self confidence, and we all want that! You can use that Bucket List you made to find rewards they can earn by doing all their chores for the week. Bonus: if the kids aren't home or they are too small to help out but keeping the house clean is just taking the life out of you, get a house cleaner! Have them come in once a week or every other week and do the bathrooms, mop the floors, dust...anything that just makes it overwhelming to you. I have even had times where I just take our laundry to a drop off service. The wash, and fold/hang it up and all I have to do is put it away.... which sadly doesn't always happen as soon it it probably should lol. Figure out what are those things that you just hate doing and get the kids on those chores, or it's time to outsource!
3. Block Out Your Time
Whether you are a fellow entrepreneur or just need to have some "self-care" time, or both, practice scheduling that time into what you are doing for the week. Now, things come up, especially in the Summer it seems, but having a plan and time scheduled out will make it SO much easier for you to either say "no" (such a beautiful word) to random things that come up, or be able to rearrange things to make sure you get in the time that you need.
4. Take a Day Off
When all else fails, you just need a day off. Let me tell you a little story about me.... My husband used to travel with his job, we are talking 3-4 months at a time...GONE. I was basically a single mom for a good part of the year. So right now we are in a transitional period. After praying long and hard, he is switching directions and staying home, starting his own business. This is fun and exciting, but also a little nerve-wrecking and it's been a huge challenge to get into that sweet spot of synchronizing schedules and keeping up with everything. The other day, after a few days of feeling behind and totally off my game, I decided that since he was home with the girls, I gathered up all my work things and headed off to the coffee shop. I started out with a list, and then worked my way down. I felt 110% better when I got home that night, because I knew that I had gotten some traction on my ever growing to-do list and was able to just take a breather and enjoy my family time.
5. Be Active
You might feel like you are always "on the go" but unfortunately, your Apple Watch doesn't count that as actual exercise. Even when you feel like you just don't have the time, do it. Find a class at the YMCA, or join a gym that offers classes, and make sure to check that they offer childcare as well so that you don't have that excuse to talk yourself out of it! I love my Yoga class, my husband knows that on the nights or mornings that I have Yoga, it's non-negotiable. I accidentally took a week off after Memorial Day, because I totally had my days mixed up and thought it was Wednesday when it was Thursday or Friday when it was Monday, and it took a toll on my physically and emotionally, I just need that time and everyone else needs me to have that time too lol.
6. Plan Meals
Anyone else have a snack problem when Summer hits? How do these kids actually survive all day at school without the 234534 snacks that they seem to need everyday in the Summer? I keep a basket of healthy snacks in the pantry and in the fridge. Those are the options, period. I keep a weekly calendar on the fridge that has a handy place for meals, so when I cam scheduling out my week for the family, I can see what days we will be home and plan out our meals. It's not intense, or super complicated...trust me, if I can do it, I have faith in you girl. We are talking chicken nuggets and French Fries for the kids some nights, but it helps to take that decision of my everyday plate and makes things just a little easier.
These are a few of the things that I do to keep my life running smoothly in the Summer. You may need to start by just taking a deep breath and reminding yourself that you are awesome and doing the best that you can. That's all you can do sometimes. Pick just one thing on the list and put it into practice and see how it helps!
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