So, it’s no secret that one of the things I’m doing this summer to keep sane is for our family to stay on a schedule. That isn’t so important for my daughter, who doesn’t mind going with the flow, but for my son (and myself if I’m honest) it just feels better when we’re on a schedule.
I have to say though, I do love summer. We all get more sleep, there’s less struggle with homework (duh), we get to stay in our pajamas more often (yes, sometimes I work from home and PJ day is required), and it just seems less stressful because well, it is less stressful.
There are some other things that I do to be more balanced and less high strung during our time off…
1. Team Home Project. I have the kids help me with a home project. Organizing the playroom, cleaning out and getting ready for a yard sale, and organizing the kitchen “Home Central” cabinet (honestly, it’s scary how bad it is and I know you have one too!). This project is usually on-going over time and once we complete one, we start another. The kids like helping and it helps the family (which is really important to us to teach).
2. Family Time. While the time this happens changes, we like to do something special together as a family. Game night. Movie day. Pool time and cook out. The kids look forward to it and so do I. During the school year this is hard to do.
3. Me and Me Alone Time. I am pretty good at taking care of myself. I have hobbies and I have a lot of good friends I make time for (and that make time for me!). I see movies alone and with friends, I hang out with them at home without kids, we play scrabble (on a board and everything!) and I take time to do things that really speak to me – like writing. I also really try hard to get away for a pedicure once a month although for some reason this is the only thing I feel guilty about (why is that?)
4. Date. If you’re with a significant other I urge you to take time every once in a while for a date. Leave the house; go bowling, a new restaurant, museum, meet friends for drinks, see a play on cheap tickets you buy same day or go listen to some live music (we did this recently and realized how much we missed it.) If you’re single still have date night with friends.
5. Give Yourself a Break. Seriously. I demand you give yourself a break about what you do and don’t do. Don’t judge yourself too harshly when you loose your cool. We all do, even if no one ever sees or hears us loosing our cool. It can live inside you and hurt your emotional health. Talk to a friend, reach out in one of our groups (check out our Room for Rants: a safe place to land when you want to rant about things that are bothering you, just ask to join.) but whatever you do be kind to yourself.
We all have a lot on our plates and we do our best. Whatever helps you get through the summer months is what you have to do, because man, it’s intense sometimes with our intense kids and intense situations.