The summer is here, the temperatures have risen to scorching degrees, and moms are left to figure out what to do with their kids ALL DAY, EVERY DAY! That can be an overwhelming task to say the least. I think the first thing that comes to our minds is, let’s fill up our days and calendars FULL of events and fun. The only problem with that, is the very thing that we think will reduce stress (keeping the kids busy!), may actually cause stress! I have three little ones ages five and under. I have found that the days when I think they will just go straight to bed from sheer exhaustion by being outside, gone all day, fun with friends, etc., are actually the days it is hardest to get them settled down to actually sleep. In our home sleep is the goal- the prize if you will! At the end of the day, we need our kiddos to be tired, not over-tired, and out before nine o’ clock so my husband and I can actually spend a few minutes together before I inevitably crash while we’re watching T.V.!
In an effort to keeps things simple around here, and as stress-free as possible, my goal is to have a very relaxing summer. Here are a few ways I have decided to go about doing that:
1. Keep a schedule! There I said it. The ugly word- SCHEDULE! But many studies have been done to show that when children (and adults) stick to a schedule, they are more at ease and feel more in control of their days! Now, it is summer, and fun is absolutely necessary, but if you can keep to a (relaxed) schedule, I’m sure you won’t regret it.
2. Play in the Water. We live in Phoenix, and often when we look outside all we see is HEAT! So, we hermit inside for most of the summer. All of our bodies need that sunshine daily and playing in water can make that so much more bearable and even enjoyable! Plan to be outside every day for at least 30 minutes! Letting the sun shine on you for even 5 minutes per day is shown to naturally lift your mood!
3. Plan something fun ONCE a week! Whether that be a movie, splash pad, water-park, early morning zoo trip, bowling- do something! Summer is long, but if the family has something they can look forward to each week, it’s sure to calm those cooped-up jitters down and at bay 🙂 I think when you keep the BIG fun to only being once or twice a week, it helps lessen expectations of your kids looking to you to fill their time daily!
4. Plan a rest time EVERY DAY. Children big or small, and adults, all need some precious ALONE time! We do our resting time in the afternoons. Usually at that point we’ve had a morning to play, be out, be busy, and we need some time to just unwind. For your older ones, send them to their rooms and have them truly rest! No t.v., no videogames- reading, thinking, drawing,…anything that will help them to truly relax! For the little ones, encourage a nap, or quiet play in their rooms. I usually shoot for an hour, but usually get about 45 minutes. Mama definitely needs that time to recharge!
5. Plan some family nights! Although my kids are so young, they LOVE games. We have over 30 board games in their play room closet. Instead of filling your calendar with outings for the whole summer that will wear on everyone, plan some family fun at home! Whether that be a family game night complete with snack and fun music, to family movie night with popcorn, blankets and pillows in the living room! More ideas are ice cream parfait night or make your own pizza night with a buffet of toppings. One last fun idea since the days ARE so hot, plan to go out as a family to take a walk in a park at night- bring flashlights, glow-sticks, water guns, and make it an adventure!
This is my family’s plan for a stress-free & relaxing summer! What are some of your ways you get through these hot summer months?!