Who’s ready for a break? This mom is! The last few months of this school year were completely unpredictable and stressful, and somehow included way more lunch and snack breaks than any student should require (who’s running this cafeteria, anyway?). In one word, we are exhausted.
If you’re like me, you go into these two months with high aspirations, wondering how to make the most of the summer months—how to do all the things and have all the fun. Every summer, I think, “I’m going to be the most fun mom ever.” But I start a little overzealous and then burn out. So here, in 9 simple promises, is how I pledge to make the most of summer vacation.
1. I will not overschedule.
Like I said, I get over-excited for the opportunities the summer presents. We’re going to the library! The park! A friend’s house! The beach! Before we know it, the summer has passed and it feels like we haven’t sat down. I pledge to leave a couple days a week wide open for wherever the day takes us or, even better, for boredom.
If most of our best childhood memories are playing outside and using our imaginations, then why do we insist on scheduling every minute of our kids’ days? This summer, I pledge to get excited when my kids say “I’m bored!” I’ll see that as their chance to get creative and grow in independence.
If most of our best childhood memories are playing outside and using our imaginations, then why do we insist on scheduling every minute of our kids’ days?
3. I will let a swim in the pool count as a bath.
I’m not gonna lie. This one is just as much for me as it is for my kids. Most days of the week close with me yelling across the house: “For the last time, get in the shower!” The days they swim, I breathe easier knowing they at least have clean feet. Yes, my summer hygiene standards are pretty low. Don’t judge.
4. I will let them have a “No Rules Day.”
This one is not for the faint of heart and we can’t do it the day after we clean the house, but a No Rules Day has so many benefits and summertime is the perfect time to do it. Click here for the gist. It’s a great way to show your kids you can be a cool mom and let them run the show—24 hours only!
5. I will plan meals to eat outside.
We are Floridians, so this one is going to require some shade. But I pledge to make some cool, refreshing foods for a Saturday lunch and head to the great outdoors, ants and all! Just taking plates and a blanket to the back yard will help us find peace and generate some new mealtime conversations.
6. I will let their rooms get messy.
Part of the ease of summer is loosening the rules. We can’t let the kids get on the roof or eat cookies for every meal, but one somewhat harmless part of their world is their bedrooms. So I will let the clothes lay on the floor and their beds stay unmade for a bit longer. Warning: While this might be tough for you, they might not notice the change. I think subconsciously they will feel it and appreciate Mom easing up a little.
7. I will read them a book and then watch the movie with them.
We all know the benefits of reading to little kids, but big kids benefit from being read to as well. It builds vocabulary, improves listening skills, and gives you quality time together. Back at Easter time, I read my sons The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe with the promise that we’d watch the movie together when we finished. It was awesome to see their imaginations create scenes that they later got to see on the screen.
8. I will relax.
Relaxing looks different to everyone. For some, relaxing means ignoring dishes in the sink and sleeping in. For others, it’s sitting on the porch with a lemonade and a book while the kids watch a movie. Relax the way you want. For me, it’s more breathing, less micromanaging.
9. I will not worry about how many summers I have left with my kids.
In fact, I’m not even worrying about this whole summer. I’m going to focus on today. Enjoy today, Mom!
What do you pledge to do this summer?