It may seem like the height of summer after all the cooking out for the holiday, the parade and the high temperatures. But it's only July 7 and there are plenty of days before the kids go back to school.
How are you surviving the summer months? Here are what some moms are doing to keep the kids happy and keep their sanity.
Okay, here is how I am coping with summer home with three kids – aged 14, 12 and 7.
First of all, I am missing my Patch deadlines by playing Lego Batman with my 7YO.
Second of all – I am taking my contacts out and putting on my glasses before I drive my 14YO all over the place at night so my eyes don’t get so tired.
I am insisting they all help me around the house. The older two empty the dishwasher and do their own laundry. The 7YO folds his laundry and feeds the cats.
I’m engaging the older kids to help watch the 7YO if I need to run a quick errand or two. If, however, they watch him while I go on a date with my husband or out with a girlfriend, I pay them what I would pay any babysitter.
I am making sure I get at least a few days of good exercise in every week, and trying to catch up on sleep. Oh, and I am not weighing myself every day.
Finally, and most importantly, I am indulging more in the freedom of flexible bedtimes to not worry about waiting until the house is picked up and all the kids are in bed before I pour a glass of wine and sit on the porch with the hubby. Remember, it’s for the children.
I’m not really sure it’s all sunk in yet. Summertime! This is my first official school break as my oldest just finished Kindergarten and I didn’t plan ahead. Of course, I thought about it a ton, but kept believing I still had time. Guess what? I didn’t. Now I’m in scrambling mode.
As a stay-at-home, work-at-home mom, I’m struggling to function with all three kids at home, not to mention the fact that they’re going insane.
So what’s my plan now? I’m looking at a couple vacation Bible schools in the area as well as a soccer camp that still has a few spaces. I’m so thankful for the Tire Park, Opies, Catonsville Park, and my sprinkler. Without those things, I’d be losing my mind as well.
However, it’s my mom friends that really keep me going with play dates, trips to the Zoo, and even a couple mom’s night outs (for my own mental sanity). I know I’m not alone in this hot and sticky vortex.
One of my kids is a crafter and another 100% into sports, so on any given day we’re alternating between art stuff and obstacle courses. They’ve also been helping me around the house. In fact, we’ve just introduced allowances. I’m actually amazed at how excited they’ve been to complete their chores, especially considering they have no idea what a dollar will buy.
The good news is I’m not the only procrastinator and I know that, come hell or high water, my kids aren’t going to spend the entire summer watching Power Rangers.
I feared the last day of school.
My smart friends had their kids signed up for swim team, summer camps, sports teams, etc. I had nothing. That’s right, n-o-t-h-i-n-g. Well, that’s not exactly fair. I did have one week in August planned.
No, this summer, it’s just been me and the kids—largely directionless. Part of it is that camps and pool fees are expensive. Part of it is that you have to be somewhat organized ahead of time. But the real reason? I really, REALLY like my freedom and flexibility.
Today, I’m planning a field trip to DC. I’m hoping to take the kids NYC sometime over the next two weeks. Last week, my husband called up my parents, who live in Williamsburg, to see what weekend they’d like to take the kids for some sightseeing. Nothing’s firm and we’ll see what happens. But honestly, being this type of active (or lazy depending on you look at it) works for me.
Now don’t get me wrong, there are trade offs—days when the kids watch far too much tv, workbooks that sit on the table with spines uncracked. And yesterday, when I said “My children’s job is to make me nuts. My job is to make my kids believe they’re need therapy one day. I’d say today, we both accomplished our objectives,” it was funny, but also, true.
But, you know? It’s the price I choose to pay for the illusion of freedom.