If you are anything like me, you wait all year until summer! You forget that summer brings with it a lot more that beautiful sunshine. Summer time is filled with moving up ceremonies, graduation, communions, confirmations, family barbeques, packing and unpacking for beach trips, trips to the park, etc. We look forward to reading a book under the shade of an umbrella at the beach! In reality, there is very little time for that if you are a parent. Sorry for that reminder. I literally remember the day I came to this realization. It was a traumatic day in our home. It hit me like an ice cold snowball in the middle of summer. I could not take a day off from diaper changes and slathering sunscreen – parenthood is not that type of job. My summers had changed forever.
With that said, I became more creative with our time. Children enjoy summer like everyone should! Take their lead. Don’t think about work on Monday while you are playing. Think of more fun things to do. Plan activities that provide your exercise and their laughter. Your peace and their fun! When my children were small we did not have pintrest, but we were creative. We would take whole days to create spaceships or forts out of a big cardboard box. I would give the children markers, glitter, toilet paper tubes, paint, chalk, stickers and whatever fun things I could find. I would sometimes take them to the craft shop to pick these things up (cheap). I would set up the box in the sun and cut windows and doors and help as needed. However, they took over, leaving me to sit in the sun and “supervise”. I recommend keeping a drawer or a bin with a variety of art materials handy… it will save your summer – I promise!
Check Pintrest for water catchers too! Have your child make one and you can help him or her measure the rain – make a chart to see which day/month it rained the most! There are a bunch of ideas for every age group.
Another handy thing to have is a big Ziploc with bug spray, sunscreen (including a face stick), bandaids and alcohol swabs, lip balm, baby wipes, hand sanitizer, napkins and a bottle you can fill with water. You can transport this from diaper bag to beach bag to overnight bag. I also used gallon Ziplocs when I packed for the children. I placeed entire outfits in each ziploc – from undies to hair-ties to shoes. I had a Ziploc for everyday – sometimes 2 ziplocs per day. It made it easy for them to dress themselves too! Keep Paper towels or Clorox wipes in your car – you would be surprised at what melts in the hot sun… or maybe you wouldn’t. These little things will make your summer sweeter.
My last tip for the summer. Say NO! Everyone I know goes out of their way to do everything! Don’t. Your summer will be more enjoyable if you commit to fewer things. As difficult as it is to say no to a friend’s barbeque. Remember that the invitation does not take your schedule into account. Prioritize. Pick the things that are most important to you and your family and schedule those first. Then, add sparingly. Don’t feel bad for saying no – people understand – they expect you to have some sort of a life. This took me a long time to learn. And, it was a summer-saving lesson.
Now… sit back, think of other ways to simplify. Act fast, the summer will be here before you know it. Once you have yourself more equipped, the more you will enjoy the season!