Like so many of you, we are over here anxiously wrapping up the last few weeks of homeschooling. The past 2 months have been an adventure with my 5 kids at home and 5 different schedules to navigate. This isn’t the typical end-of-year celebration that we’re used to, and the welcomed summer freedom might not feel as free-ing as we all hoped. And to be honest, I’m kinda dreading it. How can we make this transition easier??
Unfortunately, the best way to keep sane is to keep a schedule. Now I’m not saying every minute of the day needs an assigned task. I’m saying for your sanity and for the comfort of your children, it really is best to time-block out your day, to be sure you accomplish the necessities, as well as make time for fun. Try to wake up, eat lunch, and go to bed around the same time each day. Children thrive with predictability, and we need the chance to tell them “it’s not snack time yet!”
One of my favorite ways to start each day is waking up before the kids. I am, by habit, an early riser. I’ve found that if I can get up, get a little exercise in, and get myself somewhat ready all before the kiddos are up, my day goes much smoother! A few minutes alone before the chaos ensues is such a great way to do some personal reflecting and preparing. It's the whole 'oxygen mask on the plane' concept: take care of yourself first, and then you are much more capable to take care of your kids.
Depending on where you live, your community has specific guidelines and protocols that you will need to adhere to. In most instances, our parks are still currently closed, as well as the local swimming pools, arcades, and jump parks. Without access to all those, for sure our summers are going to look a lot different this year! Swim lessons and t-ball games are no longer calendared in, and who knows if we’ll be able to host those backyard BBQs. Navigating this new normal will be a challenge and depending on accessibility and current regulations, we might be forced to continue our entertainment close to home.
Discover a new trail in the foothills, look up a nearby campsite, or set up your tent in the backyard--my kids love this, and so do I. Plant a vegetable or flower garden and teach your children to take pride in their work as they take care of it all summer long, and even better, get a chance to eat some of it! Help your children create a love exercise. Walking, jogging and riding bikes are all great ways to get your whole family moving. And hopefully, create some healthy habits that stick.
Settle for Less than Perfect
With every day bringing something new, our usual summer plans might need a little more adjusting. There’s so much uncertainty about what the future holds, and the best way to face it is to just straight-up accept it. Our trips to Disneyland and the beach have all been canceled, reunions need to be rescheduled (not sure if this is a bad thing?), and who knows if the children will even get much interaction with their friends this summer. And do you know what? It will be okay. Maybe I’m saying that more for myself than for you, but either way, I think it’s something that we all need to be reminded of.
I’ve once heard the concept, “perfection is the thief of pretty dang good”. As moms, we tend to be a little hard on ourselves when all the ducks aren’t in a row. So when the summer plans don’t pan out and the baby’s wearing the same clothes for 3 days in a row and your kiddos spend a few more hours watching tv than their allotted screen time allowed, it’s okay. We’re doing our best in this current situation and all that matters.