The lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer are here mamas!
Oh wait. You don't get to lay around all day sunbathing and drinking lemonade while reading one of those books that's been on your to-read list all year? So, not so lazy then. Hazy probably, because you're spending all day outside in the heat and your kids are miraculously NOT exhausted when you get inside. And crazy because if you have to make one more snack for one more kid, you are probably going to lose your dang mind. Oh yeah, that's right. You're a mama. And when you're a SAHM, you get the added bonus of having all of your kids home with you to remind you that every second they are bored, hungry, or generally displeased with how the day is going. Whether you're a mama with a toddler, or you have older kids that are out of school for the summer, here are a few things that I think will help any mama make it through the summer and actually enjoy it!
- Outside is an activity. If you have a park nearby, or your kid has a scooter/bike/pair of shoes, they can be spending time in the yard or in the neighborhood getting some of that energy out.
- There is no shame in paper plates.
- If you don't want to use paper plates though, at least have the "one and done" rule. You get one cup/plate/bowl per day and you need to rinse it off when you're done eating, and use it again when you eat again. That way you're not washing mountains of dishes at the end of the night.
- Drink water. Make your kids drink water. Make your neighbor drink water. Especially if you're going to be outside a lot, it is a must. A must, mamas. Take a bottle with you wherever you go, even if you don't think you need it.
- Don't stress not having the perfect beach body. You shouldn't have to look like a fitness beauty from Insta in order to feel comfortable taking your kids to the pool.
- You're not a teacher, but making sure your kids do something for their brains everyday can help them out big time (think crosswords/word searches, puzzles, matching with colors or numbers, or even just reading).
- The library is cool and it's free. And they have AC and comfortable chairs, sooooooo...
- Summer dinners can be the easiest thing ever, because everyone is cool eating hotdogs and watermelon for every meal. Embrace it!
- It is so not your job to host a sleepover every night, and don't let the guilt trip get to you. You need sleep, too, and sleepovers mean you get basically none.
- Get together with your mama friends and make it a fun day for you, too! Whether you're meeting up at the park or the pool, try your best to make a day of it. Pack lunch, snacks, sunscreen, a blanket and get your fix of spending time with someone you like that doesn't want to watch you pee.
- Spend weekends (when hubby is home) to do the bigger things like amusement or water parks. Spreading yourself too thin with too many kids (or kids that are too young) for it to be a fun day is just not worth it. You need your man there, ya know what I mean?
- Have an arsenal in the fridge so that you're not prepping snacks all day. Think string cheese, lunch meat, sandwich bread, crackers and chips, cereal and milk, popcorn...All of these things can be a great snack for when your kids are getting hungry and can prepare themselves...OR take little to no effort for you to get for them.
- Invest in some bug spray. The only thing worse than a bug bite is a kid with a bug bite and no self control. That combo leads to bites the size of nickels and/or big scabs that take forever to heal. Just get the spray, okay?!
- S'mores are always a good idea.
- Letting your kids sleep in is great, but don't let it become a habit. Just remember that the later they sleep, the later they go to bed, so try to find a good balance.
- Don't drive yourself crazy wondering if your babe has a clean swimsuit. Do yourself a favor and throw them in the wash the second you get home from the pool, the beach, the backyard and do an express wash/dry. That way it's ready to go when you need it next.
- Keep a bag full of outside/beach toys in the garage and leave it there. That way you can just grab it and go, and you're not frantically searching for the pail and shovel that your child will die if they don't have.
- Kids still need naps. Obviously you're going to be hard-pressed to get your 8-year-old to lay down for a nap, but having a couple hours in the early afternoon for quiet time (napping, reading a book, listening to quiet music) is a must. Give their bodies and minds time to unwind a little bit after lunch, and give you a break in the day.
As mamas, we sometimes get the short end of the summer stick, because we're so worried about making things fun for our little ones. But just keep in mind that summertime is one of the best times to make memories as mamas and families, so take advantage of the sunshine, and don't stress, mamas! Follow a few of these tips and try your best to keep cool (and keep your cool) this summer, mamas!