I used to dread the idea of summer. Anyone? 🙋♀️ Don’t feel shy! This is a safe space.
When my girls were really little, Mother’s Day Out offered a summer program which meant for 3 weeks in June and 3 weeks in July, I had child care at least a few days a week. But once they got too old for MDO and summers meant 90 days home together, I was terrified!
I loved my routines. I loved being able to have alone time to work. Really just to think. Did I mention I loved my routines?
Covid pretty much broke my brain when it came to summers. We officially started 3 months at home over 2 full months early. By the time summer actually started, I couldn’t believe that we were basically starting from scratch on the summer countdown. I say all this to make it really clear that summers are not a vacation. I’m not telling you anything new but as I share this, it just feels really important to know where I’m coming from. I don’t have a laundry list of DIY ideas or a craft corner that is just waiting for that first day home.
With that said, I’m really looking forward to summer this year. I have prayed a lot for my heart to be as filled with excitement and passion for our home as it can get for work and the Lord has delivered. So maybe the first step is to simply pray for God to get you excited for summer?
But now, here are some official tips to help you embrace a summer rhythm, even if you arrive kicking and screaming and already waiting for fall to bring your routine back.
1. Prepare for it
I am amazed at how I think I can handle the same workload when I have less than ¼ of the work time. We aren’t limitless. Remembering that before summer starts may be your secret to enjoying the next 3 months! I get so excited to pack things in and then once it’s officially overwhelming me, I wish I had been a little less ambitious and content with less.
Ecclesiastes 4:6 says “Better is a handful of quietness than two hands full of toil and a striving after wind.”
I love this verse because I am the one who likes to have my hands full because I think it will make me happy. When I remember its toil and striving, I embrace the idea of simply filling one hand.
2. Learn to say no
I’ve already told you I’m not great at this so know that I’m working on this too. Get your calendar out. Write down everything you are already committed to. And then? Protect some downtime. Our brains need it and so do our kids. We don’t have to keep them entertained every day with a special activity that costs $20 per kid. My girls have gotten really good at playing with their toys and if they don’t have a lot of time, they get bummed. They don’t require lots of fun entertainment but I notice once we have a busy week of fun things, they start expecting it more. Learning how to play is similar to an adult learning how to slow down. It feels boring and even angsty at first but they can work through that to the really good stuff of enjoying the simple things of summer.
3. Find new fun routines
If you like routines, no one is saying you have to abandon your personality completely. Enjoy routines! Just embrace the fact that they aren’t going to be exactly the same as the school year. I struggle with letting go of things like this but my death grip on it only makes it harder. When I chill out, I actually have fun. Here’s a few idea of fun routines to incorporate into your summer:
- Public library on Thursdays
- Playdate every Friday and then Chick-Fil-A for lunch
- Quiet reading time every afternoon from 2-3
- Tacos at the neighborhood pool on Tuesday night
- Evening walks after dinner
- Saturday morning donuts with grandpa (we do this with my grandpa 🙂
4. Keep the old ones that still fit
When we embrace a summer rhythm, we can assume all common sense goes out the window. It doesn’t mean our kids can stay up till whenever they want. We still keep a normal bedtime in summer because it’s good for all of us but because it’s summer, it means we bend this more than during the school year. This means I can keep my routine of getting up before the girls for my quiet time, something I’m not willing to give up just for summer. 😁
5. Modify the rest
One routine I don’t want to give up during the summer but will cause more pain if I try to hold onto the school year rhythm is working out. I go to the gym 3-4 times a week and that just won’t work the same during summer. So we’re modifying it. Pilates at home a few days a week and I go before Tyler goes to work 2 days a week. I also incorporate more ginger baths (google it!) since I won’t be able to do the sauna as often.
Ok, now for some very practical tools that I hope are extra helpful!!
5 ways to keep your cool this summer – This blog post was so encouraging to me to read again. I took 5 quotes from my book, Grumpy Mom Takes a Holiday, and gave examples of how it relates to summer. Expect helpful examples that prepare you for little things that might cause friction this summer.
How to become an ambassador of hope in your home – Y’all know how much I have struggled with melancholy in the past. I have to fight for joy and that is so hard with complaining siblings who are bored or are hungry 5 minutes after you clean the kitchen. In this post I share 13 tips to help us be the cheerleader in our homes.
Grumpy Mom Takes a Holiday – This book is made for summer. 😜 With everyone spending lots more time in one space, it’s easy to get tense. Be reminded of the hope we have in God’s definition of motherhood because the world’s definition will tank us faster than a hot July day in Louisiana.
Fresh Start for Moms – If you love the message of Grumpy Mom but want to really nail down the habit of joy, this 31 day devotional will challenge you with a short and doable devotion and morning and evening questions that will help change your thought patterns about motherhood!
Pray with others – Maybe the life-giving routine you need to make this summer is one night out a week with other women to eat takeout and talk about prayer. We just shared last week a plan for going through Pray Confidently and Consistently as a summer study!