Are you looking forward to having your kids home this summer, but also feeling a little overwhelmed about how to keep your sanity intact?
You guys. I’m a summer mom. I do ALL THE THINGS. I basically hibernate October through May, spending that entire time waiting for the sun and warm temps to return and then we head outside.
Beaches. Parks. Camping. Picnics. Bike rides. Water parks. Traveling.
I’ve genuinely loved these last two summers with my kids, especially considering that up until a couple of years ago I worked outside the home, which meant that my summers looked a whole lot different than they do now.
But just because I love this season doesn’t mean it’s easy. I still work nearly full-time from home. My kids still fight. They whine about being bored. They ask for screen time far too much.
It drives me bonkers.
Frequently I need my kids to self-manage so I can knock out my to-do list and then we can get on about the business of making summer memories. So here are some of my top tips to make your life easier this summer when the kids are home from school.
Summer Parenting Tips
Walkie Talkies: Mom, this will change your life. When you kid wants to ride around the neighborhood on their bike, go to the park down the street, or head over to the neighbor’s house to play for the afternoon, send them with a walkie talkie. This lets you call them home whenever you need without having to leave the house and track them down. It allows them to be more independent, takes some pressure off of you, and gives you a peace of mind to keep in touch if you feel they’re not old enough for a cell phone.
Morning Checklist: Kids do best with structure, and you can help them develop good life habits with a daily morning checklist that lets them prepare for the day without any assistance from you. Make a checklist and put it in a picture frame; each day your kids can check off their tasks with a dry erase marker and re-use it day after day. In our house, my kids have their normal getting-ready tasks, but also chores and reading/summer learning activities, after which they are allowed to watch TV. Their checklist also has the time that the TV needs to be turned off. This checklist makes it possible for my kids to completely self-manage until 10:30 am, giving me several hours of uninterrupted time to get work and other things done.
Snack/Breakfast Bin: My son is old enough to make eggs for breakfast if he chooses. I don’t trust my daughter unsupervised at the stove yet. So if the kids are going to be on their own through the breakfast hour, I need to make sure there are accessible foods available. Think about what meals you’d like your kids to be able to make for themselves. Breakfast? Lunch? Morning snack? Have a stash of foods available (either pre-portioned, or that you’ve portioned out yourself in reusable containers) at a level they can reach so they can self-serve when they need it. You can also use this as an opportunity to teach your child new life skills and healthy habits, like about the components they need to include in their breakfast or lunch to make a complete meal.
Story Time Website: Need just a few more minutes to yourself but don’t want to use the TV as a babysitter? Then set your kids up with Storyline Online, which will read a story to your child! Yes, it’s still on a screen, but it’s legit story time. I love this so much!
Summer home with kids can be amazing, but it also brings its own set of challenges. Finding ways to help your kids be more independent will free up time for you to get the things done that you need so you can get out more and enjoy the summer together.
What are some of your top tips to keep your sanity with the kids home all summer? Tell us in the comments!