The Ultimate Mom’s Guide to Surviving the Summer
Updated: Oct 24, 2019
Most kids look forward to summer all year long. They get time away from school, they can sleep in, and you might have some fun family activities or trips planned.
But, when you’re used to a certain routine as a mother, summer can throw you for a loop!
While it can be fun and exciting to have your kids home every day, it can also take a toll on your mental health if you forget to take care of yourself.
So, how can you survive this summer while keeping yourself mentally and emotionally healthy?
Don’t Forget to De-Stress
During the school year, kids tend to have pretty packed schedules. It’s actually probably a lot more stressful than you realize. When you’re so busy keeping up with it, though, you don’t have time to notice you’re burned out.
Unfortunately, worrying about what to do and how to fill your days during the summer can be just as stressful. Keep in mind that your kids need to de-stress sometimes, too.
So, think of ways you can all relax and take advantage of some downtime. Resist the urge to overschedule as that can leave both you and your kids feeling beat. Choose one day a week to let the kids stay in their pajamas, and stay home—watch movies, read books, bake cookies, etc.
These “de-stress” days shouldn’t have any set agenda. It’s just a chance for you to enjoy some time with your kids and some time at home without having to worry about anything else.
Create Checklists for Chores
Aside from your de-stress days, kids typically still thrive with structure in the summer. It will keep them from getting bored and will keep you from scrambling to keep them occupied.
Create age-appropriate checklists for your kids that include chores they can do each day. You can write up new ones or just have the same standard list for each child to complete each day. Let your kids know that they can’t do their own thing (go outside, play video games, etc.) until they complete everything on the list.
It’s a great way to teach your children responsibility while getting some help with things around the house, so you won’t feel overwhelmed.
Take Time for Yourself
If you need a day away from your children, don’t be afraid to take it! Even getting a few hours to yourself can make a big difference. Take that time to do something you enjoy and something that will make you feel refreshed.
Make sure you don’t isolate yourself away from your friends and family during the summer. Connecting with friends (especially other mothers) can make you feel like you’re not alone.
It’s important to keep your own identity during the summer, and not get totally lost in keeping the kids occupied the entire time. The more proactive you are with your own mental health, the better you’ll be able to take care of your children.
Finally, don’t forget to take care of yourself, physically. Summer is a great time to get outside and stay active. Exercising will give you a boost of energy throughout the day, and it allows you to do something kind for your body.
If you don’t have time to get a workout in on your own, involve the kids! Do something active outdoors together a few times a week. You can get a great workout in and teach them about the importance of physical activity.
Best Summer Ever?
If there is one thing all moms everywhere always thrive at doing, it's putting undue pressure on themselves. Summer is no exception. There can be self-imposed pressure to schedule trips, events and outings that will make this the most memorable summer ever.
This however can create unnecessary stress. In an odd twist of irony, often the most memorable times as those that happen spontaneously. And the well-planned and thought out times go horribly wrong.
So don't forget to take time for yourself, time with your family and time with your friends, and embrace the spontaneity of the moment. And maybe in hindsight, parts of this summer can be remembered as the Best Summer Ever. And if that is not the case this year, there is always next summer.
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Jennifer Perera is a mom, spouse and Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has over a decade’s worth of experience in mental health. She has a private practice in New Jersey, with locations in Cranford and Princeton. Her passion is helping new moms and dads find their joy again in parenthood through individual, group and couples counseling. Jennifer specializes in working with parents during the prenatal and postpartum periods and those coping with a pregnancy loss or infertility. Her other passion is travelling to different parts of the world and her goal is to vacation in a different locale every time. She also has a great fondness for cats!