A Mom’s Guide to a Stress-Free Summer

Summer comes along with warm, sunny days, bursting with opportunities for outdoor family fun. But by mid-July, the kids have been home for several weeks, and by now most parents are having a hard time keeping them busy. Long summer days end up turning into nightmares, particularly for busy working parents. The essential question is: how do you preserve your sanity over the summer holidays? And the answer is: through organization and planning. Here are some tips that will allow you to enjoy summertime with your kids.

A list of chores goes a long way
Make a list of responsibilities or tasks that your kids should accomplish on a daily basis. The list of morning chores may include: making their beds, brushing their teeth, getting dressed, tidying up their rooms, etc. For evening chores you may ask them to help out with dinner, set the table, feed and walk the dog, or take out the trash. Make each list age appropriate and add as many things as you like. This will keep your home organized, it will clearly communicate your expectations, and it will teach your kids a thing or two about responsibility.

Schedule activities
If your kids are not going to summer camp, you’ll need to come up with some activities to keep them happy and stimulated so that boredom does not set in and end up making everyone miserable. Plan play dates with the little ones. Organize pool parties. Take turns with the other moms to drive them to the mall or take them to the movies. Get yourself a weekly or monthly planner where you can jot down all of the activities and events.

A holiday at home
Whether it is due to a lack of time or money, if you’re not going anywhere this summer, don’t feel bad, but make the most of it instead. The key is to take a few days, or weeks, and put yourself in a “vacation” state of mind. Make rest and fun the top priority, even if it is for a couple of days, and plan accordingly. In this way, you’ll get the benefits of a vacation without the expense.

Take advantage of what summer brings
Summer days offer extras hours of daylight, so you can, for example, do some exercise in the late afternoon, or any other type of outdoor activity, with or without your children. After the kids have gone to bed, enjoy a romantic evening with your husband in your backyard. All you need are some candles to set the mood, mouth-watering snacks, and cool refreshments to enjoy a balmy summer night.

Don’t complicate things for yourself
Many moms think they can be “supermom” and although multi-tasking moms are pros at handling several things at once, there is always a limit. Take the summer as a time to avoid unnecessary complications. Plan simple meals like salads, tuna or chicken sandwiches, pasta, etc. The goal, here, is to avoid stress at all costs, especially in the kitchen where things can get chaotic. A good rule of thumb is: if you think it will be stressful, don’t do it. Go for a simpler solution.

 Plan something fun every day, for you and for the kids. Go somewhere you’ve never been or do something they've never done. But most of all, make your time with them more enjoyable and less stressful. Before you know it, the kids will go back to school, and you'll find yourself missing them. This is why the summer should be enjoyed to the max