Mapping Out Summer: Top Tips for Moms
I can still remember the last week of August wondering how the summer had gone by so fast. It felt like it had just started and there I was making final preparations for back-to-school. Now, here I am amazed that summer is nearly upon us. So much has been experienced and accomplished over this past school year, and it’s hard to believe it’s almost over. Now that the beautiful weather is here I’ve been allowing myself time to think ahead and start to plan what this summer might look like for me and my family. At the same time, I’m giving thanks for a job that allows me to work “mommy hours” and have my summers off with my kids. Working in a school can be tough, but you will never hear me complain about having summers off!
Sometimes I like to plan ahead. I like knowing what’s coming up, especially when it’s something I can really look forward to. Other times I dislike planning ahead because plans can fall through for various reasons bringing disappointment. So my approach for this coming summer is to plan a few things that I’d like to do or get done and the rest of the time, just go with the flow and enjoy my time off. Here are a few things I had in mind…
I don’t think my kids realize how lucky they are to have a home away from home. They’ve never known any different so it’s easy for them to take it for granted, but for me and my husband, the cottage is our “happy” place. It’s only an hour and a half away on a quiet bay off of a larger lake. We’re at the end of the lane so there is quite a bit of distance between us and the neighbours. We own the cottage with two other families so the kids are entertained, while the adults have time to sit and relax. I like to go up several times for a week with my kids over the summer. There’s so much to do and also family nearby to visit and when Dad is done work for the week he will join us for the weekend. There’s a local farmers market every weekend and even the famous Keady Market less than an hour away. In all honesty though, all my kids need is the water, sand and a little sunshine and they’re occupied for hours at a time.
We have a few definite plans this summer that the kids are looking forward to such as trips to the grandparents, soccer, camping with friends and of course, going to the cottage. As much as I love to relax, it’s important to allow my kids time to relax too. They need time to just play, just imagine, and just be. I have lots of ideas for this summer such as strawberry picking, swimming and biking, play dates with friends, trips to the library, indoor playgrounds, splash pads and picnics at the park. I’m sure my kids have several ideas of their own as well and there will be days I ask them, “What do you feel like doing today?” and I’ll let them choose how we spend our day. I hope some of my ideas happen, but I’m not going to stress if they don’t. School days are so structured and follow routine so I look forward to the days where we don’t have to worry about what to do next. I know the summer will fly by and that schedules and routines will return once everyone has had a little time off and are (almost) ready for a little more structure to their day.
Last but not least I plan on a little Mommy time each and every day this summer. It may not look the same each day. Some days it might mean getting up a little early to squeeze a workout in before the kids wake up. Other days it might be the luxury of sleeping in. Date nights will most certainly be on the agenda and if I’m lucky, I may even get a few kid-free days this summer if the kids venture to Grandma and Grandpa’s house for an overnight. And for certain, some mommy time is going to find me with my hands in the dirt pulling weeds and harvesting vegetables until the mosquitoes drive me completely mental and back in the house for a few more chores before my head hits the pillow. The countdown to summer is certainly on!