Summer is almost here. You know that you’re supposed to be excited, but you’re in a panic. Honestly, you’re completely freaking out. If your child is in school, all of the end-of-year activities are enough to send your very planner packing for a month-long escape to Mexico. Yes, if your paper planner could grow legs and escape, it would at this point. If your electronic calendar could book a flight, it would. Just to get away from the crazy. Unfortunately, you can’t do that.
And that’s just the beginning. In a few weeks, you’re going to be forced not only to put activities in your planner, but to actually come up (from scratch) with things to do.
So that you can avoid the sibling rivalry, the “I’m bored’s,” and the rapid deterioration of your child’s humanity that come with summer break.
Want to retain any shred of sanity this summer and prevent your child from sinking into total madness and absurdity?
Here are 5 disastrous summer break plans that moms should avoid this summer:
- The Vacation From Hell
You spend 8 weeks planning it, your entire savings paying for it, and the rest of the summer recovering from it. What is it? It’s the vacation from hell.
It’s the exhausting vacation that sucks every ounce of bliss from your body and every shred of sweetness from your children. You do too much and push too hard until everyone is more exhausted than that guy who said he was going to swim across the Atlantic Ocean. (Did that ever happen?)
If you place your entire focus on this one event this summer, you’re going to be disappointed. Not only that—you’re going to end up wishing your family away.
- The Intensely Overscheduled Summer
Summer camps, weekly fireworks shows, play dates, soccer tournaments and swim lessons. You’ve packed your child’s schedule with things to do. At least you won’t hear the words “I’m bored” for the next 3 months.
You won’t. That’s because you will be so frantic trying to keep up with the busy schedule that you set up for your child that you won’t hear much other than: Mom, where are my shoes? Mo-om, where’s my bathing suit? Did you put on your sunscreen? Mom, what time was that birthday party? Mom, did you make my lunch?
You’ll end up resenting your kids for sucking the life out of your summer vacation and making you spend it shuttling them around in your Cheerio-encrusted minivan.
- The No-Plan Summer
Summer should be spontaneous and free, right? You’re the mom who doesn’t plan anything, because kids should have a break from the rigid schedule that they follow throughout the school year.
Let me tell you a secret: Kids don’t like spontaneity. In fact, experts say that lack of routine can contribute to a child’s anxiety. That can lead to ADHD-like behavior, temper tantrums, sibling rivalry and general chaos.
You don’t have to be rigid about it, but giving your kids an idea of what their day will look like can help prevent everyone from getting frazzled.
This can be as simple as sitting down every morning and asking the kids what they want to do that day. Setting up a general schedule that balances screen time, alone time and fun family time (and incorporates some of your children’s wishes) is a win-win for everyone.
- The Kid-Centric Summer
Your mom guilt has taken over, and you feel like you should spend every bit of spare time with your children. In addition to overscheduling their activities, you make yourself constantly available to them. You spend your days stepping on LEGOs and putting on Barbie clothes. If you have to brush a My Little Pony’s hair or create a miniscule Shopkins setup again, you’re going to scream.
The problem with devoting all of your time to your kids is that you don’t do anything for yourself. This can lead to resentment that makes you snap at your kids and wish the summer would just end.
Plus, you don’t even realize it, but you end up ignoring your kids MORE when you don’t carve out time for yourself. What happens is that you start doing and saying things like:
- Just a minute, honey. (And a minute becomes 10, 20 or 30, and then your kids bombard you with questions as you huff at them because of their impatience).
- Ignoring your kids when they talk to you. (Because someone is always You haven’t gotten any time or space to yourself, so you automatically just start blocking your kids out.)
- I just need ONE SECOND to do this before I can get back to you! (And then your child hounds you until you get back to them.)
Your kids notice when you’re trying to brush them off or ignore them. This adds up, and then what do they try to do? They try to get MORE of your attention. They bug you even MORE. They become relentless. And the amount of quality time that you have together actually becomes fewer and farther between.
Scheduling in time when mommy won’t be available can help set clear boundaries and give you the time you need. Your kids will understand that they don’t have access to you during these times, and they don’t spend the day buzzing around you like a mosquito out for blood.
- The “Fake Fun” Summer
All you want is to relax in the hammock, book in hand, and a little sun on your face. It would be nice to go to the beach to yourself. It would be amazing to spend an evening relaxing on your front porch without having to explain yourself to anyone.
But you feel guilty about telling your friends and family that you just want to be alone. So instead of taking that much-needed time to yourself, you fill up your days with social events.
You go on date night when you’d really rather eat by yourself while watching your favorite TV show.
You invite your friends (and their broods of children) to the beach when you really just want to lie in the sun and not have to experience that microscopic-but-debilitating heart attack every time you can’t spot your kid next to the water.
You go on a playdate and spend the day yelling at your child to share toys and clean up your friend’s house when you really would rather have your kids play in their rooms while you take a moment to regroup.
Defining what is really fun for you will help you avoid the “fake fun” that can leave you even more drained and resentful by the end of the summer.
Are you ready for this to be your dream summer?
Join the Virtual Summer Camp and:
- Get tips, activities and hacks that you can do in 10 minutes a day or less to help you find space for yourself, keep your kids occupied, and make meaningful, fulfilling summer memories.
- Join a group of other moms who are having more fun this summer–it’s seriously like summer camp (there’s even a talent show! No joke!)
- Get the accountability you need from a coach who has been supporting moms for 8 years.
- Make friendship bracelets (I’ll send you all the materials! We do this while chatting together LIVE.)
- Do this all without having to spend your life savings, leave your children, or get out of your bathing suit or pajamas.
You know that friend who always calls you to vent about her kids? She needs this too. Share this post!