SUMMERTIME STRUCTURE

We’re midway through summer. How are you surviving? As always, time has flown. I am pretty sure school just ended yesterday!

I think kids are asked to do an awful lot during the school year. It’s not as much the work as it is the lack of anytime for recreation. No wonder the 20 minute kickball recess game is so crucial for my son. I mean, school standards would take days to discuss and that’s not this blog! I will just say with all the work for nearly 10 months, I love the summer break!

I want my kids home. I miss them. When summer arrives, I feel like a weight has been lifted. I admit that it is at least, in part, the lack of homework and strict routine. However, we keep some of a routine in the summer because it just never works to “get back into the routine” the day before.

My son’s summer has been particularly busy because he played All-Star baseball until the tail end of July. He had practice or games night after night, including weekends. This is the first year we sent him to day-camp, too. Okay, I admit that helps. Most of all, it convicts me of the power of scheduling. Hear me out here.

If all summer days are laid-back, perfect! For my household, we have a lunchtime hour. We usually all eat within that timeframe. Same with snacks. And our household errands typically fall in the morning. For my toddler, the mealtimes are crucial. For my older child, he needs to know what to expect as the day progresses. It’s made a world of difference for his plans. He may want to do something specific, but he knows it’ll need to be done after lunch, for example. Call it silly or petty, but it is what works for us.

I also believe in asking for help. Sometimes errands and priorities cannot be done with kids in tow. Sometimes, it’s just easier without them. It’s okay, we’re being honest and real here. However, if you’re like most and money is tight, who has the means to do things without the kids? I suggest ask a parent or friend to do a summertime child-care swap with you. And hey, if you can swing an occasional babysitter, call a college kid home that’s from break who’d love to provide childcare for a summer job.

DO SELF-CARE!

Boundaries means that we are clear – both with ourselves and others – what is okay for us. If you need 20 minutes, take it! (I know, we need more like an hour, right?) I worked literally nonstop the last few weeks because I landed the other half of my dream job—I am a freelance editor. (More on that in another blog) I exhausted myself because I LOVE it but I need to prove I can do it more often than I was. You see-it’s a job I’ve been doing casually for the past 20 year. Now it’s possible to do it full-time. I dove in. I put my head down and worked. When I caught up and had one free night, I sat back, forgetting how much I needed to an evening off! And you know what? One evening meant I rested up and was able to fully give myself to the job the next day. We need that as parents too. Take care of yourself.

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