3 tips to letting go of the "summer shoulds" and having more fun this summer
Summer break is almost upon us. This year will be my first experience of having my daughter go on a true summer break as she graduates Kindergarten and gets ready for 1st grade. I am wondering how it will all work out. I have planned a balance of activities for her (some week long summer camps) and taking time off from my businesses to spend with her. Most of all, I feel fortunate that I have the flexibility and freedom to be able to plan what we have.
As I started to look around for ideas on activities or camps for her to do over the summer I was bombarded with countless options. There is a summer camp for everything! Tennis, swimming, farm school, dancing, gymnastics, art, science, drama. You name it they have it. As I began to click through all these options I found myself starting to think, what “should” I sign her up for? What do other moms do at summer with their kids? What’s the “best” thing to do? As though every decision I made for her summer break was going to determine the outcome for the rest of her life!
Finally I came to my senses and shut down my computer. I thought about my own childhood in Australia. We don’t do summer camps over there. You either stay at home - in my case with my mom - while she tried to not go too crazy. Or if both parents work you go to a vacation childcare program. Either way I always had a blast. We explored, rode our bikes, went to the beach, played with my friends and found ways to amuse myself when I felt the big “B” word (bored) showing up. I guarantee you my mom never worried about if she was doing the right thing or making the right decision. It was summer. I was a kid.
As I thought about this it made me realize the pressure as moms we often put on ourselves to make summer a scheduled action-packed, activity filled time for our kids. So by the end of it we are all exhausted.
Here are 3 tips if you are looking for your summer break to be more fun and less stressed for you and your kids.
Tip #1 What Is Most Important
The first place to start with making anything successful is to ask yourself what is most important? Identify the top 3-5 most important goals you would like to achieve for you and your family this summer. Is it having quality time together? Is it getting away as a family for a few days? Is it creating some downtime without any schedules?
What is most important to you and your family this summer?
Tip #2 Get Rid of the Summer “Shoulds”
The most important aspect of having a more fun, less stress summer is planning it in a way that is best for your family. It is getting rid of those summer “shoulds.” What you and your kids “should” be doing this summer.
Everyone’s summer will look difference based on our circumstances and the goals we outline above. Our work commitments, our finances and other things that may be going on in our lives all contribute to deciding what is best for your family. Your child’s best friend maybe signed up for every cool camp in town. However this might not be in your budget this year. Maybe your business or work is going through a crisis and you can’t take much or any time off.
You have a week vacation from work and you just want to have unscheduled free time with your kids. That’s OK. Take time to talk to your kids to make a plan that works best for everyone in your family. Don’t let anyone else tell you what you “should” be doing. It is just between you and your family.
Tip #3 Don’t Be Afraid Of The “B” Word
Hearing the “B” word from our kids can bring fear into many moms. Who hasn’t heard the “I’m bored” mantra? Suddenly as moms we jump into action. How do we stop this boredom? Do we need to schedule something? Quick let me Google a craft activity. We might tell ourselves if my kids are bored it must mean I’m not doing enough as a mom.
This summer try and embrace the “B” word. It is not bad. It is not a reflection on the type of mom you are. It just is. Give yourself a break from feeling responsible for making sure your kids are entertained every minute you are with them. Kids get bored. They will work it out themselves if given the chance.
What do you think is most important for having a fun and happy summer in your family?
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