Summer is that magical time of year where you can spend day and night outside enjoying sunshine, warm breezes, being by the water, and getting fresh air. There are cookouts, pool parties, amusement parks, and countless outdoor activities. As moms, we’re trying to help our kids enjoy this wonderful but short season. Plus, in the last three years, we’ve gone from mostly having summer fun in our backyard to having summer fun everywhere except our backyard. There’s an overabundance of summer fun activities and limited time to do them all. Cue the Summer Stress for Moms.
The Stress of Planning Summer Activities
At the beginning of the summer, I looked at some lists of special events around town and tried to fit them into the calendar with all of our other plans of getting together with friends and family. Now it’s August and we’ve barely had time to do a few things on the list.
We’ve been busy with swim lessons, cookouts, trips to the library, summer camps, overnights with grandparents, visits to the New England Aquarium, Odiorne State Park, and friends’ pools. Not to mention trying to keep up with summer reading, exercising, and eating healthy. And yet I still haven’t been to the beach, seen the Barbie movie, or taken some time to chill by the pool. Plus, it seems that every family activity in a 50-mile radius is heavily advertised on social media, which leads to FOMO. To quell this anxiety, I have to remind myself that we can’t do everything.
Reduce Stress By Allowing Time for Transition Between Summer Activities
Because there’s only so much we can squeeze into a weekend or week night before it gets ridiculous. While the kids want to do everything, they don’t transition well from one activity to the other so we have to allow time for the transition and the tantrums that come with it.
It just seems like we’re always packing stuff to do at other places and then coming home and unpacking it just to do it all over again. Swim suits, beach towels, extra clothes, extra shoes, snacks, water bottles, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or other picnic fare. Meanwhile the kids are ready to go as soon as they get up. They can’t understand why it takes me so long to make sure everything’s packed (while they ask every two seconds if we’re going now). I want enough time at home to make sure the dishes are clean and the laundry is done (Haha! Easier said than done!)
Taking A Break from Summer Fun
During this summer, my husband and I have recognized when we’re burnt out and we all need a break from the sun and fun. We make the time to have chill days at home in the air conditioning. The kids don’t always like this because they ask all the time what we are doing and where we are going. My four-year-old constantly whines “I want to go somewhere!” and my six-year-old looks at me like I’m crazy when I say “We’re going to stay home and relax” on the days when my husband and I just need a break from constantly being out. Of course this leads to more screen time, but that’s just how it goes.
As a parent we want what’s best for our kids and we want them to enjoy all the fun things we did as kids. But we also have to accept that we can’t do everything and that’s okay. As much as my kids whine when we have relaxing days, I think it helps to enjoy the special days of going somewhere and doing something.
Because at the end of the day what really matters is that we were together as a family-whether it was seeing an awesome museum, going to a park, or eating dinner while watching a movie.
Do you feel pressure to do THE MOST during the summer? How do you juggle it?