“Keeping My Cool”
Summer is all about keeping cool, eating ice cream and popsicles, swimming, and jumping the waves. But, how do we as mom’s “keep our cool!” with our kids, while they are out of school ALL summer! Lazy days, mixed together with the everyday life responsibilities and fun summer activities, and all that makes up summer! What does “keeping my cool” mean and how do I do it? Well…that is the current question in my mind and heart as we start off summer! Three words have become my summer motto; Balance, Planning, and Family!
First is Balance! Of course this is a constant word in Life! As a mom, the days are always going up and down and every now and then we are surprised when it all balances out. Our house is a lot like everyone’s; we try to balance electronics, outside time, reading, summer activities & camps. I strongly believe our job as parents is to make our kids aware of a healthy balance! Here are a couple of ways I try to balance life in the summer! There are endless camps and activities to sign our kids up for, so we sit down and really try not to over commit. They each do swim team (our first year and they love it), a fitness camp like soccer, football, gym and an arts camp~ piano or art. And I really try to stretch the camps out over the course of 3 months! Vacation Bible School at church is always a great time and we definitely need it!! Okay, so that being said, if we have a camp in the morning, I easily try to sprinkle in some down time after lunch, book- summer journal- math workbook. Then even if its a quick trip, we try to make it to pool or the bay to jump in the water and cool off. The water always makes us so happy and helps with those hot summer days in the South! After dinner, they like wind down on their Ipads and then we watch a family show or play a game. If we demonstrate and guide them through a balanced day, they start to recognize what is good for them and what balance feels like. Yes, some days are going to be top heavy with a long morning activity, late swim meet, or fun day at the beach; so you balance that out with more down time the following day. I feel the kids will learn to listen to their body and carry that into their teen years and adulthood!!
Second is Planning! I love to see the big picture of summer, down to the little picture and so do kids! I think when kids have an idea of what is coming up or what is planned for the next day they feel a sense of peace. They also might stop asking “what are we going to do today??!! “My kids, love routine and schedule ( so do I ), therefore I love to involve them in our summer plans! Even if it is a simple as errands, planning to go see a new summer movie coming out, or as big as looking forward to a summer vacation. The calendar helps us plan plenty of lazy days reading and eating popsicles and activities to keep the kids happy! At the beginning of the summer, I print calendars and the kids and I sit down with fun stickers and mulit-colored markers and get busy planning! The different personalities manage the calendar in different ways. Miles tends to have a lot of fun making the calendar, but then I find it on the floor of his room and he just kind of goes with the flow of summer. It’s probably a combination of age and gender. On the other hand Evian, LOVES making the calendar, hanging it up on her bulletin board neatly arranged above her desk, checking off the days as they go by, and reminding us of our upcoming plans! I am still a pencil paper calendar girl. I have tried to use my phone and sync with my computer, etc… but I just love my paper calendar!!
Summer has always been about Family! As a kid we used to spend summer traveling to see family, taking family vacations, and soaking up time together! I love taking the extra time in the summer to spend more time as a family. Ryan and I are blessed to have our own business so the kids come to work with me everyday! Yes, there are days that get a little crazy~ I think everyone needs a break from each other, but when I step back and reflect I truly feel so lucky to have my kids with me!! I love saying goodbye to the evenings of packing lunches, backpacks, and homework!! and replacing it with more family time! One afternoon, I was looking through a magazine and Miles’ said, “that looks good, can we make it for dinner?” I loved being able to say, “yes!” I enjoy adding more recipes to our meals that the kids can help me cook, and taking more time as a family in the kitchen. I am sure many of you are like me and during the school year we tend to not have as much time for little helpers in the kitchen. Miles’ helped cut all the vegetables for Summer Quinoa! He was so proud and I loved having him perched on the bar stool beside me! The kids are also loving more time in the evening to play family games! Bingo is the favorite game in our house right now. Ryan loves to pick up little candy prizes to play for! We have started a running tally and they look forward to the evenings when we have the time to be together and play!
Balance, Planning, & Family~ working together, help me “keep my cool” as a mom in the summer! Don’t get me wrong of course some days are smoother than others, but I truly try to embrace the blessing of being a mom and I have found if I “keep my cool” I set the tone for the family!
How do you “keep your cool?”