Most likely you have already started or at least have been planning for the beginning of the Summer Time Juggle. If not, it is not too late.
As a working family, my husband and I have been playing this game for years. I feel like I should be an expert and prepared months ago…but, every year, things change…just a little. Every year, the kids are a little older and my parenting experience has widened…just a little. To say the least, this has been the smoothest transition into summer, yet!
In our family, we have been blessed with very involved grandparents and aunts. Although the family has routinely stepped in to help with the kids, my husband and I always fear our asking for help leads to others feeling obligated. In addition, we both seem to have the rebellious attitude of “we can do it ourselves.” The reality is that we can’t do it ourselves. Although my belief system has me convinced I am a full time mom and full time business owner simultaneously, my reality has resulted in anxiety, things slipping through the cracks and feeling extremely scattered.
What have I learned from this?
Good planning, asking for help, paying for help and an excellent schedule can help guide me and my family through a successful and fun summer time juggle.
Here’s what I do:
1. Summer Calendar
Start with downloading a calendar that is separate from your normal calendar. This is to be used strictly for the kids schedule and vacations. It is too much info to put in my outlook calendar and gets too crowded. Plus, it can easily be shared between family members and care givers.
2. Pick a couple of half day camps for the kids
Summer camp ends up being more expensive for two children than hiring a college student to help part time through the summer. This year I have planned 2 separate weeks of half day camps for the kids. I like the half day camps as they give an opportunity for the kids to play with other kids, be social and yet isn’t too long for them.
3. Find a Summer Helper
(If you have vacations planned try to find a helper that can also housesit!)
Luckily we have both a summer helper and aunt willing to help us this summer. I have already plugged in which days each person will be watching the kids and I have also added a couple days in there for me to be with the kids.
NOTE: the kids love the attention they get with their Aunt and the Nanny. It trumps their time with me when I am attempting to “work from home” while hanging out with the kids.
4. Plan Some Educational Routines
a. Summer Journal
We have gone (as a family) to the bookstore to pick up Summer Journals for the kids. My son will be entering his summer activities, thoughts, etc. throughout the summer and our daughter will be able to draw pictures and practice her letters. This will be a great keepsake!
b. Summer Workbook
Pick up a summer workbook from the bookstore! They are available for every grade level and can be fun way for the kids to stay involved with learning.
c. Trips to the Library
Part of the schedule includes regular trips to the library to keep their minds active and books flowing. The library has great summer activities as well!
d. Summer Reading Programs
Both Barnes & Noble and Borders have summer reading programs that reward your children for reading by giving away free books!
Summer comes and goes in the blink of an eye. Once I put together the summer calendar, it puts everything into perspective and shows how short and busy three months can look. It’s a time for letting some things go, focusing on work during work time and being present with your family during family time.
Here’s to you and your family having a great summer! If you have any great tips or tricks you have discovered, please share them here!
President & Mom