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Summer And Structure?


Summer is in full swing!   We're already well into the dog days and right smack in the middle.  It goes so fast doesn't it?  The pool is full and loud, kids are outside constantly, the smell of neighborhood grillers delights and tank tops and sundresses are IN season!

What kind of "Summer Mom" are you?  Do you stay with the basic routine and keep everything kind of structured or do you just let things like bed time, healthy food, reading and the like go on vacation for the Summer?

I feel most of us kind of live somewhere in the middle depending on our natural tendencies.  Personally, I love structure, as does my older son, so we mostly stick with our routine in the Summer.  That said, I feel like the things I already struggle with, get even more challenging in the Summer.  

For example, my kids already go to bed later than a lot of their peers because my husband works late, we eat dinner late.....  In the Summer time, that bed time seems to get later and later and before I know it we've gotten WAY of track and are suffering the consequences.


That delicate word called balance might just be what we need to seek in this (literal) season.  Your struggle is likely different than mine, but I'm guessing structure is a challenge for you too.

I don't have a lot of answers, but I do have a lot of mom friends and here are a few ideas that have been shared with me:

If You Struggle With Morning Routine:   Schedule some fun play dates or sign up for a morning activity that takes place one or two days per week.  Allow another couple of days per week where the kids sleep in and you can all be as lazy as you want rotting on the couch in pajamas!


If You Struggle With Alone Time:  This can be a big one!  Many moms I've talked to have a hard time spending time in the Word during the Summer when schedules are unpredictable. Additionally, when kids are around 24/7 it can be difficult for mom to catch a breather.   Older kids are capable of respecting 10 to 15 minutes (or more) of "away from mom" time several times per day.  What a great example you are setting with boundaries- especially around your time with the Lord.  You can also invite them in at the end to share what you've read and how it can be applied.  

If You Struggle With Fitness:  Keep Scheduling Those Workouts.  Take it outside or to the beach. Enlist a friend to keep you accountable.  Know what you're going to do ahead of time to make it easier.  Enjoy our Sliders Workouts (they are FREE!).  Leisure walk a TON!

If You Struggle With Nutrition:  Keep on meal planning but give yourself a break.  Enlist the kids to help you.  Keep it simple.  Go to the Farmer's Market and pick out some great produce.  Keep chopped veggies in the refrigerator for snacks and sautee them up for dinner.  Use your Instant Pot/Crock Pot to stay out of the hot kitchen.  Schedule one night per week for a picnic. Plan your treats in advance or commit to just indulging in a taste of your favorite summer favorites. Pick up healthy take-out to take with you to the pool.  The options are endless when we make the choice to make it work!

If You Struggle With Wild Kids: I don't have a ton of advice here (hand raised)... BUT. Maintain a daily rest hour where kids are napping or enjoying quiet activities in their rooms.  Reward book reading or flash cards or math practice with a fun outdoor activity.   Balance high energy activities with those of a slower pace. Enjoy structured time focused on a specific task.  Create guidelines around technology and outdoor play along with chores so everyone's expectations are the same.  For example- there is no screen time until chores are completed, reading is done and 1 hour of outside time.  Checklists can be helpful for all ages. 

If You Struggle With Bedtime: (hand raised again) Those long days can make it tough to stay on track when it's still light out at 9pm plus there is no school in the morning. Try setting a "get ready for bed" alarm for both your kids and yourself.  Pick one or two evenings per week when the kids are allowed to stay up later so they are still getting a "treat" and do something special on those nights. We like to eat dinner outside and have extended outdoor play or family dance parties on these nights.