20 Jul Summer Madness or Summer Fun?
I’ve been a mother for 10 years now. And over the past 5, I’ve had kids in school. Now while I LOVE the initial excitement of “Schools out for the summer!!!”…. somewhere in the middle, I’d seem to find myself asking…
“Why is this fun again?”
“Maybe this is just suppose to be fun for the kids…”
Its kinda how I would also feel coming home from vacation when my kids were little. “Oh thank God we are home!” Because as much as it was exciting to get away, when little kids are out of routine and in new spaces— things can get challenging and be not so much fun.
This is how, at times, I noticed summer could turn out to be for me, and if Mama aint’ happy, aint’ nobody happy.
Looking back over my years in motherhood, I’ve definitely been one who’s learned to embrace routine… My first three kids were born in 31/2 years while my husband worked a full time job and was finishing his college degree. We didn’t live near family and I flew solo A LOT.
Here was my littles:
This was a challenging season in our family, but as I look back I have a lot of joy. I’m convinced that though there was a lot going on, I had a routine that didn’t allow life to pull me under. I lived in motherhood intentionally through a lot of busy up and down seasons.
Here is my kiddos now:
So this summer I decided to create a more substantial routine for my kids! Because the thing is…
I know it will benefit me. A routine’s purpose is to beneft YOU. Your peace. Your home. Your sanity.
I reluctantly posted my crazy plans on social media because I am always expecting my friends to lovingly rag on my organizational craziness. But instead, I got an intrigued response.
HOW I CREATED MY ROUTINE
The 1st thing I did was: ask what do we want to do this summer? My kids helped me out with this and we created a list of parks and places we wanted to go. I simply typed it out and printed it. Ours looks like this:
The next thing I did was research events, lessons, summer camps, VBS’s, etc. and decided which ones we were going to do.
I put the dates in my phone and I printed each summer month out so that I can hang it up and the kids and I can update it weekly. They love to be part of this process and see what’s going on. You can find the printable’s here.
I made a list of all the things that I needed help with, wanted the kids to do, didn’t want the kids to do and things that were important to me as a mom.
This looked like:
– Summer Study (Work books and such)
– Dinner helper (Prepping food, setting the table)
– Bathroom duty (Quick wipe down everyday)
– Electronic time (They earn electronic time once the things on their list are done. This is the best motivator ever)
– Rooms clean and beds made. (A messy house REALLY stresses me out)
– Lunch prep help. (We pack lunches most days)
I wrote all this down- then got real crazy and put all this information into excel. Calm down. You DON’T have to use excel. It was just easy for me that way. I decided to buy stickers and let them to update their charts throughout the day (now we have markers). This allows me to look at it and say—“Hey, did you get to this?” Or “Are all your morning things done so we can go?”
My sheets look like this:
Kids_Summer_schedule (downloadable link)
I print new ones every weekend and adjust them quick. Some weeks there is way less to do because of activities and travel and some weeks there is more to do….
I decided to make it fun for the summer and the kids told me that they wanted to learn to blow bubbles so I bought this HUGE tub of bubble gum (Thank you Amazon). This keeps them motivated as well as a full chart at the end of the week = Ice Cream date.
Kind of bribery. Kind of reward. But this has kept us on track. And we’ve been having an awesome summer! I am having fun, connecting with my kids, I am on track with my online classes, and we are successfully renovating a house. There will always be an element of crazy in family life… but as mothers and often times the home organizers I think we are called to be peacemakers. To make, create, calibrate and strive for an atmosphere of peace. I love 1 Corinthians 14:33 “For God is not a God of disorder but of peace…
So where are you at in your summer? Do you need to readjust? Do you need some routine in your Mom life? How can you help your home be more sane the rest of the summer?