How to Thrive This Summer with Your Kids {Not Just Survive It}

If  you have small children and you’re anything like me, you have mixed emotions about the summer. School is out, and regardless of how full your schedule is with day camps, VBS, or other activities, the days seem to drag a little more, they tend to be less-structured, and you have more hours than usual devoted solely to your children.

We don’t want to say it out loud, but we’re kind of dreading the summer. And we feel guilty because we are supposed to relish these extra minutes and hours while we can. But it’s hard to always be in that headspace…especially when we are hearing our kids yell “Mommy” approximately 5,000 more times than usual, or when we are yearning for some “me time,” or when sibling rivalry has reared its ugly head and there is exponentially more bickering, teasing, and fighting happening.

I confess, I’m dreading the summer a little. OK, a lot. However, I know it’s not the end of the world, and I know that this is good for me. It’s a new challenge, a deviation from the norm. I mean, what am I really afraid of? Not being able to keep my kids happy every second of every day? More time and space gives us a chance to just be and see where the day takes us. There’s something exciting about not having a schedule filled to the max. It gives us a chance to get creative or to just chill. Oooh, chilling sounds nice.

When my children were babies and I was super tired and stressed, my mom used to say, “Every day is an adventure!” It’s a true statement, but you have to make a choice – a positive one – to see life in that perspective.

With that, here are five tips on how to turn your perspective around about the summer and really enjoy your time with your kids ::

How You Can Thrive This Summer with Your Kids {Not Just Survive It} | Houston Moms Blog

1. Get in touch with your inner-child

Think back to the days that you were a kid and you were really looking forward to school being out for the summer. You got excited about more free time, and more time with friends. You went to the pool every day and ate popsicles and watched different TV. It was a very welcome break, and it brought you so much comfort knowing you got this break at the same time each year. Now, think about your children and gaze into their eyes. You will see the same kind of excitement lurking there. We can choose to be excited for them, as well as with them. We can re-connect with those feelings and play more, too. We might have gotten really good at “adulting,” but let’s face it, we are still kids at heart. Let your kids be your role models this summer and welcome the fun.

2. Turn up the music

It’s easy to fall into a downward spiral of negativity and dwell on the loss of freedom that we’ve gotten used to during the school year. But I have found that music has become a dear friend of mine whenever I recognize my brain heading in that direction. Put some tunes on the moment you wake up. Keep them on while your kids are playing, and sing together in the car. It doesn’t have to be that annoying kiddie music either. Play what you love. When your kids see you vibing to a song that makes you happy, they will want to hear that song too.

How You Can Thrive This Summer with Your Kids {Not Just Survive It} | Houston Moms Blog

3. Try something new

We get stuck in the same routines of taking our kids to the same parks and restaurants when we want to get out of the house. But we live in a huge city with TONS of splashpadsparks and thousands of restaurants. Spend a little extra time researching some new places in your area that you haven’t seen. Or maybe you’ve had some ideas in the back of your mind you’ve been wanting to try, or you heard was awesome. This is the time to discover new places and take advantage of what your town has to offer. Check out HMB’s awesome compilation of 50+ Family Friendly Houston Restaurants or the Houston Mom’s Guide to June . There are lots of great ideas right at your fingertips. The novelty of a new adventure will ignite your senses and keep you from feeling that dullness that comes from frequenting the same old stomping grounds.

4. Hit up your friends and family

Remember, you are not alone. Many other moms are going through the same summer-dreading funk, and we all know there is strength in numbers. Take advantage of your village, and plan some play dates and lunch dates. Let the kids play together and enjoy time with people who make you happy. It might take a little extra energy to reach out to people and get things booked on your calendar, but it will be worth it when your day is over and you actually got to interact with an adult and you didn’t feel so isolated. If you have family living nearby, call them too and see if you can schedule a day for your kids to hang out at their house. It might be that one day off you could really use for some self-care, or more realistically, running around like a chicken with its head cut off getting all the things done you’ve been needing to do for weeks.

How You Can Thrive This Summer with Your Kids {Not Just Survive It} | Houston Moms Blog

5. Remind yourself it’s not that long

Ultimately, summer break is pretty short, give or take three months out of the year. If you find ways to keep busy {or to relax a little more}, enjoy yourself in the process, and trust that your kids will find ways to occupy their time, it will go by quickly. You will look back and wonder why you were dreading it so much in the first place. The days may be long, but the years are short. You technically only have 18 summers with your kids {maybe more, if you’re lucky}. That’s not a lot. Enjoy them as much as possible, because one day you might wish for one more care-free, playful, music-infused, excitingly social three-month adventure with your precious babes.


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