Summer is here and it can seem that we get even busier and feel more pressure to have a great vacation story to share with others. The pressure to perform during the summer months can give moms added stress, more anxiety, and even begin to break the family budget.
I have noticed over the years that summer and the expectation of providing an incredible vacation experience for our kids has become such a burden that we’ve lost the ability to slow down, be real, and recharge. How about we take some steps to provide an atmosphere of connecting, refreshment, and simplifying our schedules?
Here are some tips I am implementing this summer that I hope you will consider.
Cut Back on Scheduled Activities
Don’t get me wrong – I love summer Vacation Bible Camps and other fun summer camp programs for kids, but how about making it a special occurrence rather than booking your child (children) for every single one you can fit in?
Have your child help you pick out one or two special camps they are interested in attending and then decide on time factor as well as budget and whether it can fit in your family schedule. I love the free flow of summer and sometimes just waking up and deciding to head to the beach or a road trip, so leaving space for spontaneity is great for everyone!
Less Stuff = Less Chaos
Struggling each and every day to locate items can waste precious time and also feed anxiety, depression, and make you feel overwhelmed. Why not take some time to reduce what you own to make space for more? We are in the process of selling our large family home and will be downsizing in a big way (I will share more on that journey soon!). I am currently reading Make Room for What You Love by Melissa Michaels and it is helping me find ways to part with things that have been clogging my life for far too long.
Set Aside a Day for Sabbath
A few months back our family began implementing a Sabbath and it has changed our family rhythm in such a positive way. By setting aside one day a week to connect and focus on family time, we’ve managed to reduce stress, find space in our week, and honestly we look forward to this break which forces us to slow down.
Meal Plan Weekly + Repeat
A fun idea for meal planning and to help reduce the cooking time during the summer months is to rotate your schedule every two weeks. Have a two week plan which includes lots of grilled meat and salads where you grill several types of meat at once. Then you can easily make various meals from one set up of the barbecue. I love using grilled chicken for salads, sandwiches, and simple casseroles for summer. Serving lots of fresh fruit and vegetables can curb your time in the kitchen as well. I also love using eMeals for my meal planning, making it easy and a no-brainer!
Look at your schedule and home management tasks and decide what you can hand off to someone else. This has served me well for several years – having my kids and hubby get involved with tasks they are skilled in doing or learning. Helping out serves two purposes: it creates more space in my schedule and also teaches a feeling of community and belonging with our family. When everyone helps out, it dramatically improves life for mom and the entire family – making time for more fun stuff!