As summer approaches, it’s easy to get caught up in making it an epic, unforgettable summer for your children.
You hear “they only have 18 summers!” and you immediately start to question if you’ve done enough and made enough memories. I know that for me, my oldest is 9, and it hit me that after this summer, half of his childhood summers will be gone.
It’s hard not to let that thought bring me panic. But I’m going to tell you how you can make the most of your summers and truly prioritize the simple moments and what brings your family joy.
Backing up… I’ve recently been thinking about my mission and purpose behind blogging and social media.
Notttt because I have it all together or because I’m the most amazing mom on the planet. No, that’s not why.
You see, I’ve recently been talking with my children about their special talents. Recognizing what sets them apart and makes them special and unique.
It’s interesting to see what they say and observe. For example, my 9-year-old, Theo, thinks his special skills are speed, agility, and dodging. Now, he is a fine athlete. Are his speed and agility really things that sets him apart from other 9-year-olds? No, but of course I didn’t tell him that.
On the other hand, one of my twin girls, Margo, seems to really understand and identify her special skills. She told me that she thinks her special talent is caring for others and goodness gracious, she is right.
She is SO sweet and nurturing. She is always thinking of others and when I watch her play with her younger brother it is obvious that she is carefully making sure he is safe and having fun.
I’m starting to ramble and get off-topic, so I’ll get to the point.
When you recognize what you are good at- what sets you apart – what you have to offer- that is when you can truly make the biggest impact annnnd have the most fun!
Identify Your Special Talent
If I were to talk to MYSELF the way I speak to my children, I’d tell myself that MY special talents are accepting and welcoming parents to come as they are. To help them navigate parenthood in a way that is TRULY BEST FOR THEM because I recognize that there is no BEST WAY to parent.
And I also have a knack for finding the silver lining, making the best out of situations, and making small, mundane moments become extraordinary and beautiful.
So, how does that come into play with my blog and why am I writing about summer?
Because here it is. Here’s how you make the most out of your summer with your kids. It doesn’t matter if you’re a working mom, a stay-at-home mom, or a work-from-home mom. It doesn’t matter if you have newborns or toddlers or teenagers.
No matter what your style of parenting is, or what season of life you’re in, this will work for you.
Related –> My Thoughts on the Last Day of Summer
Choose One Thing
Choose ONE THING to be your summer fun thing.
If you’re crafty, then have a craft party on Friday evenings.
If you enjoy nature and live near the beach, have donuts on the beach Saturday mornings or beach dinners on Friday afternoons.
If you currently have 3 toddlers (I have been there!), make it something simple like water play once per week or daily popsicles after naptime.
Let go of what you are NOT good at and things that don’t bring you joy. If you’re not crafty and work a busy job, maybe have ice cream for breakfast on Saturdays. You can all get ice cream and spread a blanket on the ground and watch a movie together.
It can be big or small, but make sure it is something that is manageable for you. If you have newborn twins, don’t make your thing a trip to an amusement park every Friday.
So choose your thing: here are a few ideas!
- Popcorn and game night on
- Pizza and movie night (outdoor movie elevates it!)
- Sunrise breakfast on the beach or lake
- Ice cream for breakfast (we are doing this for the last day of school this year!)
- Popsicles after nap
- Make your own ice cream sundae
- Work on a summer project (make a quilt, write a book of short stories, work on a scrapbook, make a giant watercolor)
- Have a weekly library trip with a treat after
- Sports night (play a game of soccer, basketball, or kickball) accompanied by slushies
- Have a fire with hot dogs and ‘smores
- Craft afternoon
- Bake something new
Related –> Indoor Activities for Toddlers
Then, choose your time.
This way it is something that you can all look forward to! And if something comes up, or it’s weather dependent and the weather doesn’t cooperate, you can easily skip a week or reschedule it.
If you’re a working parent, choose something for the weekend and make sure it’s not something that will rain you!
If you’re a stay-at-home parent, you can choose a daily thing that’s anchored around part of your schedule (such as popsicles or water play after nap!).
You can also choose a small, weekly thing and one big thing.
My kids and I have had a tie-dye day for the past two summers and it’s become something really fun that we look forward to all summer!
Well, THEY look forward to it. I actually kind of dislike tie dye and we now own so many tie-dyed t-shirts that I honestly want to skip it this summer, but they love it so much that I don’t think I can HAHA! To make it extra fun, we tie-dye t-shirts and then we also make tie-dye cookies.
It’s super easy and fun and they watch a movie while they eat their cookies and wait for their shirts to dry. It’s so fun: I will try to get a post together with the tools we use to tie-dye and the process we use to make the cookies!
ANYWAY. Choose one weekly thing and one annual summer thing. Or don’t, you can choose just one, depending on the season you’re in.
Let the Rest Go
Choose your things and let the rest go!
I told you what my special talents are.
Want to hear what I am bad at? The thing that can really set me up for failure?
Taking on too much. Not saying no. Trying to do it all. (Yes, I am an enneagram 7, is it obvious?)
I’ve tried to do craft days with my kids and it’s not fun because I am not good at crafts and I don’t enjoy them. This doesn’t mean that my kids can’t do crafts on their own or that I won’t help them to the best of my ability.
But it does mean that I am letting go of the expectation to be a crafty mom. It’s just not going to be my thing!
So, I need to take my own advice because when I listed those ideas above, my initial thought was “I can do all of those!”
For me, when I try to cram too many things in, it takes away from the opportunity for ordinary moments to become extraordinary. We lose sight of the beauty in the mundane and the ordinary.
Our children need moments to be bored.
To lie on the couch and get caught up in a good book.
To fill up jars with rock collections.
To blow dandelion seeds.
To splash in puddles.
To look for fairy houses in the woods.
To fill the driveway up with chalk.
Happy Summer!!! I hope that you enjoy it and make precious memories with your children. Remember, they do not need something big or extravagant to have an epic summer.