Monday, May 14, 2018

Summer Vacation: When a Plan is a Mom's Best Defense

Oh, summer vacation.  The thing our kids look forward to from Valentine's Day until the end of May. When I think of vacation, I imagine beaches and sunsets and holding hands with my sweetheart and amazing food and kids who are actually really best friends and reading and reading and more reading. The reality will probably be closer to the constant noise of Fortnite combined with whining about the lack of snacks in the house and the constant proclamations of extreme boredom. Soooooo, it's time to make a plan before summer turns into a train wreck!

First, chores. They just have to be done. They'll thank me for it someday. (I think that may be another parenting lie, but I'm running with it.) We are currently on chore chart attempt number 374, so it's time to create chore chart #375 for the summer. I stick to the very basics. We have animals that need to be taken care of, bathrooms to be cleaned, clothes to wash (if they actually put them away, bonus), floors to keep picked up and vacuumed, but that's about it. I normally have my house cleaned every other week, but not so often in the summer, so, before they can settle in on the couch for more screen time with a can of Pringles (which they should not be eating in the living room, btw) and a water bottle (let's be real, it's  soda), they have to do their chores first. If they choose playing before chores, then bubye, Instagram or Fortnite or whatever will make their little faces screw up at the injustice of it all.



Next, schedules. I just made our schedule posters for the summer. I got all family trips, campouts, town carnival and parade, youth trips, cousin camp, holiday trips, etc. all laid out on posters that live on our living room wall all summer. That way we know what days are open for some bucket list fun! Make sure you schedule date nights in there, too, or the weeks will fly by before you know it!

Now, you can't forget the crazy amounts of extra food that you buy in the summer! All the kids are home all day and when there's boredom, there's grazing! So we stockpile food like we live in a fallout shelter. I also make sure there are easy lunches that they can make for themselves since I still work part-time in the summer, but the real winner for summer is throwing together quick and easy picnics! I take about four loaves of bread and make ridiculous amounts of PB&Js and ham and cheese sandwiches, throw them in freezer bags, and voila! Super easy picnic sandwiches ready to go. They last really well in the freezer for about six weeks so I have another sandwich-making assembly line that happens mid-summer. It makes for the easiest picnics! It also saves me from spending a ton of money on drive-thru food during the summer (which makes the maaaany Swig stops that much sweeter).

Now for the bucket list! In the past we've had a water park pass and that was our go to spot for summer fun, but this year we're going to explore different pools in our neighboring cities. My kids could swim all day every day so we luck out since everyone can agree on that outing. They also LOVE trampoline places and just plain ole' playgrounds. So the next poster to live on our living room wall is our bucket list:

  • any movies we want to see
  • pools we want to visit
  • trampoline places
  • parks
  • escape rooms
  • probably a day trip or two

One of the biggest obstacles to get out the door is, well, getting out the door. This is why a summer bag should be your secret weapon! What is in the summer bag? It has sunscreen, bandaids, chapstick, ibuprofen, a few towels, wipes, water bottles, snacks like jerky and granola bars, quarters (honestly, that's weird, but they come in handy for that lurking candy machine), bubbles, deck of cards, etc. Grab an old backpack and you'll be set!

So, here's to having as close to a 10-week vacation as you can get! However you plan your summer, good luck! May the force be with you.

2 comments:

  1. Do you have this 3 months as a download? I’d love to be able to use these as a simple calendar. I have the Mormon Mom planners but then tend to have several other calendars around also.

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