The only things I remember from my childhood summers are Chinese school summer homework (I know, WTF?!) and lots of free time after I complete my Chinese homework (never the other way around.) We would go on road trips, camping trips, and short vacations but really nothing too crazy. I spent time playing with my cousins and we generally had a blast.
Fast forward to today, I’m finding a lot of my mom friends have their summers jammed packed. I called up one of my friends to meet up and she gave me a date in late summer on a weekday. Her summer is already filled with mini vacations, camping trips, family gatherings, friend’s special events, play dates, etc. I’m all for planning and scheduling ahead but their summer hasn’t even started and I am already exhausted for her and her family!
Honestly, I’m not sure our children need their time (and ours) occupied at all times. I kinda like the childhood that I had where there was some structure but also a lot of free time for play (within reason). I want my daughter to also have the summers I had as a child. They were simpler times.
In order to achieve a simple and easy summer, here are some tips:
DON’T SAY YES TO EVERY EVENT AND INVITE
Summer is the time to get together with friends and family but you don’t have to say yes to everything you are invited. Pick and chose what you really want to do and decline the rest graciously. If you say yes to everything, you are bound to fill up your summer calendar quick and risk getting burnt out. Also, remember, you can still meet up with your peeps the other months of the year too! Don’t feel the need to cram every single event in the eight weeks of summer.
RELAX ON THE USUAL ROUTINES
If you want to be able to enjoy your summer, you will have to relax on your usual routines. Yes, it is ideal that your children eat their meals and sleep at their regular hours but if it doesn’t happen every so often, it is ok too. They will eventually eat their day’s calories, catch up on their sleep, and rest (provided you don’t fill their schedule like crazy!)
EMBRACE THE SIMPLE THINGS
You don’t have to travel far or go to fancy play places all the time. Go to your local playground or a stroll around your neighbor is just as good. Have a picnic outside or eat a meal in your backyard. Embrace the simple things and you will be surprised how much fun you and your kids will have.
HAVE A COUPLE OF WEEKENDS FREE
Leave a couple of weekends free of any plans. Most likely you summer calendar will get filled up with events you must go to (weddings), events you should go to (birthday parties), and events you want to go (camping.) My suggestion is to leave the remaining weekends absolutely free. If you happen to make plans the day before, that’s fine. If it doesn’t happen, just enjoy the weekend and get some rest. The key is not to have something in the books all weekend. Some might be excited to have something to look forward to. For me, I would be looking forward to the weekends where nothing is planned!
BE FLEXIBLE AND ADAPT
Sometimes the weather doesn’t cooperate with your existing plans; play dates get cancelled last minute; or you go to an event one week too late! Rather than being too upset that your plans are ruined, just be flexible and adapt to the circumstances. You will find a different fun thing to do and create even better memories!