Picnics, baseball games, swimming, parks and more; this is what summers are made for! How do you fit it all in? And the bigger question right now: How do you slow it all down when your kids just want to keep going nonstop?
The relaxed summers I remember as a child are the ones I often dream of for my own family. We are blessed to live in an area where there are all different types of summer opportunities, but with six children and activities for all ages and stages, even with the best planning, I find that the pace can escalate to a speed that we don’t enjoy. When moods are mostly grumpy and the complaints are flying quickly, then I know that we need to relax our ways of handling the days. Today I wanted to share 4 ways to slow your family’s summer pace when it starts to go too fast to enjoy.
1. Schedule rest days for the children after holidays and traveling days.
When creating a summer family calendar, many days I feel like I have no control over the busyness because of family, community or church events that I don’t personally schedule. When I see that we have a cluster of events, outings, or holidays, I do my best to make the day after the cluster a recovery day with no appointments or activities away from home. Even with my husband and I still working, I’ve found that giving the kids an opportunity to slow down and enjoy being at home is a good thing.
2. Declare an early pajama night.
Don’t have a whole day for rest? Don’t despair. Try putting on the pj’s an hour or two earlier than normal and sitting down to read a stack of books. Or set up a quiet time with soft music and a few puzzles.
3. Reschedule or even cancel plans when you know that your family is just too tired and needs a break.
Many parents fear what will happen if we choose to cancel an event and we often forge ahead although we know it is too much for our overtired minds and bodies. Of course, there are times when you must choose to plow through and enjoy as much as possible. But I’ve found that backing out of a plan is sometimes a better choice than continuing to pursue a fun activity that is no longer fun when everyone is tired and grouchy.
4. Turn off social media notifications and block out digital free times.
I made the decision to turn off all social media notifications and I don’t have Facebook messaging on my phone. I want the kids to remember Mom enjoying the pool, not reading her phone at the pool. Are there times when I check it while we are there? Yes, but making the choice to control the phone and not allowing it to control my choices is vital. The same goes for the time the children spend on electronic devices.
So slow down and soak up what remains of summer! To everything there is a season and we want to enjoy each one.
What ways have you found to slow down the family pace when it seems to continue speeding up?
Rachel at RachelWojo.com