Hello! I'm Katie from The Terpblog!
Angela invited me over today, and I'm excited to be here!
This is our little fam -
my hubby Matt and me along with our three kiddos, Dylan (7 1/2), Ella (5 1/2), and Mady (2 1/2).
I love to blog about intentional living, organizing, crafting, exercise, eating well, and family life.
Dylan just finished up 1st grade and Ella completed Pre-K. The kids have been out of school for about two weeks now and we're starting to hit our summertime stride.
Now on to the topic at hand: how to maintain some summer sanity.
I've been at this mom thing for over seven years now and although there's still a lot I don't know, I have figured out a thing or two (I think. I hope.)
I LOVE being at home with my kids and I love the relaxed, unscheduled feel of summer, but, let's be honest, summer can make me feel a little crazy sometimes. Especially now that I have two school-aged kids, summer can hit me like a ton of bricks if I don't bring my A Game.
Looking for ways to stay sane this summer?
Here are a few ideas to try. They might not all be for you (i.e. if you have a child who isn't sleeping through the night, DO NOT attempt #2), but I hope you find something here you can apply to your life.
#1 Evening Order
Spend a few minutes each evening (after the kids are in bed) getting ready for the next day. Pick out the kids' clothes, unload the dishwasher, set the cooler out by the door, load the wagon and beach chairs into the van. Your morning the next day will be less stressful, and you'll be less likely to forget something while hurriedly gathering sunscreen, picnic lunches, three pairs of (semi)matching shoes, oh, and the kids. Don't forget the kids.
#2 AM Alone-Time
I'm currently working through a challenge called HelloMornings. The idea is to rise before your family each morning in order to accomplish some of those tasks that usually get pushed to the outer edges of your day: quiet time, exercise, and planning your day. I know this isn't a reality for everyone, but even waking up 20 minutes earlier each day will do you a lot of good. Work through your devotions, drink a cup of tea, and savor the quiet (because we all know it won't be this quiet again until bedtime!)
#3 A Clean Kitchen is A Happy Kitchen
I learned this lesson while working through 31 Days to Clean last spring. Don't ever leave the house in the morning or move on to your day without picking up the kitchen. Close up the cereal boxes, load the dishwasher, clear and wipe the counters down. There is nothing like returning from a play date at the park with a couple of sweaty, dirty, tired little ones and opening the door to a clean, sparkling kitchen. I guarantee you'll be hooked.
#4 First Things First
If you're anything like me, it's easy to get overwhelmed juggling it all: laundry, cleaning, mealtime, parenting, outside-the-home work, not to mention your roles as wife, mother, daughter, sister, and friend. Sometimes I look around me and see ten different things that seem to be crying out for my attention (is it just me or is the dishwasher ALWAYS asking to be emptied?) If I remind myself, first things first, I'm better able to focus and realize I'm only one person who can do only one thing at a time. And breath.
Here's an observation for you: the days I feel the most crazy tend to be the days I can't seem to step away from the computer or my phone. I've learned to recognize this and when it happens I put the computer on sleep mode and set my phone upstairs in my bedroom, away from the action. Once the distractions are out of my line of vision, I'm able to turn my attention towards the things (and people! like the little ones that live here!) that most need me at that moment. If you have good reason to be on-line during the day (I'm a part-time work-at-home mama), set up some "office hours" and then stick with them.
#6 Me Time
I'm guessing a lot of your summer plans revolve around your kiddos: swim lessons, play dates, beach days, water fights, endless amounts of Pinterest crafts. Yay, mama for planning some intentional summer fun for your little ones! But don't forget about YOU. Schedule in some time (I would argue EACH day) to something you love, even if it's only for a few minutes. Read a magazine, catch up on a show, go for a run, chat with a friend, hide upstairs in your bedroom and play Words With Friends (not that I would know anything about that). You're a good mom, I'm sure of it! Invest in yourself!
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
That's it! By following some simple "rules" you'll better be able to relax and stay sane for the duration of the summer. It might take a few tries to get these tips and habits to stick, but keep at it. A happy, sane, less-stressed mom is much better equipped to deal with a house full of kids and a calendar full of fun.
Enjoy your summer! September will be here before we know it!
Isn't Katie wonderful? I love all of her tips for staying sane this summer. Don't we all want to have a great time with our kids, without feeling like we're loosing our minds? I think all of her suggestions were spot on! Make sure you go take a peek around her blog. When I discovered her, I immediately thought she was awesome.