Which Kind of Summer Break Mom are You?

There are two kinds of stay-at-home parents:

1 – The ones who welcome summer vacation, who are completely stress free as they and their kids just wing it every day, stumbling upon adventures and just brushing off the daily squabbles between siblings.

2 – The parents who dread summer vacation. Endless days of kids crying that they’re bored, endless hours of sibling fights, endless minutes of chaos and disorder.

This post is for parents in the number 2 category. We all desperately wish we were like the number one parents. But we are not. We crave order and quiet. We crave time to clean the house or work at our work-from-home jobs.

Here are my two big kids on the last day of school last year, and a clear message to me that summer could have gone one of two ways.

I had my plans in place and followed a lot of ideas from this list, and summer turned out okay, no matter of how my kindergartener felt about the whole ordeal.

If you’re wondering how to enjoy the season most of us Michiganders live for, the three short months of summer and lake fun, I’ve got ideas to help make that happen.

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11 Hacks for Surviving Summer Break With Kids

Enjoying Summer Break Takes Planning

There may be other ways to enjoy summer break with kids, but the only way I know is to plan, plan and plan some more. You can still be “spur of the moment” mom – as long as you plan it out! 

Check out these ideas for Summer Schedule/managing kids over summer break.

1 – Create a Monthly Family Calendar

Put it on the fridge or somewhere visible, listing all the camps and activities/trips scheduled for each month. Kids can see what special things are coming up and feel a sense of order.

2 – Use a Daily Schedule Over Summer Break

Summer Daily Schedule for kids

Thinking I’m off my rocker yet? Kids crave parameters. And the great thing about summer break is that nothing terrible will happen if you go off schedule.

In fact, it’s probably fun to point out to kids, “well, we were going to clean our rooms today, but let’s to go the beach instead! (Which you had secretly planned, but now they think you’re an amazing spontaneous mom and won’t even wonder how you suddenly have a cooler packed with beach lunch). Don’t feel like a beach day? This schedule is here for you.

3 – Download This Summer Bucket List

Post it for everyone to see and let the kids check off things as you complete them. 

(See, now you can tick that beach day right off the list, spontaneous mom!)

Download the 2 page printable here:

4 – Have Daily Chores for Kids

This can be part of their morning routine. Everyone likes feeling useful. Create tasks that are age appropriate and explain to kids that they earn their screen time (or ice cream that afternoon or whatever) by completing chores accurately, and without complaint.

Kate has some fun ideas for getting everyone involved in household cleanup.

5- Utilize Childcare at Workout Facilities like MVP and Renew Mama

MVP Workspace adjustable desk (2)MVP Workspace adjustable desk

If you are a work-from-home mom, then you now how hard it is to work over summer break, when your stay-at-home mom gig is running overtime. Many local workout facilities offer childcare and workspaces. Places like MVP are a total win because you can drop your kids off to childcare, get some work done in their state of the art workspace, and then jump in the pool afterward!

Jump to find…
Camping Hacks
Summer Vacation Hacks
Beach Hacks
Hacks for Life After Vacation
Back to School Hacks
Lunch Packing Hacks
Meal Planning Hacks
Holiday Hacks
Road Trip Hacks
School Birthday Treat Hacks
Hacks for Helping a Sick Kid
Hacks for Surviving Michigan Winter

6 – Manage Technology Use with Screen Slips

Screen Slip Technology Management

It’s easy for kids to waste summer away looking at screens. Screens are addicting! And few kids can self monitor their screen use. Screen slips can help motivate kids to accomplish meaningful tasks each day before they log in to their iPads or video games.

7 – Make Each Day of the Week a Special Day

This year I want to check out a new trail or playground every week. So Tuesdays will be Trails Day. Since I’m a homebody, every afternoon’s fun time won’t be to go somewhere. And if the weather is better on Wednesday than Tuesday to go hiking, we’ll move things around. But this helps me remember to do these fun things, and helps the kids have something to look forward to.

Other special days might be going to a splash pad or swimming, taking a field trip, checking out a museum or other special place.

8 – Enroll Kids in Summer Camps and Vacation Bible Schools

Have each kid pick a summer camp they’d like to try (or more, if your schedule and budget allows.) It’s amazing how the getting-along dynamic changes when just one kid is removed from the equation by going off to a summer camp for the morning.

Need ideas? Find a camp in the Big List of 2018 Grand Rapids Summer Camps or all the local VBS’s in the Vacation Bible Schools roundup.

9 – Outsource the Kids to Friends and Family

Arrange for sleepovers at Grandma’s or the Cousin’s. Swap kids with your sibling – take one of theirs and they take one of yours for a couple of days. Again, changing up the kid dynamic cuts down on squabbles.

See if friends want to share with childcare. Last summer I took my friend Maggie’s kids one day a week (as our schedules allowed) and she took mine on another day. We each got a full day of work in each week and the kids got to play with their friends.

10 – Have a Summer Adventure Bag at the Ready

Pack a bag with the stuff you’ll need for impromptu adventures. Sunscreen, towels, water, bandaids, bug spray, sun hats, extra clothes, etc. That way you’re not scrambling to prep things for every outing. And if you’re out and about and decide to change plans, chances are you’ll have the gear to accomodate that.

11 – Ace Mealtime with Quick Grocery Pickup

This allows you to have adventure days that run as long as you’d like. Grilling is a great idea, as are crockpots.

Something local parents are getting addicted to is ordering groceries for dinner from Family Fare Fast Lane. You can choose curbside pickup, or in some neighborhoods, they will deliver to you!

There’s nothing like coming home from a day at the playground or zoo and having a tasty, easy meal ready to make without having to haul exhausted kids into the grocery store.

850 76th St SW
Byron Center, MI 49315

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Build Friendships With One of These Parenting or Community Groups Around Grand Rapids

Where to Find Your Village in the Grand Rapids Area After I had my first baby, I spent three months working up the courage to attend a mom's group in my area. I'm so thankful that I did because I quickly learned that we are not meant to parent alone. We need the support and camaraderie of other people who understand us. Whether it's parenting or fitness or finding a general support group, being part of a community is great for your well being. In addition to mom's groups, we've found [...]

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