How to Stay Sane as a Parent During Summer Vacation

summer vacation

Noon today; my least favorite day of the year. It’s when I will ride through the pick-up line with the twins in the backseat dying for a nap since they do go to bed at noon to pick up my oldest daughter on her last day of second grade. The line will be long. Then I’ll drive to my other daughter’s school and pick her up from her last day of school. Then we will spend 11 long weeks trying not to lose it with one another. You see, I’m a mother with four small kids, and a full-time career I work from home. I used to love the idea of summer. Then we had our first one and my kids took approximately 3 minutes of their summer vacation to begin informing me they are bored.

I cannot spend every single waking moment keeping them entertained during summer. For one, I have articles to write. Secondly, we have a house to keep in order. Thirdly, they need to learn to entertain themselves. Fourth, taking four kids out to do things by myself while my husband is at work is something I don’t mind doing, but it’s not something I’m looking to do every single day. I’m a firm believer in using your imagination, reading books, playing outside and having fun outings on the weekends when daddy can be home and we can have family fun. He loves to join us for family fun, and it’s so much easier for me when he’s around.

Summer starts in a few hours in my house, and I can already hear the bickering that will occur nonstop for the next few months. I’m not looking forward to it. I’m looking forward to giving up the morning rush, yes. But I do like that my day is broken up by that and picking them up in the afternoons. It makes me feel more productive and it makes it seem like daddy will be home that much faster. Fortunately, moms and dads who also dread the endless days of summer with kids, I have some suggestions that make summer so much more fun for everyone involved; and most of them won’t even break the bank.

Schedule A Vacation

We, along with a couple of our favorite couples, plan a week-long trip to a gorgeous lake in the Tennessee mountains, or a weekend stay at a beachfront hotel. The boats go with us, we take the kids, and we just spend all day, every single day, on the boats. We jet ski, we water ski, we tube, we float, we drink, we eat, we wait for the sun to come down and then we dock and walk back up to our house, shower, cook something amazing and relax until it’s time to do it all again. Looking forward to something like that helps the summer go by so much faster. You may get in touch with a tourism agency to find and book the best activities to do in your destination.

Find Camps

We love summer camp around here. We do not do sleepover camp, but we find camps to send our kids to. This year is very exciting for me because my ‘middle’ daughter is old enough to join now that she is five. We have basketball camp in two weeks that lasts from 9-3 every day for a week. It’s only $60 per child, and that makes it affordable and makes my days that much simpler.

We have cheerleading camp at our local high school the following week. It’s from 8-12, which means interrupted and delayed naps for the twins, but it gets the kids out of the house and gives them something to do. It’s also only $60 per child, which is something like $12 per day to send them to do something fun. Many schools offer camps like this to raise money for their teams, and local YMCA facilities also offer day camps for kids.

Pick Days to Do Something Fun

My plan for the summer is to continue waking up at 5 am and trying to get all my work accomplished before lunch so I can spend some time with the kids in the afternoon outside swimming, playing on the trampoline, taking the golf cart out or whatever. I’m also planning on working ahead during the week so that I can take Fridays off and have three day weekends while they are home. This will allow me to take them on Fridays to daddy’s office to have lunch with him, to the park and to the splash pad. We can go visit grandma and grandpa at home, spend some time doing fun things and I won’t have to feel the rush or the stress of being quick enough to get home and work before we have to be back out of the house for various practices and things like that.

When you pick days to do library story time or other activities, your kids have something to look forward to and you still have a semblance of a schedule. It’s nice.

Photo by Getty Images


Leave a Reply