How to Find Time For Yourself When Your Kids Are Home For the Summer
June 23, 2017
It's summer vacation, YAY!! Time to rest up and relax and enjoy that summer sun. Whether you are a stay at home mom and your children are home for the summer, a teacher who is off for the summer or a working mom taking a couple of weeks off it can get tough having your children around 24/7! I know, I have 6 of them!
Let's start with this story: Finally, after doing crafts with your children this morning, preparing and eating a picnic together on a blanket in the backyard and spraying them all with the hose at the hottest part of the day, you send them all off with popsicles and tell them to 'go play outside in the backyard.' They all run off and you settle on the patio with a tall, cold glass of iced tea and that summer romance book that you picked up at the air conditioned library on yesterday's excursion to beat the heat.
You get about half way into the first page and your littlest runs up with popsicle juice running down his chubby arm. 'Mama, I sticky.' You get him cleaned up and give him a new napkin and send him off to sit on the steps to finish his treat. You take a sip of your tea and continue reading. A paragraph later, your daughter arrives, 'Mom, I have a popsicle stain on my shirt!' You tell her it's not a big deal, it'll wash out. She runs away to play and you pick up your book again, but your little one is back again to give you his sticky popsicle stick and napkin, 'Mama, for you' except it comes out with the 'r' pronounced as a 'w'. His face is also very sticky and you take him in and wipe his face, all the while thinking of your book.
You settle back in your chair, pick up your book, this time you get to read almost whole 2 pages before someone needs you. This time it's your older son, 'Mom, I can't find my soccer ball' which you sort of remember seeing under the hedge when you went in to get that napkin earlier, he runs off with it just as your daughter comes back saying 'Mom, I'm bo-ored!' in that way only kids can where they drag the word out into 2 whiney syllables. 'Can Julie come over?' Your little one comes back, he has heard his sister. 'Mama, I wanna fwend too!!' he whines. Your older son is back too, all he need to say is 'Mom (again in 2 syllables) and your shoulders start to creep up around your ears.
That one little word, mom, that usually brings you so much happiness, grates your nerves in the worst way when you want a minute to yourself. And because you have yet to respond in less than 4 seconds, your daughter whines an impatient 'Mah-um!'
And. You snap.
'I just need 5 minutes of peace to read my book!'
Sound familiar? Yah, me too... sigh.
But, there's hope for you this summer!
To see how I made these clips pop over to this youtube video
I have 5 tips that you can use to prevent this from happening, 5 ways for you to carve out precious time for yourself, so that you can enjoy the summer freedom as much as your children. They need the rest and fun, but so do you! You can't take care of them 24/7 if you aren't taking care of yourself first.
Grab that glass of iced tea and read on:
- Hire A Teenager - Let a neighbourhood teenager (or your own teen) take your children for an afternoon, preferably to a park to get them some fresh air and room to run around. You can have a nice quiet afternoon to yourself or get some work done. whatever your body and mind needs on that particular day. Teens are always looking summer jobs so why not make it a regular thing?
- Keep Your Children on a Schedule - Grab your planner and create a flexible summer schedule. Everyone is happy when they know what's coming. Okay, maybe 'happy' is not the word they would use when they know that putting away laundry and weeding is what's coming, but there are no questions and less 'I'm bored!' They know what they need to do to get what they want. I like to have them get their chores out of the way in the morning and then they can get a bit of screen time after lunch.
- Have a Rest Time or Nap Time everyday - Depending on the age of your children, they can either read in their rooms or nap or play quietly, on their own. Even if your children don't take naps anymore during the school year, they may find they fall asleep during their rest time in the summer. Especially, if they are up late due to nights that are too hot to sleep or summer evening activities. This way they can get up early and take advantage of the day before it gets too hot, nap, and then be rested up to continue into the evening. If you have children that share a room, I suggest sending one of them to your bedroom so that they can rest properly, without chatting and playing with each other. The key is to do this everyday so that they will come to expect it and if you decided to skip it for the day and do something else, it will really feel like a treat to them to skip nap/rest time to do something special. This will give them energy for the rest of the day and you a whole hour or more to yourself. Go ahead and add it to your planner now, I'll wait :D
- Steal a Cuppa - Things get rowdy, kids get loud and that makes one frazzled mama! If you notice that you seem to need a break everyday at the same time, then take a cup of tea or tall glass of something cold and go into a separate room and close the door, telling them they are not to disturb you for 10 minutes. If your children are not old enough for you to leave them on their own, still try going far enough away from them to make the point. Your children will soon learn that 'tea-time' is mama's alone time, they can't come ask you questions or request your help, but you will be back at their beck and call soon enough. This one takes a bit of time for them to get used to, be firm and send them away if they come before the 10 minutes is up and eventually they'll understand.
- Schedule in the Time you Need - Whatever you do, make time for yourself! Like the saying goes, if mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy! If you schedule it in, if it's down in the planner, you will be more opt to comply. Treat it like an appointment and that will make it more likely to happen. Go on, write it in your planner now!!
To watch how I made this bujo spread watch this youtube video
I know some of these sound harse, but having your children home ALL summer long can get really tough on a mama so don't be hesitant to try some of my suggestions even if you find them bit 'strict'.
If you would like to learn ways to negotiate your schedules and free time to fit in as much summer fun and relaxation as possible then join me in my latest class at Big Picture Classes. It's called Plan Your Summer and that's exactly what I help you do.
If you don't have a membership at Big Picture yet, you can take my class using their free trial, sweet!