10 Ways I Keep My Summer Sanity
Summer… My kids home all day with me, neighbor children coming and going, slumber parties. My house is overflowing with children during the summer and I love it!
However, as a mother of 6 plus friends visiting our home I need a little extra organization to keep my sanity. We are spontaneous during summer break but also need some structure, especially for the toddlers.
Some of the tricks in my toolbox:
- I have several early risers so we have quiet time until 7 am. The early birds may read a book or do a puzzle quietly until then. After 7:00, it’s snuggle time with Mom!
- After lunch, if we are home, everyone has a rest time. Again, books or puzzles are appropriate activities as well as playing quietly in their room. After rest time rooms must be tidy before coming out. I work part-time from home and this is my office time.
- Everyone in our home is assigned a certain color of cup to avoid dirtying a new cup every time they want a drink. Visitors receive a cup with their name written on a wide rubber band or a disposable with their name in permanent marker.
- For outings, we have the bottom shelf of the refrigerator stocked with reusable water bottles. Containers are filled with grapes, sliced veggies, cheese cubes, etc., so we are ready for a picnic on short notice.
- We do not head to the pool or library until morning chores are complete (beds made, rooms tidy, breakfast cleaned up, laundry started, plus one additional weekly chore).
- We limit our screen time (phones, ipods, wii, computer, television) with ‘Tech Twigs:’ popsicle sticks labeled with the kids’ names. Each child receives 5 per week, with each stick allowing for 30 minutes of screen time.
- An additional chore list is posted inside a cabinet for those looking to earn a little extra money. It also quickly cures “Mom, I’m bored!” or can free a belonging from ‘Toy Jail’ (see below).
- Every evening before bed we have a ’10-minute Tidy.’ Any toys not picked up head to a box labeled “Toy Jail.” Toys can be redeemed by completing a chore from the Chore List.
- Dirty clothing or shoes left on the floor will cost the offender $0.25 a piece and go into Mom’s Starbucks Fund. I made enough for a caramel macchiato within the first week, but thanks to kids’ quickly learning their lesson, my income has diminished.
- In early June we devised a Summer Fun Calendar with dates for activities at the library’s summer reading program, friend swaps, parent/child dates, etc. We also scheduled a technology-free week and several ‘fun at home’ days. One day every week is reserved for grocery shopping and catching up on housework.
I would love to hear your ideas on how you keep your summer sanity!