In the last week of summer one year, I called the preschool my son was registered to attend three days a week, asking, “Do you have any five day a week classes for four year olds?” The secretary laughed and said she receives lots of requests for that in the last week of summer.
Both the school year and summer are two weeks too long. Why is that? Remember when we couldn’t wait for summer to begin? When the pressure of so many to- do’s, end of school year activities and assignments, left us aching for the slower pace of summer. Remember how those first few days of summer felt? …ahhhh! That was just six weeks ago! What happened?
Because the summer months are broken up with 4th of July, summer vacation and a variety of camps and watery activities, we lose any sense of routine. We’ve been in an irregular state of preparation, activity and recovery for too long. We become stressed and tend to blame kids being home for the way we feel.
In order to enjoy summer fully, try scheduling August. Stop reacting to kid’s wants, boredom or busy-ness and establish a routine for the rest of the month. Take control and plan! Assign each mid-week day a simple activity that remains consistent throughout the month. Consider your energy and stress levels first. This is not about enduring the next four weeks, but about enjoying them.
Keep it simple, remain consistent and call a sitter. Monday is for weekend recovery, then a trip to the library and lunch out. Tuesday is friend- over day. Wednesday is for shopping (with or without kids). On Thursday, spend time planning the weekend or work on a project while kids watch a movie. Friday can be picnic at the park day.
Be sure to include a few minutes of clean-up time too, and then post the schedule on fridge or bulletin board. Kids like routine too. Knowing what is expected and what to look forward to is satisfying for all.