This is my kids’ last week of school and I’m dreading summer vacation. It kind of makes me feel like a crappy mom to admit that but it’s true.
The transition to a new routine is always hard on us. Autism and ADHD like Routine (hey–I am not Autistic and I don’t have ADHD and I LOVE ROUTINE!)
Summer is hot. I hate hot. Summer is not my favorite.
But as much as I want to hibernate this summer (seriously–summer hibernation should be a thing!), my four boys need a mom who is upright and functioning this summer.
And I want to have a GOOD summer, the kind where we make memories and keep the yelling to a minimum. Gotta keep the expectations realistic, folks.
So as much as Summer seems like a slightly annoying, sweaty, loud house guest, I want to be hospitable and welcome Summer into our lives.
The say the first step to solving a problem is admitting it, right? But the real reason is WHY. Solving this problem means listing the challenges I face during these months.
Step 1: Admit it
Here are my four biggest summer challenges.
Lots of energy: My boys have a LOT of energy. The sun is just peeking over the horizon and they have already fought 47 wrestling matches on the couch. I usually awake to the sound of grunts and screaming. Their energy is exhausting.
Lack of Schedule: School is wonderful because it is structured and my twins thrive on structure. We have structure at home too but it just isn’t the same as school. Plus the transition from School schedule to Summer Schedule is traditionally very hard for them.
Heat: Heat is a challenge for me. I hate being hot and I hate sweating. Heat saps my energy and makes me crabby. Yea summer.
Different Ages: Summer activities are challenging because of the different developmental stages of my children. My twins are 8.5 and I also have a 3 year old and a 1 year old. Finding activities that suit all 4 is difficult.
So there they are: my summer challenges. Here’s what I am doing about it….
Step 2: Make a plan
In our family, my motto is “PLAN or DIE.” I really want to be alive in August so I need to make some plans that reflect the priorities that I want our family to have this summer.
The Weekly Plan: My kids do better if we get out of the house each day. Otherwise the wrestling takes over. I’ve found that doing activities that take a lot of energy (like Amazement Square, our local children’s museum) are best scheduled at the beginning of the week, when I have a lot of energy, and a trip to the library, where we can load up on books and movies, is best for Friday, when I am running on empty.
The Screen Time Plan: I have a love-hate relationship with screen time. I already say ‘yes’ a lot but I don’t want them glued to the screen all summer (it’s a good way to get them to stop wrestling though!).
My plan is to use Screen Time Bucks to earn screen time. They can earn the bucks by doing chores or even playing outside. Yeah…I am not above bribing my kids to ride their bikes.
Reading/Bible verse Plan: I want to have reading and Bible memory plan for this summer. My goal is to make a sticker chart to track their progress for either reading to me or listening to me read to them. Practicing a memory verse will also earn a sticker on the chart.
Find a Babysitter: My final summer plan is to find a babysitter. All three of my regular babysitters went home for the summer (BOO HOO!) and realize that having a regular sitter is going to be essential to creating summer time fun.
Step 3: Make time for everyone’s’ needs
In the mornings, while it is only blazing hot and not infernally hot, I need to find activities that can suit all 4 boys. Some activates are out, like skating, bowling, swimming (pools freak the living daylights out of me!) and classes that cater to certain age groups.
Parks, our local children’s museum, and the Splash Ground are good for our family.
In the afternoons, my three year old and one year old take a nap and the angels sing in the heavens above.
In the afternoons, I also want to do some activities with my 8 year olds. Our library is hosting a STEM class for their age group. We did this class last year and they loved it. This is where I need a babysitter.
Making time for Me: Developing a new afternoon routine is where I am going to struggle this summer. I need quiet and alone time in my day, as well as physical and mental rest.
During the school year, nap time is when I blog, read, or rest too. It’s really easy to let Micah and Benji have 2-3 hours of screen time during the napping hours and I may let them do that some days (They are dying to get a membership to ProdigyMath), but I want to spend some quality time with my older boys so my plan is to allow some screen time for them after lunch so I can regain my mental faculties and then transition into reading time with them. I am going to try to set up theme days too, like Lego Day, Drawing Day, I-pad Day, Reading Day, etc. to try and focus our afternoons (we’ll see how that goes. Pray for me).
Transitioning to Summer feels overwhelming to me. Our house is small and my boys’ energy is huge. Summer is hot and the days are long.
But I want to have a good summer with my kids and I hope, that by making plans, I can dread it less and enjoy it more.
What about you?
Do you dread summer or love summer?
What plans are you making for you and your kids?
I hope that my story can bring hope, healing, and happiness to you. TheBamBlog is trying to grow! Did this post encourage you or would it inspire someone you know?
If so, please share! Thank you! 🙂