Slow Down Summer: 4 Ways to Create an Unhurried Schedule for You & Your Family
by Suzanne M. Harvey
Everyone needs a break. The end of the school year is almost here and I am done and so is my son. We are ready for a less crazy, less structured schedule. And yet when I talk to moms and scan the internet, I am overwhelmed with articles, blog posts, Pinterest pins, etc. about creating summer schedules for our kids. I am pushing back on this one and saying a loud NO! Growing up I never had an overscheduled summer. We had time to play with the neighborhood kids and go to the pool and spend hours at grandma’s house while mom & dad worked. I wasn’t stressed as a kid. In fact I didn’t have a care in the world. That’s what childhood is supposed to be, right??!! So this summer we are taking a less structured approach. I am not throwing the baby out with the bath water here, just a simpliefied, more flexibility and more relaxed approach for all of us. Doesn’t that sound like a great idea? Here’s to slow down summer and the 4 ways you can create an unhurried summer for you & your family. I hope this helps take the pressure off of you too!
#1 – Limit Work & Extra Activities
We have so many options for classes and camps that it is easy to fill every moment of the day for our kids while we push through too many hours at work. But we all need a break! I am setting specific work hours for myself and sticking to them. If you are not self employed, discuss options with your boss like a 4 day work week or maybe half day off Fridays. For my son, we are picking just one activity or camp per month. His summer will be baseball, golf camp and impact week (this is a great thing our youth group does – the kids do local service projects during the week then celebrate with a day at the local amusement park). I am even working on my husband, trying to get him to talk with HR about a modified summer schedule for his direct reports. We might just find this slower pace creates better work, more creativity & better humans.
#2 – Take a Longer Vacation
Summer is the time most families take vacations. These can be extremely stressful and not relaxing at all. I don’t know about you, but I find that I work up until the last minute then rush around trying to get everything and everyone ready to go. By the time I get there, I am exhausted and wound too tight to relax. Then by the time I am relaxed, it’s time to go home. This year we are allowing extra days before and after vacation. Hopefully this will allow me to feel more relaxed about the whole process and enjoy our vacation to the fullest.
#3 – Create a Summer Reading List
We all know that reading is a great escape and encourages our creativity & imagination. And every mom wants her kids to keep reading over the summer so their brains won’t turn to mush. And bonus this also keeps them off the tablet & video games for at least a little while. So we are creating reading wishlists for the summer. Our plan is 1-2 books per month to keep our minds sharp and our creative juices flowing. And if you are planning a road trip, audio books are the best!
#4 – Get Outside
Being outside is so good for our bodies, minds & souls. We know we don’t get enough outside time (especially with our long MN winters). So this summer, playing outside is will be a priority. Not just for my son, but for me too. We have some great trails in our neighborhood and lots of local parks to explore. We will get outside everyday to soak up the sun.
#5 -Have Tons of Fun
Summer is supposed to be fun. When we overschedule, it just becomes stressful. No more of that! The goal this summer is to have fun. Take time as a family to make a list of fun things you want to do this summer. Make your own summer bucket list. And remember, simpler is better. There is a reason that little kids love the cardboard boxes instead of the toys. Summer is the best time to have lots of fun and make great memories.
While we can’t return to the “old days” we can help ourselves and our kids find a slower pace for the summer. We set the tone in our homes and we are setting an example too. Let’s show our kids the importance of slowing down, taking care of ourselves and recharging. I think we be amazed at the fun, creative and inspiring summer we can have. Are you with me? It’s time for a slow down summer and creating an unhurried schedule for you and your family.
Interested in the benefits of an unhurried schedule for your kids, check this out!
Have an amazing slow down summer & let me know how it’s working in your family.
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I am Suzanne Harvey, a woman of faith - boy mom – wife – entrepreneur – interior designer – skincare business owner – lover of music & bulldogs. Like you I wear lots of hats and juggle all the things. In all of that it is easy to lose sight of who we truly are, what truly matters to us and how to slow down to enjoy the beauty around us. Thanks for joining me on this adventure to find beauty in our everyday with encouragement, laughter, plus tips & ideas to help you find your own kind of beautiful.