Oregon Blog Earth Monkey Moms 
Summer Lovin’. That’s what this blog post is all about. I refuse to call it summer survival skills….I know it can be a bit of a lark for some…..the whole ‘getting through the long days of summer’ and ‘how will we survive without killing an offspring?’. But just between you and me I do feel that if we start out with that mindset…then, well….things can only go downhill from there.
I’m convinced that even in the midst of snot, pus, fountains of wee, exploding diapers, kids who destroy, kids who are klingons, kids who cause bodily injury and harm and the constant opening and shutting of the fridge and emptying of the pantry…..time with our children is precious. As corny as it sounds – those little people who fill our swagger wagons – they are a delight and are not supposed to be a drain. An honor and not a hindrance. A blessing and not a bother.
So. Let’s get practical. What are some things we can do to help our summers go well? I asked my always reliable and totally inspirational list of facebook friends for their best summer thriving tips. Here goes – hopefully there’s something in here for everyone, something that can just help you for where you’re at…..
* Put together a list of things that are being put on by the community – these are likely to be free too! Make the most of free movie nights in the parks, the library summer reading programme and other activities the library puts on etc etc. Check your local city council website for more. (Make the most of what other people will organize for you!)
* Speaking of other people doing the work for you, and of ‘free’ – don’t be hesitant to use the free lunch offerings if they have them in your school district…..I’ve been told that if the free lunch services aren’t used (even by people who could easily afford to make their own lunches) then those services will loose their funding and that would mean that the people who really do struggle over summer to feed their kids would miss out. So..it is a win win situation if we use the service.
* Create a bucket list of ideas of activities to do with your children and have plenty of free and low cost options…pinterest is full of these ideas….
* Ice-blocks. Make it a summer full of cool and sweet treats. Home-made/ bought – whatever. Not only do they cool the kids down, but they provide a welcome chance to just sit down and enjoy something together.
* Make sure you talk in the language of ‘let’s……’ when planning things with friends….avoid the ‘we shoulds’. If you actually make a plan and get things on the calendar – then things actually happen.
* Buy a pool/ borrow a pool/ become best friends with people who own a pool.
* Don’t spend all day cleaning – work on a 30 min plan.
* Plan easy meals using the crock-pot so you have more time for outings, or plan to grill/ bbq. Or plan to use the bbqs at parks/ beaches/ playgrounds so you can have a longer outing.
* Have a backyard campout.
* Go media/ technology free for a time.
* Organize a street party/ bbq.
* Build forts – inside and outside
* Redesign and redecorate bedrooms.
* Take family walks/ bike rides in the evenings.
* Take care not to over-plan and over-schedule your time……vacations and even staycations can get very tiring, especially when you factor in how draining hot weather can be.
So these are just a few thoughts that my friends came up with….what can you add to the list? Please comment below, we’d love your input…….
I’d love to see more people actually thriving over summer – not just surviving.