It’s summer! The nights are short, days are long, and often even longer when you have little ones underfoot. Since I’m right there with you, I wanted to give you a couple of ideas for keeping your sanity while you enjoy what you can of the nice weather.
- Get into a routine. Summer isn’t the only time for a routine, but it’s a good time for a new one when the season changes. I realize this is easier said than done, especially because our little humans aren’t so savvy when it comes to agendas and appointments. However, do your best to keep the same general flow each day—especially naps and bedtime. Sleep is sacred!
- Schedule time for yourself. Again, easier said than done, but make time to exercise, see friends, even enjoy 15 minutes of time before everyone wakes up to check in with yourself and be alone. Communicate clearly with your spouse (if necessary) and coordinate so you can each fill your cups so you’re at your best.
- Be realistic. Toddlers aren’t going to make it through the Detroit Zoo in one marathon trip that lasts 5 hours. Okay, maybe they will—mine wouldn’t. So I just plan on seeing what we can, enjoying the time, and not stressing about seeing everything or being there all day. This goes for everything: my best Pinterest activity finds, road trips, BBQs with friends. Sometimes you’ll get lucky, mostly not.
- Go with the flow. So this may run counter to #1, but it’s okay to go off-plan for spontaneous fun. You’ll just have to weigh the pros and cons of missing baby’s usual nap time. This happens a lot if you’re on vacation, visiting family, or just out and about. Sometimes it’s okay to just relax and let the day unfold without a grand plan.
- Be prepared. I keep a summer fun “kit” in my car this time of year. A big picnic blanket, a change of clothes for each kid, sunscreen, diaper and wipes, baggies, even crackers and other snacks. See #4 for why, but you’ll also find yourself on “scheduled” outings wanting or needing these supplies.
There, that’s my list. I hope some of these help you navigate all your summer fun. It is possible to have a routine AND go with the flow. It’s just a balance of each and I know you’ll find your mix. Good luck!