Rhythm is something you either have or don’t have, but when you have it, you have it all over.
Alright y’all…it’s that time of year. The backpacks are super smelly with that old rotten banana smushed into the bottom of it. The lunch boxes are impossible to zip because we’ve had one too many syrup spills. The shoes have so had it, but you’re hoping they can hang on for ten more days till we switch full time to flip flops!
And you…you are so done with this year.
We are dragging. Barely putting one wholesome edible lunch together each morning….pb&j again, Mom? You know where the kitchen is, honey….knock yourself out!
You’re afraid to open up your inbox because you know without a doubt there will be one more end of year activity/money collecting email from the sweet room mom. (Who was finished, might I add, with school in December!)
When did May become so horrible?
May is that month where we’ve got one shoe still in school and one flip flop in summer. We’re so ready to dive into summer, but there is an entire school building still holding strong onto one leg.
But, May can be the perfect time to start thinking about how our summer is going to look. We had two rain days in April around here. We like to call them Texas Snow Days! We tried doing puzzles, baking cookies, and reading, but the TV and Ipad were on more than I would have liked them to be.
So, those two days made me start thinking and preparing for the three months of summer that’s right around the corner!
I don’t want to get to the end of the summer and be asking, what did we do with ourselves? Nothing?
My goal is not to plan every second of the long hot days, but I do want to discover a summer rhythm for my family.
A rhythm that will flow easily one day to the next with some steering, but not with a white knuckle grip on the wheel.
Summer should have an easy sweet rhythm.
I want summer to be filled with lots of popsicles, watermelon, swimming, friends, night walks, movie nights, picnics, late night games of tag, ice cream making, spontaneous road trips, rest, relaxation, exploring, discovery, reading, creating, sleeping, vegging out and so much more.
But, no summer rhythm will be smooth flowing if I don’t consider the day to day mundane, right?
So, here are 10 simple ways I am preparing for a sweet summer rhythm:
- Morning time: I’m always torn on this one because nobody loves hanging out in her pjs till noon more than this girl and I hate to tell my kids to get up and get moving when there’s nothing I love more about summer! Besides, isn’t that what summer is all about? Pure slowness? I’m wrestling with this one, but I think I’ve come up with something that works for me. Before the kids can turn on any device, they have to make their beds, one empties the dishwasher (the older one) and the younger one will feed the poor dog. It is like pulling teeth to get the kids to feed the poor dog so I figure I’ll help him out and include him in the negotiations with screen time. You’re welcome, buddy!
- My husband and I have decided on a two hour limit per day for any screen time. That’s it and no more! I don’t want to hear how stinking hot it is out there!
- Which leads to me to #3…If the kids are struggling to find something to do on their own, I’ve made each kid this simple printout (you can have yours, too, here!) My goal is I want my kids to learn how to find activities to do on their own. I will not be the event director 24/7.
- During dinners this month, we have been talking about setting our summer goals/bucket list. Some are individual goals and some are entire family goals. It’s been fun to hear what each wants to do this summer. Talking about goals will help us when we get to the end of summer answer that age old question, “What did you do this summer?” I’m all about having a slow and restful summer, but that doesn’t mean we need to spend our days wandering from day to day aimlessly. Even if it’s one new thing to learn this summer….go for it!
- Bible Time: Each Monday I will choose a bible verse for the kids and me to read and apply to our daily lives. Lord knows we need it! I’m not great at memorizing bible verses, so this might be more for me than anyone else, but why not include the kids!
- We’re gathering titles for our summer family read alouds right now, too. Some of our titles include: I Survived Series, Diary of A Wimpy Kid Series, Survivor Series, Magic Tree House, anything Patricia Polacco, and Mr. Popper’s Penguins.
- Chores: If the house is a disaster, it’s hard to find a sweet summer rhythm, right? Since I could spend all day chasing my kids begging them to do their chores before they hit the pool or go outside to play, I will spare my voice (ahem… yelling voice) and replace it with popsicles sticks in a mason jar. Each stick will have a morning chore (after the vegging out in their pjs) or an evening chore and all chores must be done before starting their day and then again before dinner.
- This is where I totally slack off during the summer. I live five minutes away from the store, but during the summer, it feels like it is an hour away. So, here is my plan so I can spend more time at the pool and help with the out of control food bill at the same time. I will shop for ten days worth of meals. No more no less. During those ten days, if I go to the store I am only allowing myself to put in my cart milk and produce. Nothing else! We will have to live on what we have! I’m so bad about grabbing items not on my list and upping my bill. I suppose I’m giving myself a little lesson in planning and self control. Yikes! Wish me luck!
- Laundry –I find myself forgetting I even have a laundry room during the summer. Luckily, swimsuits are the main outfits for the season….no underwear necessary! However, for those few times we actually are dressed as human beings, my goal is to stay on top of the laundry this summer. I will do two loads a day and I don’t put a new load in until I’ve washed, dried, and put away the first load. Helps with laundry exploding everywhere in the house!
- After all that, my main goal is fun and relaxing imperfection! I will have days where the kids watch too much TV, the house is a total disaster, there’s no food in the house and it’s 6 o’clock, and the kids have had their fifth bath in a row in the neighborhood pool. It’s Summer and we’re rocking it!
Rock on Mom and Dad!