if there is one person who is rocking this whole juggling being a wife/friend/momma/badass boss thing, it is my sweet friend, Sarah. sarah is a momma of three boys under 3 (yeah… i know). ev, bear, and baby huck keep this momma’s hands, days, and heart full. i’m continually amazed at how well and intentional she is with her time–with her friends, her kiddos, and her hubby. BONUS. sarah has an incredible story of how one beachbody challenge changed her life. so each month, she leads people through a fitness challenge group. follow sarah on instagram (because she will kick your butt with encouragement, truth, and challenges every day). and sign up for one of her challenge groups, here.
i asked sarah to pop over and share a handful of tips on how to own summer instead of letting the summer own you:
1. Plan out your summer, but include some free days in between.
An overly planned summer can make someone go crazy and end in burn-out. but if you don’t plan anything, you are more likely to end the summer with regrets.
Make a summer bucket list, sit down with your family or friends and plan out the must-do, can’t skip activities. Find the free events, discover the splash-pads, schedule out zoo and museum dates and camping trips and don’t forget to include a family ice cream date or two. BUT leave room for free days, too, so that you can go on random park dates, play in the back yard and do this thing called… relax (that is as much as your little will let you) Which leads me to my next point of…
2. let your kids get bored.
Although my kids are too young to say “mom I’m bored,” the moment those words exit there mouth is the moment I say what my mom always said, “I can find something for you to do… (sweep, fold laundry, dishes…)”. Allowing our kids to get bored opens the door for creativity and independence. it takes the pressure off you as mom allows you a little more free time, too. hey hey!
I CANNOT and REFUSE to entertain them all of their waking hours but I can nurture discovery and imaginative play. I do that simply by ignoring the whines and allowing them to become problem solvers of their boredom. My son will complain if I turn the tv off or tell him that we can’t go to the pool or ride bikes. After a few minutes of whining (which I ignore), I soon realize he is happily in his room playing with his toys or in the back yard digging up some yummy dirt. Which takes me to…
3. don’t be afraid to get dirty.
Life is too short. and I know you have plenty of hand soap and sanitizer and wipes, so play with your kids. It doesn’t have to be fancy or include some gigantic water slide. Have water balloon fights, blow bubbles, play with mud, paint faces because soon they will outgrow all of that stuff (except balloon fights) and be off to school.
Enjoy every snuggle. Every paint mess. Every sticky popsicle face because that face also holds the best smile (so worth it). Let loose and get messy. Mud and all. And if you have a hard time playing with your kid… I get you. It doesn’t always come naturally to me either but “The Power of a Playing Parent: Engaging and Connecting with our children” was a serious game changer in the way I parent and I encourage ALL parents to check it out (it’s a short, easy read).
4. take your kids on dates.
This one goes out especially to any family with a middle child. My middle child often doesn’t get the attention he would like because dad is riding bikes or playing ball with the oldest and mom is snuggling or nursing baby brother. We are very intentional about escaping the house with him for a sweet simple one-on-one date. It could be to Starbucks, the store, home depot or somewhere fun like the zoo… but that one-on-one with our kids makes them feel loved and appreciated (“I see you buddy”) and those are the moments that turn into unforgettable memories.
5. wear your swimsuit.
What? Yep. I said it. I started out this summer covering my body that just birthed a baby. but I hate sitting on the sidelines. Who cares about my stretch marks or cellulite?! I decided to own my suit with confidence and letting go so I could jump in the pool with my littles and making some memories.
Plus come on—you become cool mom when you engage in the water fights.