A Circle of Moms member who calls herself Momto5 says she's overwhelmed by the whirlwind of activities in her five childrens' daily summer routines. Everyday, all summer, she's driving them from gymnastics to swimming to karate to more swimming lessons. "Being a chauffeur is not too fun," she reports.
It's hard to believe how fast summer break flies, but now that we're well into it, Courtney L. speaks for Momto5 and many other Circle of Moms members who are frustrated and amazed by the way sports practices, graduations and other events have nixed all thoughts of summertime relaxation.
What happened to the plans for relaxing, playful days at the beach, picnics and catching fireflies in the backyard, or treks to get ice cream with the family, she wonders. Instead, she finds herself perplexed by how her summer calendar has been overtaken by an out-of-control roller coaster of events: "Help! I have four children ages 15, 12, 8 and 7 who are all now on summer vacation," she shares, and they're all over-scheduled. Like many of us, she just wants to create time for her kids to go to the pool. "My problem is, how do I maintain balance?"
Even toddler moms are finding their summers over-run with scheduled activities. Just how did summer turn into a blur of graduation parties, mandatory family get-togethers and sports practices, asks Cynthia B. "My twins boys are 18 months old and I find we're always running from place to place," she says, adding that she wants to stop the madness.
So how do moms create some semblance of a relaxed summer?, as Aarati S asks.
1. Make a List of Summer "Don't-Misses"
Making lists of fun summer things the family wants to do helps prioritize those events so that they are less likely to be replaced by more formal activities and invitations, says Lynlee W. "I have found that writing down what we want to do on the calendar helps us stay organized and do them."
2. Schedule in Some Low-Key Activities
Tammy B. says she has to work hard to create a schedule that allows for afternoon trips to the pool and outings to the library. While it all seems relaxed and fun to her kids, she says it takes strategic scheduling. "I've got the trips to the zoo planned, the day trips and the daily outings planned."
3. Embrace Boredom
"I thought the idea of summer vacation was to change the routine and relax," says Julia T. But, she says, she hasn't figured out how to do that for her two young children, ages four and eight. Susy G. has an answer: "So many kids just get ‘burned out' by the time school lets out that they are going stir crazy. Yes, kids need structure and routine, but let their summer routine include some time to kick back and relax, be alone, and, yes, be bored."
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