Summer Sanity Savers: How to Relax More & Freak Out Less

I was so excited to say hello to summer break this year; no homework, no chasing down the school bus because your kids think hurry means go as slowly as humanely possible, no running to school in your jammie pants because your kid forgot his bag lunch and the bus for the field trip is leaving at, never mind, it left already, and now you’re driving to the museum in your jammie pants.
I love that summer means I don’t have to hear that noise.

Only, summer hasn’t been entirely better.

We’ve had a bazillion end-of-year parties to attend, and all of the doctor-dentist-orthodontist appointments that we had to reschedule a thousand times during the school year, and just adjusting.

I love their little faces hardcore, but being together all day is, um, weird.

Not weird, bad, but like, weird, hard.

As a work-at-home mom, finding time to work when The Dudes are all up in my grill asking for snacks and attention and fight settling and every single everything has been exhausting.

I need school to start back.  Or a week on the beach.  Followed immediately by three more weeks on the beach.

Probably I should’ve scheduled some time off to get back into the swing of things, to acclimate to working while surrounded by needy, noisy people again, but I didn’t.  And, my boss isn’t just like hey, girl, I know summer is hard for you, how about you just not meet any deadlines this week and focus on you.

That’s the I-work-for-Ryan-Gosling-and he-treats-me-special-because-I’m-beautiful-inside fantasyland that only exists in my head.

So, juggling it all is what I’m up to this summer.

Did I mention I suck a little at juggling?


Next week will be better!

summer sanity savers

Summer Sanity Savers: How to Relax More & Freak Out Less

1.  Make a plan.  We’ve tried the stay-in-jammies-all-day-and-go-where-the-wind-blows us summer thing before, and while a bra-optional lifestyle is pretty spectacular, it gets old pretty quickly, particularly to your don’t-wear-bras-anyway kids.  Kids appreciate direction and discipline and focus, so give it to them.  Structure can be relaxing too, and it will help you and your kids have more fun and get on each other’s nerves less.

2.  Have chore day.  Personally I hate doing chores always in the summer and I know my kids do too, but it’s easy to let your responsibilities slip away from you when you are busy soaking up the sun and eating ice cream for dinner.  We make Monday our clean and organize day.  This way we have a recover from the weekend and ease into our weekday on the agenda.

3.  Don’t feel pressure to go big.  Just because all of your friends are renting beach houses and flying to far off lands doesn’t mean you have to do that to have fun too.  I hate vacationing in the summer; it’s too expensive and every place is crowded.  We do our major vacays in the fall and do small excursions in summer.  I feel like we get to see more that way.  If your budget or preference doesn’t allow for it, don’t feel pressure to do a year’s worth of traveling in the 10 weeks of summer.

4.  Relax the rules.  I’m not saying skip naptime and let the manners slip–that would be anarchy!  I’m saying dessert before dinner every now and again, or hitting the sack sans bath is cool in the summer.

5.  Designate mom time.  In order to keep me from going all the way nuts, I instituted quiet time for the summer.  I was starting to feel guilty for shooing The Dudes away so I could take calls or respond to emails.  I was spending all day sluggish and exhausted because I was sitting at the pool during the day with The Dudes and having to stay up until 1am working.  I was cranky and stabby and forgetful and mean.  I needed a quick change to save our summer.  Ergo, quiet time.  Two hours every afternoon that we are home they retire to their individual areas to do something alone (away from me AND each other) while I work.  Everyone gets to recharge.  Added bonus, at least half of the time quiet time turns into naptime; ain’t nothing wrong with that!


  1. Tabathia B says

    My kids love video games and I give them an hour each to play their games and they have to play together

    tbarrettno1 at gmail dot com

  2. Sarah L says

    I use a great program called Time and Chaos. I helps me keep up with all I have to do. I get everything ready the night before since I don’t think well in the mornings.
    Thanks for the contest.

  3. says

    I keep all of my ‘to-dos’ in my phone calender, so I get alerted when something comes up. That way I can easily look ahead to what needs to be done, and I don’t forget!

    coriwestphal at msn dot com

  4. Dandi D says

    We just try to stick to a weekly routine as much as possible to help things run smoothly.

  5. Debbie B says

    i keep from getting overwhelmed by taking each day one at a time – no need for chaos!

  6. Betty C says

    It helps to have friends and neighbors with children. I might have a day with 15 kids in the house and the next day they are all at someone else’s house. It would be nice if it could be planned for certain days, but you take what you can get!

  7. Margot C says

    Ha! I should take some tips from you. We do have assigned chores, but chore day – not so much. So when they are supposed to get done can get open-ended sometimes!

  8. Natalie J Vandenberghe says

    I may not have much in the way of suggestions for saving sanity during the summer…LOL. That being said, I love your tips (number 5, 3, and 1, especially!) What works for me: Pray, Prioritize, Plan, Play.
    My husband got a flat tire the other day while driving the vehicle that my youngest daughter usually drives. I was so thankful it happened with him, and not her!
    I’m hoping to win this fabulous prize for my middle daughter. She’s a disabled Vet, who needs reliable transportation to get to the VA Hospital (which is more than two hours away!)
    Thanks for the giveaway and the great post.

  9. Amy says

    I laughed so hard reading the article, goodness. I stay sane, but taking spin class once a week, it’s like the reset button, then I can take on the world all over again. I also try to cook dinner where leftovers can be repurposed the next day, it saves so much time!

  10. shelly peterson says

    I make lists and have reminders, I try to stay on track as best as possible.

    cshell090869 at aol dot com

  11. Gina M says

    I rely on my google calendar to help remind me and keep me focused on what needs to get done.

    Thanks for the chance to win!
    wildorchid985 at gmail dot com

  12. Melissa M says

    I keep a planner with me at all times to right down any appointments and things to do.

  13. Ellie W says

    My summer sanity saver is my boys sleeping in. If I don’t wake them up they will sleep til noon. But soon I’ll have to get them back on schedule before school starts again.

  14. Linda says

    I take advantage of organizational tools and like to make lists to help me plan out my day and tackle each thing in an organized, methodical manner so I am not as overwhelmed by the often, numerous tasks I need to do daily.

  15. courtney b says

    i take lots of medicine! lol i know that sounds horrible but sometimes you need it when you have a super stressful life…which I totally do working full time with lots of kids running around!

  16. D Schmidt says

    My summer sanity is making sure I take a spare change of clothes for my children for the beach, lots of snacks and an emergency first aid kit.

  17. amy pugmire says

    If I have definite plans to do something the next day I line up as much as i can the night before and get my kids to bed on time if I know I will be gone all day long.

  18. Wanda McHenry says

    I keep from being overwhelmed by not having a care in the world. I don’t work and retired early and my day is care-free, simple and our lives are happy.

  19. courtney b says

    i try to create a schedule for myself and stick to it. i dont get side tracked and try no to let things slow me down like other stresses in my life.

  20. Lauren says

    I’ve got a huge 3500 mile move coming up in two weeks, and while I normally love to cook, this summer is all about easy. We’ve been buying more prepared ingredients (already diced, cooked, etc) so we are still eating healthy at at home, but dinner is on the table in 20 instead of an hour. One less thing to stress about. :)

  21. heather says

    To keep my summer sanity it try to get my chores done before it gets too hot outside. I also make a lot of lists and organize my day and the places that I need to go.

  22. Natalie says

    I try to prepare as much as I can over the weekend by making my lunches ahead of time and cooking some dinners to freeze. I also lay out my clothes for the next day.

  23. says

    I try to have dinner ready before we call the kids to the table, and get the bath ready before I tell them it’s time for one- doing things ahead of time helps our family a lot!