In this article, you’ll find summer survival tips for moms and important things to do as a stay at home mom to find balance and maintain your sanity while your kids are home for summer break.
As the school year comes to an end, I’m having some mixed emotions about having my kids home for summer break. While I’m looking forward to spending a fun summer with them, I’m also feeling a bit anxious about the long and mostly unscheduled summer months ahead…
Don’t get me wrong. I do love the laid back vibe of summer. I relish lazy days by the pool, trips to the beach, ice cream treats, and backyard bbq’s with friends. Summer has always been my favorite time of year.
But, I’m feeling a little apprehensive as we are now just a few sleeps away from summer break.
I know many of you feel the same pressure to keep your kids entertained without too much screen time, bickering, or boredom. Like me, I’m sure you’ll manage to come up with a summer routine for kids at home that includes a healthy balance of chores, summer homework, reading, outdoor play, and good old-fashioned fun.
In this post, I’m not going to give you a summer survival kit or a summer schedule for kids broken down by the hour, a list of 100 fun kids activities for summer or DIY crafts to keep them busy.
Nah, I’m not that mom.
I do want to talk to you about how to find balance to ensure that your kids and YOU have an amazing summer. That means finding ways to maintain your healthy habits and routines that ground you so that you keep your sanity and avoid burnout by July 4th!
In addition to wanting to maintain my sanity this summer, I have another concern.
You see, I’ve somewhat started a new chapter in life this past school year. It was the first year that both of my boys were in school full time and I’ve been spending the majority of these school hours writing this blog and working on building a business from home.
Along with focusing on my personal growth and development, I’ve finally gotten into a routine that brings me a lot of fulfillment.
Furthermore, I’ve put a great deal of time and effort into these endeavors all year long and I don’t want to let my business or personal goals go to the wayside this summer while my boys are home.
So, if you’re a stay at home mom like me who has a side hustle or runs a business from home, then summer break comes with an extra layer of pressure.
How do you keep all that going while being the summer camp counselor of your household too??
10 Sanity Saving Things to Do As a Stay at Home Mom This Summer
Below is my advice for things to do as a stay at home mom this summer to maintain a healthy balance for yourself and hopefully survive the summer break with your sanity intact.
Let’s all start the summer with these well-meaning intentions and plan to check in with each other around the end of July to see how we’re all doing.
Sound like a fair deal?
1.) Start your day with stillness
I never used to be a morning person, but I’ve come to love waking up early for my morning routine. I legit look forward to it every day and make it a point to wake up before anyone else in the house.
One of the most important components of this routine is that I start with stillness. After brushing my teeth and making coffee, the first thing I do is sit for about 20 minutes in silence as I drink said coffee.
Maybe this is not what you immediately think of when you consider a traditional meditation practice, but there are many ways to meditate and this certainly achieves the desired result for me.
I use this quiet time to check in with myself before the day unfolds. I focus on how I’m feeling, observe the thoughts that come into my mind, listen to my breathing, and just soak in the quiet solitude of a household not yet awake.
This time is usually followed by journaling, but simply taking these 20 minutes to sit in stillness before the rush of my day begins helps in easing any anxiety and leads to me feeling more grounded, intentional, and productive throughout the rest of my day.
2.) Have a “rough” summer schedule
It’s important to have a “rough” daily schedule for the summer months. I say “rough” because while I think it’s a good idea to have a general routine to your days, you also don’t want to be committed to a rigid schedule all summer long.
After all, summer is a time to relax.
In order to avoid waking up in the morning feeling overwhelmed by the pressure to fill all the hours of an empty day, come up with a loose schedule of how you want your days to flow.
You’ll want to include a healthy balance of activity and downtime that might consist of chores around the house, summer homework, reading, outdoor play, the daily allotment of screentime, and perhaps some outings to the beach, zoo, or other local attractions in your area.
Mommypoppins is a great resource to find local attractions as well as ideas for things to do at home.
3.) Lower your expectations
Over the summer while the kids are home, it’s ok to lower your expectations a bit and allow for “good enough”.
The house might not be as clean and tidy as usual, but it’s clean enough. You might not have time to cook as often, but the occasional burger from the snack bar at the pool makes your kids happy, so it’s enough. Maybe you cannot respond to every email or text message you get immediately, but you get to them soon enough.
The idea is to cut yourself some slack and let some things go so you can have an enjoyable and low-stress summer.
4.) Take care of you
Out of all the things to do as a stay at home mom this summer, taking care of you is one of the most essential.
Sure, it may be harder to find the time with your kids home, but it’s still super important to prioritize the self-care practices that help you feel your best. You just might have to do them less frequently or in smaller blocks of time.
Also, feel free to go into your room and lock the door for 30 minutes of “you time” while the kids play Roblox or binge watch Peppa Pig for the younger ones.
In all seriousness, at a minimum, make sure you are engaging in regular physical activity, eating nutritious foods, and getting enough rest.
This is where you’ll find self-care products to help with stress relief, relaxation, and sleep, skincare and haircare products which are especially important with the extra time you’re likely spending in the sun, and nutritional products to refuel and nourish your body so you can keep up with your kids’ boundless amounts of energy. 🙂
5.) Be present in what you’re doing
You might be pulled in a lot of different directions this summer, so it’s important to be intentional with your time and present in whatever it is you’re doing.
When you are doing an activity with your kids, try to be in the moment with them. They certainly know when you are not engaged and your mind is elsewhere. The same goes for when you are attempting to get some work done or taking some “me time”.
Whatever you are doing at the time is what matters most and having the intention of being in the present will help you have the best and truest experience of every moment.
6.) Get (them) out of the house
Yes, you can read this as “get them out of the house” OR “get out of the house”. Both are equally important!
If your kids are old enough and it’s financially possible, sign them up for some camps to keep them active and get them off their screens and out of your hands for a few hours. A lot of towns have very low-cost “playground” camps, activities, or classes through their local community centers.
Free story time or craft hour at your local library is also a good way to get out of the house a few times a week.
And of course, definitely lean on your mom tribe for playdates and meet-ups that keep both moms and kids from going stir-crazy at home.
7.) Shift your schedule to work when you can
Although the advice in this post is primarily for things to do as a stay at home mom, many of us have a business that we work on during school hours or a side hustle. If this is the case for you, be ready to shift your schedule and work when you can.
This might mean waking up early to get some things done or staying up late if you’re more of a night owl. Also, look for small pockets of time you can fill with quick tasks like answering emails while the kids are doing their summer homework or reading.
Also, you just may have to resign yourself to accomplish less over the summer break. I’ve accepted that I’m going to have to put some initiatives on hold to reduce my workload this summer. I will still try to publish a blog post once a week, but some of my other business goals will have to wait until I can go full force again in September.
8.) Accept help from others
There is nothing wrong with pawning your kids off on grandma for a few hours if possible. Most grandparents are more than willing and eager to have the kids to themselves for an afternoon!
If you don’t live close to family or this is not an option for you, hiring a babysitter or a mother’s helper to give you a break every now and then will definitely help you survive the summer with your sanity.
Another part of this equation is letting your kids help too! Once they are old enough, they can certainly help with some tasks around the house. It eases your load, teaches them responsibility, and keeps them busy! It’s a win-win.
Accepting help from others is an important lesson of motherhood that we all need to embrace.
9.) Keep your mind engaged
Summer is a great time to do some beach reading. Why not read about something new that you’ve been wanting to learn about? You might even discover a new passion!
Keeping your mind engaged through reading, listening to podcasts, or other methods that challenge your brain is an important way you can care for yourself this summer.
10,) Let them be bored
And last, but certainly not least – let them be bored! There will be times during summer break when your kids are going to be bored.
Sometimes I feel guilty when I see that my kids are bored, like I should be doing more, but I’m going to try to let go of this expectation.
As parents, something immensely valuable we can do is to instill in our children the ability to create their own experiences. Kids need to use their imaginations and sometimes they get lazy about this. Maybe being bored is the push they need to get creative in coming up with their own fun.
Despite what your kids might think or the expectations you may have set for yourself, you are actually not their camp counselor this summer!
What other sanity saving things to do as a stay at home mom this summer would you recommend?
What’s worked for you in the past? Comment below!
Carly is a wife, mom, and former fashion industry executive turned blogger, who is on a journey to live life as the best version of herself. Through her website, littlevoicebigmatter.com, she shares practical advice and heartfelt insights to inspire and support women in motherhood, relationships, wellness, and life.