Don't Panic! You Can Be a Mom & Productive This Summer!
Mom life can get crazy and hectic, really fast. During the summer, the kids are home and you still have work to do! You need to keep them kiddos occupied and have a little fun, so what now?? In order to have a fun-filled summer, you need to get organized and remember not. to. panic!
Summer is here and are you afraid? I am. I need to be productive. I need to get stuff done!
And yet my kids are out of school.
Yes, they will be in camps here and there but they will be out of school.
And yes, they understand that "Mommy works too." Actually they are quite good at being quiet when an important phone call comes in or I have to take a meeting. It does take a moment of conversation to calm them down and get focused on coloring pages and stickers beforehand but that's okay. And really at these times they only whisper for me to print out a Belle Coloring Page instead of demanding it over and over again. Please tell me you get those distractions too!
But that's mom life. I can't keep their little bodies still and I can't keep their little bodies quiet. Nor do I want to - frankly.
So in order to have a fun-filled summer, I need to get organized and remember not. to. panic!
Here's the plan:
Big Picture Planning.
I am the type of person that needs to plan things out. I am always jealous of the people that on-a-whim will take a drive up the coast or something like that. Or go bowling on a Saturday. I am always baffled and live in amazement at how they can do that. Ummm, but don't you have to go to the store? Or have take your kids to soccer practice? If I don't write down what and when we will do an activity, I promise you this, it won't get done.
So I have made a Big Picture Plan for the summer. This is what I want to do with my family. This is what I want to do with my work. And this is how healthy I want to live. (Ugh - add in more workouts!)
Do you do it? I just started, like, really started and find it is beyond eye-opening!
I started by putting all the activities I need to accomplish for one week into my Google Calendar on Sunday as a placeholder. Then I ensured all the girls' activities are in place and any prior scheduled meetings set in stone. Finally, I distributed the activities placed on Sunday throughout the week. I fill up my “free” time and calendar block out the activities I must complete.
Oh. My. Goodness. It's eye-opening.
It's completely fascinating! And admittedly a work in progress. I will use the calendar as the resource it is. I will schedule out what work I have and what I want to do with the girls and then
I have all but given up on cooking during the week. I dream of family dinners and am happy that we get a few during the week but life is just too busy right now. That's where I have thrown in the towel. I have considered ordering one of those services like Blue Apron but we have allergies in the family, I am sure my kids will be picky and they need to eat on the fly. Please don't judge, every now and then I return to my ideal life and envision my kids eat like the French Kids Who Eat Everything. But they don't. Not this summer. We are not there, quite yet.
Anyway, so I order. And I realize I don't have to order Chinese or Pizza. I can order a salad. Actually, my current favorite salad is from Fresh Brothers. My kids can eat that or get pizza. I always have Trader Joe's meatballs on hand and fresh fruit. So, I am happy to order dinner during the week and make dinner on the weekends!
No preparation. No worries.
Is it me or do you slightly roll your eyes when someone talks about prioritizing? Doesn't it kind of sound like that person has too much time on their hands? I mean sure - we all know how to prioritize to some degree. We all wake up, maybe do a workout, get the kiddos off and to school, start our workday, etc etc etc. And we finish out the day as we always do. Sure there's things we can do better but in general, it's a good life right?
I am there with you.
Actually I love to "prioritize" because it gives me another reason to officially organize something else. Truth is more often than not LIFE gets in the way and my prioritized lists are out the window.
That's the truth behind prioritization, right?
But here's the thing. Or here's my thing. I have learned, in order to accomplish anything, you must hard-core prioritize. There must be some non-negotiables. Just like any challenge you take on, if you are truly interested in making a healthy lifestyle change, then you will commit. In my case, if I truly want to do X, Y, or Z no matter how busy or tired I am, I have to commit and press forward.
It's that simple and that hard. Hard-core prioritization and setting some non-negotiables.
Being Present & Having Fun.
Okay, put away the eye roll. It's true right? We need to be present to find joy and to feel grateful. That, I too have to remember, will be the difference maker in the summer.
It's easy to get wrapped up in the day, the work, and what you have to get done.
Again, I am guilty of it too.
But if I take walks and shake off the energy. If I smile even when it's forced, change occurs. Joy comes in. I want my family to know the good times as well as the hard work times. So this is my plan to be productive, stay connected, all while balancing work and family.
I'm curious, what do you do to survive a summer? How do you stay productive when there unlimited distractions?