By Melissa Ford
Parents spend a lot of time scheduling summer plans for their kids. But as summer rolls around, have you scheduled plans for you?
As my kids left behind their early elementary years, becoming more self-sufficient, I purposefully scheduled time in each day for myself during the summer. There was the traditional “mommy time” when I wasn’t to be disturbed unless there was an emergency. I learned the art of camp car-pooling, hunting down as many parents as I could to coordinate shared drop-off and pick-up times.
When my kids moved into middle school years, I started the bike riding rule (safety is a concern here), where they rode their bikes to and from camp. It warmed them up for basketball camp, created independence, self-reliance and was a much needed break from spending my summer in the car. I took breaks from meal preparation as well, serving sandwiches, salads, cereal or other simple dishes.
A wonderful friend of mine, an innovative thinker (and always the source of some of my best parenting ideas), would hire the 8th grader down the block to supervise her kids at the pool. This weekly treat wasn’t just for her; her kids loved this young girl and her high-energy! And, I have to admit there was nothing like the good news that one of my kids had been invited to a neighboring block party. Imagine - games, food, drinks, crafts, action and more - as I sat in my backyard with a good book.
With the myriad ways summer experiences and schedules can be created for kids, there are equally as many imaginative ways of devising free time for yourself. Are you scheduling time for you? Prioritizing your well-being to experience your ultimate summer break?
What are your summer plans? A trip without kids? Quiet time for you? Certain days when your kids are in charge of their lunch or snack preparation? Share your brilliant plans and help other parents enjoy their ultimate summer break, too!