There is no doubt in my mind that the end-of-school-year chaos is an annual event and the better prepared for it I am, the less stressful it will be. Now that school has ended and we’re are officially on summer break, I’m looking back at the last few weeks and trying to see what I did well and where I could be better next year. I do love to over-analyze (but I swear it helps me get better at this parenting thing!).
The one thing I definitely need to remember next year is that errands are a lot easier to run with one or two kids, not four–especially when the older kids are NOT used to running errands at all because they are in school all day. We had to do a grocery run on the first day of summer, and although it went fine, it was more chaotic and frustrating than it should have been. I should have planned better and done a HUGE trip before the last day of school. That way we could have relaxed and eaten well the first few days of summer to ease into vacation instead of running errands.
In that regard, I want to check as many items as possible off my overall to-do list in late May/early June next year–vet appointments for the cat and dog, doctor/dentist/hair appointments for me, any bigger shopping I need to do (I have to go buy patio furniture from Ikea next week with all the kids. Should NOT have waited on this one). All those errands are easier without kids, so they need to get done in the first weeks of June and not July. 🙂
Lastly, I tried to plan a fun last day of school activity–we were going to go straight to the pool and hang out the whole day. But Mother Nature had other plans, and massive thunder storms rolled in about an hour before dismissal time. So we adjusted and I rented a movie on demand, made popcorn and popsicles, and we hung on the couch for the afternoon. Not the worst way to spend a day, even if it wasn’t what we originally planned. Next year, though, I will have a better back-up plan in place in case of rain–maybe bowling or even ice skating!
What else? What do you do to make the transition from school to summer easier and more fun?