Usually, I feel like Memorial Day weekend marks the beginning of the end of the school year.
This year, though, my three oldest kids still have a full month of school left. That feels like a lot. Lots of tests left to take, lots of lunches left to pack, lots of homework left to do.
In a way, I’m grateful that I have plenty of time still to get teacher gifts together and attend to all the many end-of-year details that always pop up. And I can’t lie…it’s nice and quiet and the house is generally a lot cleaner when 3/4 of the kids are at school for seven hours a day. Plus, grocery shopping and running errands is exponentially easier with one child rather than four.
But I’m also kind of ready for summer. For our family, summer generally revolves around the neighborhood pool and a few trips to the beach. It’s a lazier pace, welcome change after a spring season that almost always feels crazy.
Although I can be a creature of habit and routine, in summer, our routine is generally a lot more relaxed.
Last summer though, I realized that my big kids, used to being in school all day and not used to having to run errands or grocery shop, were kind of pains in the butt to take with me whenever I had to run out. Since they’re definitely not old enough to stay home alone yet, I had to drag them along any time I had an errand to run. Grocery shopping was the worst part of the week, every week. Because it was such a pain, I’d put it off as long as I could, then when I finally did it, it took forever because I basically needed to buy everything. So this summer, we are lining up childcare once or twice a week for a few hours so I can get things done with less hassle. I also know that it definitely helps me maintain my sanity to have a few child-free hours every week. So while I have a sitter, I may even just stop at a Starbucks to relax and have a little quiet time. I’m really hopeful that this one little adjustment–hiring a babysitter for a few hours a week–will take away most of what stressed me out last summer.
Then I can just concentrate on the fun stuff.
What do you do to make summer as fun and stress-free as possible?