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Tips for mothers to stay sane this summer

Enjoy summer: embrace tech-free activities (Photograph by Sasin Tipchai/Pixabay)

Mums, I know it can feel like when your children get a break during summer vacation, your responsibilities shift into high gear.

As a mum of three little ones myself, I absolutely love summer, but I’ve also seen first-hand that the “break” can quickly turn into doing more, not less – more play dates, more camps and more activities to fill the time.

Throw in a family trip on top of that (and all the planning, packing and wrangling that goes with it), and you’ve got a recipe for a summer that’s way more stressful than it’s supposed to be.

I think we can all agree that nothing is fun when mum is stressed, and you should get a chance to relax too. So here are my tips for staying sane over the summer break so you and your family can get the most fun and joy out of the season!

1, Embrace tech-free activities

Listen, we all need to sit our children down in front of a screen sometimes so we can have a moment of peace. I get it.

But while every child’s different, I’ve seriously noticed that my children are so much calmer and better behaved when they have less screen time. I’m not saying to make them quit cold turkey, but set some summer tech boundaries and focus on fun non-tech activities and see how much of a difference it makes.

There are so many simple, budget-friendly activities out there this time of year: water play (pool, sprinklers or water balloons), bubbles, camping in the backyard or living room, summer reading at the library, nature hikes, indoor or outdoor picnics, crafts, and free events in the community.

Plus, with less temptation to keep the screen time going late into the night, both you and your children can prioritise sleep (which really makes a big impact on everyone’s moods and overall health).

2, Resist the comparison traps

Speaking of limiting tech, this is a great time to scale back on comparing your life to everyone else’s highlight reel. Remember, your summer doesn’t have to look like anyone else’s.

It’s OK to do a chill, affordable vacation (or staycation) instead of an elaborate trip to Disney. It’s OK to send your children to a free art camp at the library instead of the fancy overnight camp their friends are going to.

You can enjoy being together as a family and make memories that your children will have for ever without spending a lot or feeling bad if it doesn’t look like a Pinterest board.

3, Put rest on your calendar

I usually find that if I don’t schedule something, it doesn’t happen – and that goes for rest too. The busier you get, the more likely you are to put off resting and tell yourself it’s something you don’t need.

Be proactive about scheduling (like actually put it into your calendar) a date night, lunch with a friend, or time to yourself. That way you can do everything you need to do ahead of time, like get a babysitter or family member to help out, to make sure it actually happens.

Also, resist the urge to do something “productive” every time there’s a lull while your children are playing or napping, and give yourself a second to recharge instead. The vacuuming can wait.

4, Let your children be bored

Seriously. Sometimes, as mums, we put so much pressure on ourselves to never let our children be bored. We try to jump in and give them a solution the second they start whining.

But it’s OK if they’re bored every once in a while. When their days aren’t packed with activities, they have a lot more space for creativity.

That’s not to say you shouldn’t ever plan anything fun, but the next time your children come to you complaining about being bored, encourage them to look at what they have around them and see what they can come up with.

5, Give them a job

It’s a classic mum move. Your children are saying they don’t have anything to do? Give them some chores.

Age-appropriate jobs help children learn about earning a commission (not allowance), managing money, and the power of giving, saving and spending wisely. They can save up for the stuff they really want, and it will help you out in the process.

Check out this page for more fun resources and ideas to help you teach your children about money. I hope you and your family have the best summer ever!

Rachel Cruze is a No 1 New York Times bestselling author, financial expert, host of The Rachel Cruze Show, and co-host of Smart Money Happy Hour. Rachel writes and speaks on personal finance, budgeting, investing and money trends. As a co-host of The Ramsey Show, America’s second-largest talk radio show, Rachel reaches millions of weekly listeners with her personal finance advice

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Published June 08, 2024 at 7:59 am (Updated June 08, 2024 at 7:11 am)

Tips for mothers to stay sane this summer

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