Hot "Guilty Mom" Summer
When did hot mom summer turn into hot "guilty mom" summer?
We seem to do it to ourselves every year; the guilt ramps at the turn of the new year. As the kiddos count the days until the hot weather hits, you struggle to find fun camps to offset the amount of time the kids will be there. Working moms everywhere are struggling when the heat of the summer hits, and the stress ramps until the champagne pops and the kids get back on the school bus again!
You see your friends planning trips to the pool, fun vacations, and you are struggling to manage lunch for the week. The routine is off; I don't care if your kids are home for the summer or at a day camp; it becomes stressful trying to keep up! Orchestrating pick-up and drop off with a full-time schedule is nearly impossible unless you want to pay a fortune in childcare where they spend 8+ hours a day. When people say it takes a village, that is NO joke when the summer starts, and you are trying to figure out how the heck you are going to make it all work!
According to a recent survey from Care.com, 58% of moms feel guilty for having to work in the summer and wish they could spend more time with their children. Emotions tend to run high in the summer as you remember the nostalgia of having time to yourself, summer trips and fair food.
How do you take back your "HOT MOM" Summer?
So, how do you take back the Hot Mom Summer you long for? Do you want to ditch the guilt, but you have no idea where to start? Here are some ideas to start implementing now, before the summer is in full swing:
- Enlist your Mom-tourage' to help:
Seek out other working moms like you (working full-time, extended hours, side-gig/plus full-time, mompreneur) who have children in a similar age group. Look to swap vacation days or flex-time to help each other out and keep the kiddos entertained during the summer. This helps you create bonds with like-minded women and helps the kids stay active in the summer. Create your village of moms who are in the same boat, saves time, money and sanity!
- BORED isn't bad:
Your kids can be bored…..GASSSSPPPPP!
Your children do NOT have to be busy every minute of the day! It's good for them NOT to have a full schedule to explore relaxation and creativity how they choose. If they are bored, let them create some boredom busters. Suggestions could be having them help with meal prep for lunch or dinner, teaching them how to have fun folding laundry, building forts with blankets, and sleepover inside for the night. Some of my best summers were things we created with our imaginations and very little money.
- Ask your employer to juggle some hours:
You would be surprised that all you have to do is ask😊. Companies are willing to help keep a work/life balance for their employees, but no one wants to ask. Check out your policy on working from home, or flex time you might be able to use in the summer. Also, many employers will make concessions when child care can be complex in the summer months.
- Find a summer activity that your whole family can enjoy:
This may take some planning but look into community events, summer farmer's markets, city-wide activities or even day trips to the beach or mountains. It can be a great bonding experience for the entire family and make unforgettable memories. Summer activities do not have to break the bank; there are plenty of free opportunities around the city to partake in, and don't forget to bring a camera to take pics!
- Don't forget about yourself:
Sign up for that yoga class you want to take or get a massage. If you don't have time for that, then take 20 mins to yourself in the morning to sit outside, get some vitamin D and reset yourself before everyone gets up. I used to go to our community pool before work or after to swim and enjoy the water on my terms; last year, I took my laptop poolside and enjoyed the warmth and fresh air!
Save some vacation time, put in for vacation time early, budget and find something to do next year! A weekend getaway is a good refresh to help dampen that mom guilt. Stay present and enjoy the time; you will be amazed at how a refresh can help reset the summer blues. If you want to save some money, use your credit card point or have family members contribute by getting the kid's gift cards, which they can use while on your trip for extra spending money:)
- Keep the routine somewhat normal:
I know this can be a challenge when the kids are out of school, but in my home, we try to keep mealtimes the same as regular school hours to keep the momentum going. I also have snack baskets for them to choose from mid-day to help the slump until dinner. Remember, meal prepping lunch on the weekends will save you time and money😊
While these tips are great, what can I do personally?
- Emotional Intelligence:
Momma, you will hear me scream this from the rooftops time and time again! So start exploring the guilt; what is it about summer that you feel guilty about? Could it be the amount of time the kids are in childcare, and you remember being stuck inside as a kid? Could it be the envy you have for the summer months, and you recognise that being the only time your parents took time for you? Explore your feelings to help you process where it's coming from and create some capacity for yourself!
- What does summer mean to you:
Is it a time to create new memories or forget the past ones? Is every summer the same song and dance, stress and guilt, or is it fun and memorable? Sometimes eating popsicles and running in the sprinkler is the best; get your suit on and have some fun, mom!
- You get to create whatever you want:
You get to create the summer months how you want; we often trap ourselves in the emotion of what summer means and forget that we indeed are in control. You only create the expectation vs reality of summer.
Often the "mom guilt" we are experiencing is self-imposed and created in our minds. We have an "idea" of what summer should be, so we set ourselves up for continued failure before the last bell of the year rings. However, summer is not any different than fall, winter or spring…if we let go of some of the unrealistic expectations we put on ourselves, it will make for a much more enjoyable summer.
Use these tips to help you take back your HOT MOM Summer and make it a fun, guilt-free season!
Follow us on Instagram for more content www.instagram.com/tiffanyspencerofficial