11 Summertime Tips for Tired Moms
It’s the first week of summer vacation, and your kids are bouncing off the walls already. You wish you could bottle even a smidgen of their energy, but you’re already one tired mama!
Fortunately, there are some tricks to help you juggle the extra responsibilities that come with summer vacation. Head off Mommy Meltdown Mode with these 11 tips for keeping a happy, healthy household.
There’s an App for That
Simplifying mundane or time-sucking tasks is one of the most important things moms can do to improve their quality of life.
Take a few minutes to download and familiarize yourself with banking apps that deposit checks into your account straight from your phone; grocery apps that pick out coupons so you don’t have to; or calendar apps that help you remember all your family’s appointments, birthday parties and activities. Check out these must-have apps for busy moms.
When I had twin toddlers that wouldn’t even fit side-by-side in most standard shopping carts, a friend introduced me to online grocery shopping. Once I finally tried it, I didn’t know how I’d survived all those years of chasing after wayward toddlers in the candy aisle and breaking up fights between my older boys as they dueled with sticks of beef jerky in the check-out lane.
Save yourself time and sanity by signing up for an account at your local grocery store’s online shopping web site. Your shopping lists are saved for up to six months, so it’s super easy to order your family’s regular items again and again.
And the best part? You don’t even have to get out of your car! You just pull up to the designated pickup area, push a button and your groceries are loaded right into the car. My grocery store charges a fee of $5 per pickup or $99 for the year, and it’s worth every penny!
It may seem daunting to think of spending your Sunday cooking for a week’s worth of meals, but these easy freezable recipes can be knocked out in a couple of hours. And when you’re putting your feet up at 6 o’clock in the evening for the rest of the week, you’ll thank yourself for Sunday’s efforts!
The concept of good sleep may seem like a fantasy if you’re a mom of young kids, but as soon as my kids were old enough to know their numbers from 1-10, I put a digital clock in their room. Then, I taught them not to come out of their room until they see “7:00.”
When they were young, they’d come out and wake me at that time, but now that they’re older, they just tiptoe down the stairs and grab their iPads or turn on the TV. They know how to pour themselves some dry cereal (which I leave out on the counter the night before), and they play quietly until I’m ready to get up. Those extra hours of sleep do wonders for my sanity for the rest of the day!
Make a Plan
Though kids love lackadaisical summers, some structure is helpful. Sit down every Sunday evening and plot out the week ahead (on one of your handy-dandy new apps, a white board or just a sheet of paper). Show it to the kids so they’ll know what to expect on a daily basis. For a general plan with room for flexibility, I like this schedule by The Chirping Moms.
Off to Work They Go
When I discovered my kids were actually old enough to help me with the household chores, it was like Christmas had come early. I actually heard choirs of angels singing.
Now, every summer, I write out at least 20 essential household chores my boys can do based on their ages, and I put them in a Chore Jar. If you’re not sure what kinds of household tasks your child is capable of accomplishing at their age, check out this helpful chart.
When they were younger, I’d have them each draw one chore a day from the jar; now that they’re 8 and 10, they pick four apiece: two for the morning and two for the afternoon. It takes an amazing load off your shoulders to cross out those chores from the to-do list, and you will have that much more time for number 7.
When it’s quiet time for the kids (which is definitely in that daily schedule), do something just for YOU. Whether it’s taking a long shower or bath, finally getting around to making your feet flip-flop-ready, cozying up on the couch with a good book, surfing the web or social media sites or streaming your favorite TV show, you need—and deserve—time to recharge.
Just Say No
Most of us are “Yes” moms, trying to be everything to everybody. Though we have the best intentions, it can get overwhelming to be there for every play date, or party or volunteering event. Know your limits, and don’t overextend yourself. You’ll be amazed when the sky doesn’t fall after you say that first “No.” And the reward will be extra YOU time!
Fuel and Refuel
While we’re constantly on a mission to get our kids to eat healthy foods and snacks, we moms often forget to do the same for ourselves. I’ll admit that I often get so busy, I forget to eat lunch, and by dinnertime, I feel exhausted and ready for the day to end.
Do yourself a favor, and slow down to eat breakfast, lunch, dinner AND a couple healthy snacks in between. Nutritionists say to eat a balance of healthy protein (keeping saturated fats to a minimum) and natural carbohydrates like fruits and vegetables to keep your motor running all day long.
Pop a Vitamin
Let’s be honest: not every day is going to be full of healthy fruits, veggies and lean protein. So cover all your bases by taking a daily multi-vitamin made especially for women. There are hundreds of multi-vitamins to choose from; this article from Dr. Oz can helpful while you’re looking for the right one for you.
We Like to Move It, Move It
Okay, maybe we don’t always like to move it. Not only can it seem impossible to fit exercise into a busy mom schedule, but it can also seem like an insurmountable amount of effort and energy. I, myself, am guilty of making up 101 excuses to avoid working out.
But if you get into a good routine and follow all the tips above, you’re more likely to have the time and the motivation to exercise. And once we get that run in or complete that exercise video, we’ll feel even more energized!
Summer days don’t have to end with Mom running on empty. Doing a little pre-planning, changing some habits and remembering to take care of yourself will leave you feeling productive, capable and maybe even alert enough to stay awake past 10 o’clock! SCORE.