Running Out of Steam?
Summer is supposed to be a time when everything and everyone slows down. As a parent, it probably doesn’t feel that way. Here are some ideas for giving yourself, and your family, some time and space:
- Slow cooker meals: make a double batch and freeze the leftovers for next week.
- Plan ahead and enlist the entire family in shopping and preparing the week’s snacks and quick meals. Store them in the fridge and freezer where everyone knows where to find them. Have an at-home picnic once a week with utensil-free food (think dinner on a bun with cut up veggies and fruit).
- Experiment with cutting the cord: try using the limiting app yourself that you’ve installed on your child’s phone; park your phone when you go for a walk; turn off notifications on your phone, even better delete social media apps that make it all too easy to constantly “check-in.”
- Take a news vacation. You’re not any less committed if you only watch the news once a day instead of 24/7.
- When you go on vacation, make a pact with your family to unplug together. Extend the feeling once you’re home by designating times during the week when everyone turns off their devices.
- Enlist other family members in the housekeeping chores you always seem to do yourself. With fewer other commitments, it’s a great time to make those tasks part of their routine. Make a chart or job wheel and maybe even offer rewards (a trip to the ice cream shop?) for getting their job done without having to be asked.
- Schedule some down-time for yourself. If it seems impossible, find a friend and offer to take turns getting some time off while the other person covers.
Be sure to check-in with yourself before and after trying out some of these suggestions to see if they’ve helped. Sit down on the front steps or back porch, take a few deep breathes, reflect and let the summer seep into your bones.
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