Simplicity and summer aren’t usually two words you find in the same sentence. They seem at odds with one another. This summer I’m paring them up and I’ve got 5 great ways you can keep summer and simplicity the best of friends.
Personally, I love summer. It’s (almost) my favorite season. I love the hot days, playing outside with my boys, ice cream trips. The list goes on.
But I know that not all of you feel the same way. To you, summer is here and then gone, just like any other season. I know you would like to experience simplicity but you have so many things that you want to do, that your kids want to do, and that your extended family wants you to do. Well, I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to do them all. You can pick and choose which activities your family will be involved in. And I’ve got 5 ways that you can bring simplicity back to your summer.
Simplicity is Possible.
The first way you can bring simplicity back is to stop doing all the things.
- You do not have to run around like a chicken with its head cut off.
- You do not have to be perfect and have the perfect summer
- It’s ok to stay home 4 days out of the 5 in any given week
- Your kids do not have to power to drive you crazy. Give them something constructive to do.
- You don’t have to do all. the. things.
Simplicity=Not doing All The Things.
If you think that you need to do all the things to keep your kids happy you will be unhappy and so will they. Yes, they are going to ask to go here and there and everywhere. But, you have the power to say no. I’m not saying be a dictator and not let them have any fun, but you don’t have to indulge everything that they ever get invited to. One thing that I am trying out this year is to pick at least one day trip for each month of summer. Some months we can do two of these day trips. I’ll talk a little more about this in a later tip on keeping summer simple. Just remember that you can say no to some of the things and your kids might thank you for it.
I suggest letting them pick out 3 or 4 of the activities that they are excited about and put those in the calendar as concrete. They get to do those things. And anything else they ask about, if it’s too close to one of those activities, they have to choose between the thing they are really excited about and the thing that sounds a little interesting.
Simplicity is not stressing about that dang vacation.
I love going on vacations. Week-long camping trips were a staple in my childhood. I loved every minute of it. So, naturally, I want to take my boys on a camping trip. But in all honesty, I’m not going to cry and declare that my summer is ruined because I can’t take them camping this year.
Here’s what I’m doing instead:
Because we can’t enjoy a nice weeklong getaway I’ve picked out 5 ish activities that we can do as a family together. They are all close by and might take a day to get to. So they could be weekend trips. Or middle of the week trips. We’ll see how that turns out.
Here’s a list of things you can do in lieu of the vacation of your dreams. Your kids will still have fun, I promise.
- Go to the zoo
- Visit a local county fair
- Visit an aquarium
- Go to a local beach
- Attend a nearby amusement park
- Go camping for a weekend instead of an entire week
This isn’t an exhaustive list but get on your state government’s website. A lot of the time they have all the fun activities and local attractions listed right there for you. The possibilities are endless for providing your kids with a summer they will never forget. And you’ll love how simple and fun your summer is. Don’t forget to add these activities to your planner or phone. You don’t want to design the best summer ever only to forget when the activities are going on.
Simplicity is not worrying how much fun your kids will have.
If you are going on that big vacation, stick with local attractions the rest of the summer. You don’t have to go on an amazing vacation every month of the summer. You will start to miss your home and so will your kids. The list I provided above will get you started and don’t forget to check out your state’s website.
Some things I like to do that are low key:
- Nature walks
- Ice cream shop trips
- Visit local museums (You would be surprised how many small-town museums still exist!)
- Do something fun at home like camping in the backyard.
- Have a bonfire and roast marshmallows. (If you live in the city I’ve heard you can make s’mores in the microwave.)
- The possibilities are endless for this list as well.
Don’t focus on wowing your kids all summer. Yes, they will remember the big vacation, but they might just talk about all of the fun things you did with them right in your own hometown more often.
Again, remember to put these in your planner. I know if I don’t write things down I forget all of them.
Simplicity is having fun.
My last bit of advice is simply to not dwell on all that you can’t do but on all the amazing things that you can. Your kids are going to have the best summer of their lives. The reason why is because they won’t have a mama who’s running around trying to please everyone. You have boundaries in place and you have a plan. Summer isn’t the boss of you. You may not be calm the entire summer, but you’ll be intentional about having the best summer ever.
Here’s to your simplicity filled summer!
P.S. If you’re a mom who loves to read then I have two great book recommendations for you.
In this book Lara digs into what is really the most important things
in our lives and then she helps us start cultivating our
lives based on what we want to see grow. It’s a very individual
experience and I have loved reading it. It’s helping me to see where
I want to focus on in my own life.
This is a great story about how our choices really do affect other people.
Warning, there are triggers in this book so if you would rather not read
anything that will make you uncomfortable then skip this one. For those
that just want to find out what’s going to happen next, pick this one up and
add it to your summer reading pile. The sequel just released on June 5. I
haven’t read it yet, but it’s high up my list.
disclaimer: Book cover photos are from Amazon.com or Goodreads.com