Summer break is near and it feels like the schedule is full of field days, and end-of-year activities, and the hype for fun in the sun is rising higher with each approaching day. The graduates are posting and the mamas who still have summer home with their kids are feeling the urgency of time is short, so the “savor it now” motto is knocking loudly on their door as they sit in the nostalgia of growing babies.
The world of Pinterest, social media, and camp sign-up options can bring a mama to a comparative posture and the balancing of priorities of attention and of schedule can get blurry real quick. The many mamas sharing quotes like “You only have 18 summers with your kids, so make them count,” and all the other summer options can pull a mama in a million directions as their self-care flies out the window on the many runs back and forth to all the things.
I get the carpe diem mindset of seizing the day with your littles home with you in this season, but let’s also remember that “Put on your own oxygen mask before you help someone else” is not only necessary but life-saving.
It’s summer and for many, the door entryway will be lined with sunscreen, pool toys, towels, suitcases, packing cubes, and travel packing lists. Just because it is summer and you now have children in the house who are asking incessantly about plans to go here/there/everywhere, you can still put your hand over your heart and listen to what matters most to you in this movement of season change and TEND to your self-care while you savor this summer and carpe diem all the things you want to do with them.
Your days can ebb and flow.
They can be scheduled and spontaneous.
You can be slow on some days and have movement on others.
You can travel and you can stay.
You can invest in quality time and foster independent play.
You get to show up with intention to them and to yourself.
Here is a mind/body/soul care tip as you invest in whatever this summer looks like for you and your family.
Mind: Choose your phone presence wisely and what you give your attention to.
When you make the transition from school mode to at-home mode, the margin shift of availability looks quite different. Pay attention to your energy givers vs. takers. It’s easy to pick up your phone as a muscle memory response and just start scrolling when you are with your people or late at night, leaving us exhausted and connected to see things that may make us pick up anger, sadness, and grief that is not ours to carry. Give yourself some energy by deciding when your phone has access in your day and when it’s taking time that you may need to intentionally rest and recover, and to authentically connect with those right in front of you.
Soul: Build in a daily rhythm of pause.
Some mamas are balancing at-home work with littles home and need the pause, whereas others are in the trenches of nonstop littles needing their every bit of attention, and it leaves you exhausted with the little margin of self-reflection time. This part is individualized to how you best receive your rest: some are night owls and find their pause in those late-night trenches, whereas others are early birds valuing the rise of a quiet house in the morning. Give yourself an intentional set time every single day where you let yourself listen to yourself – this may be a set time you create in the afternoon for all of you where you have introverted time to reflect and to know your needs. This pause is not the time for scroll and roll on social media. This is a time in the movement of your day when you give yourself at least a 15-minute breather to stop the tasks and focus on your being. You being able to gauge what you are experiencing in your day will help you pour back into your cup and give your people a more present version of yourself.
Body: Build in time to MOVE, either by yourself or with your people.
Depending on your rhythm toward exercise and movement, work out your schedule every week to build in time to exercise, go for a walk, and play movement activities with your kids or friends. This could look like taking a morning walk or bike ride together in the morning or playing some baseball, kickball, or volleyball in the afternoon. Meet your body where it is at in this season. Movement gives us stress release and reminds our body to drink water and stay hydrated.
Grace upon grace.
Give yourself grace, mama, in your transition from school to summer mode, and let YOU be seen as well in your investments as you tend to your self-care as you make these memories together, either being laid back and chill or scheduled and active together.