Yesterday was college pick-up day for my two Domers. It seems like forever and no-time at all that we dropped them off for this crazy college year. Anyone who knows me or has followed my blog even for a short time understands that I live for having my whole crew at home. That’s not to say, however, that there aren’t some big-time adjustments that need to happen now that the older two are back in the fold. I’m already bracing myself for the bathroom wars and the who-gets-the-car negotiations to begin!
And that’s just with the kids! My game plan has to change, too. I’m an obsessive neat freak who is allergic to piles and cluttered spaces, and I generally like that the kitchen is only open when I am using it. Since I know I’m going to have to budge on these two hot buttons for me for the next few months, here are some things I’m going to make part of my summertime motherhood survival kit:
- Create a routine. My kids have always done better when they know what’s coming. With summer and even with having older children, it’s no different. We’ve had the best luck when we can compare schedules the night before so there are no surprises of people needing rides, etc. It’s also a great way to set expectations for who is doing what around the house (I’m a huge fan of everyone pitching in!).
- Exercise. I just feel so much better when I can get in a workout. Hot yoga is my favorite, but now that it’s nice outside, a run or a walk also does the trick. I squeezed in a short yoga class yesterday and got all of the good endorphins before I picked up my kids up from college and I swear it made all the difference in how I approached the day.
- Cross something off your to-do list. When things feel chaotic at home, I look for items within my control and my to-do list is a good place to find them. That feeling of accomplishment at checking something off my list goes a long way towards creating some calm.
- Stay connected to friends. We moms are all in this together. Whether it’s welcoming kids home from college or juggling all of the summer activities that the littles and tweens need rides to, summer is not really a vacation for mothers. It’s nice to be reminded that we’re not alone when the days seem extra busy or overwhelming.
- Drink water. I have a love-hate relationship with drinking water, but I feel so much better when I do. This is a quick fix to a stressful day.
- Give back to something that’s outside of my family. This is huge! Every now and then I just need a perspective setter and giving my time (just a few hours a week) to something outside my little bubble feels so good.
- Get enough sleep. Even though I’m tempted to binge watch Keeping Up With the Kardashians or 90-Day Fiance with my kids, I really give myself a hard stop at 10:00 p.m., 9:00 p.m. if I want to really treat myself. I’m such a morning person and I truly believe I can handle anything after a good night’s sleep.
- Don’t take it personally. I know I’m not annoying as my children think I am. Sometimes I have to tell myself that on repeat, especially when I ask for their help around the house (which we should all be doing!) But we all have good days and bad days and deep down I know they love me.
I know these are simple tricks, but sometimes it’s these little things that are the first to go when we’re in a pinch. They say you can’t pour from an empty cup, and this is so true. Take care of yourself!
Let me know if you have any tips for surviving summer! And I promise to fill you in on this book I just picked up by Dr. Amy Shah called I’m So Effing Tired. I love the title, but am also intrigued that she is sharing a plan to beat burnout and boost energy. Who can say no to that?