Summers coming….as a Working Mom are you ready?
Summer is one quarter away and are you starting to get hit with questions like, “What are your summer plans?”, “Which summer camps are you signing up for?”, “Have you figured out which days you’re going to take off for the summer?”
Have you started to receive emails about camp deals and heard chatter from other parents as they frantically start to sort out their summer plans?
In my world, I can say yes to all of the above! I also have a small confession: Until recently, I use to dread summer holidays. Here’s why: Summer would arrive, school was out, and I couldn’t be home with my children! The initial thought went against all of my visions of being a Mom and experiencing summer’s with my children. Interestingly, when I got really honest with myself, I wasn’t sure if I could handle being home all day with my highly energetic crew and the exceptional amount of patience that it requires. However, I also was operating under the misbelief, that if I wasn’t home with my children during the summer, that none of us would experience an idyllic holiday. I have vivid memories of long summer days at home with my school teacher Mom, playdates with friends, berry picking, riding bikes, week long holidays at my grandparents, long car trips to visit my cousins, and many days where I had enough time to get bored and lounge around in the hot sun. I did attend the most wonderful summer camp, but it was over a condensed amount of time, so I was at home with my family the majority of the break. Oh, the memories. Fast forward to the life of a working Mom, and I simply couldn’t imagine creating the type of summer experiences for myself or for my children because of my full-time work schedule. I also fell into the comparison trap, believing that stay at home Moms were having a lot more fun come summer time and that their kids were too because their Moms were at home.
Can you relate to any of this? I have to tell you, three boys later, I have done a 180 turn, and it feels incredibly liberating and refreshing. I’ve grown to love summers and, instead of feeling stressed, anxious, and anticipating disappointment, I feel excited about the upcoming season and all the new experiences in store for both my kids and me. Here are my 5 tips from moving from summer blues to summer bliss:
1. Update any misbeliefs around being a working Mom – assure yourself that you and your children can experience your summers just as you imagine!
2. Allow yourself to imagine your IDEAL summer experiences – set aside 30 minutes and write down all the difference experiences you’d like to have during the summer for both you and your children. Think about your senses. How do you want to feel, what do you want to see, taste, and touch? Get a big piece of paper and write out those experiences. Remember, experiences don’t have to require money. It can be spending an evening with your family taking a walk once a week.
3. Gather all your facts – if children are old enough to have opinions – ask them what they’re most looking forward to experiencing this upcoming summer. Ask your partner. Gather info on trips you want to take and summer camps you want your children to experience. Any and all information around experiences you desire.
4. Get tactical – Do you have a budget for your summer holiday. If so, review it.
5. Make decisions & move on – As you start to make decisions, cross reference each opportunity (experience) with your ideal scene of how you want to the experience summer. If an experience feels like a fit, then go for it. If you feel resistance, set it aside. Don’t fight it.
6. Engage a village – as a working Mom, take pride in setting up a village that can support you in making your life easier during the summer – carpools, play dates, etc.
There you have six, important tips to help you ease into the summer season with grace, ease, and organization, so you can experience just the way you want it. This exercise wholeheartedly supports you in in making self-honoring choices and leveraging a village, two very important themes that make up the Conscious Working Mama Wheel.
Don’t forget to revisit your self assessment, so you can check in with yourself around your own level of consciousness and look for areas of opportunity.