Want to be a more fun, playful mom this summer? Here are 7 ways to have fun at home with your kids and create great memories (rather than being so stressed and feeling like you’re going to pull your hair out all the time!)
My husband and I have four children, and I happen to be a work-at-home mom. My part-time schedule allows some freedom to come and go as needed. And since our kids go to our local Christian school, I like to try and make my summer days at home with my kids count!
But just like every other family who is on summer break, our home can quickly descend into chaos when everybody’s back around each other again all the time!
Constant bickering ensues. By 10 am I’m ready to pull out my hair and curl up into a ball as far away from everyone as possible.
Kids at home in summer gets as crazy as my daughter’s hair, doesn’t it? ;)
What if we could look forward to summer this year instead of dreading it?
What’s the solution to having a happier summer this time around? Discipline? Somewhat. Taking deep breaths? Maybe. Yelling? I think we know the answer is no.
One solution is having a plan for the summer to help keep the craziness under control.
But today I wanted to talk about another, more personal solution: how you can be a more fun, playful mom who enjoys her summer!
Allowing Yourself to Be a Fun Mom Helps Solve Summer Conflicts
I’m a pretty practical person, so a lot of times I look for solutions that are organized and practical. But sometimes in those techniques and strategies, I lose how to just have FUN!
Do you ever struggle with this?
Just letting yourself lighten up and have a great time with your kids?
I get it. You’re standing in the kitchen surrounded by loud children, everyone demanding your attention. The dishes have piled up. You don’t want to ask for help (because you figure no one WILL help).
You forget how to be the joyful mom you want to be. I do too <3
But hear me out.
Allowing yourself to be a fun and playful mom actually goes a long way in relieving a lot of the issues that we struggle with during the summer with kids at home: boredom, complaining, fighting (both the sibling conflict and mom/kid conflict), and overall drudgery.
Having joy really builds genuine love and connection in your home and helps you move toward being a happier mom more on a daily basis (instead of just once in a while)!
Let’s talk about how to put more fun in your day so you can enjoy summer with your family!
7 Ways to Make Summer at Home with Your Kids More Fun
- In a moment when you’re beginning to feel stressed, stop everything and have a dance party. I kind-of grit my teeth suggesting this one, because it’s really hard for me to transition from being grumpy to being happy at a moment’s notice! But if you’re a Type-A organized mom like me, spontaneity is what we really need sometimes!
If you’re a Christian mom, sometimes it really helps to stop and pray too, for God to give you a spirit of joy! :)
- Go on a random road trip. I don’t necessarily mean one where you stay overnight although those would be fun too! But what if you checked online and found a great family-friendly attraction up to 90 miles away and just hit the road! Once you’ve checked your planner to make sure you have nothing else on the schedule, surprise your kids in the morning! Pack some snacks and head out.
- Use the Giggle and Hug principle to tame grumpiness (for moms AND your kids!). This ridiculously named idea came from an off-the-top-of-my-head strategy I tried one day when my youngest two just would not stop complaining and whining. And I was getting more and more frustrated and grumpy.
So I just decided to take control of the situation and said, “Let’s hug!” Then I put a big smile on my face and squeezed everyone together in a big bear hug. Then I started tickling them and everyone dissolved into giggles. I’ve also made this work by making faces, talking in a funny voice and dancing in a circle. Whatever works for you, just break the moment!
- Don’t just take your kids to the park. Join with them on the swings, slides or other playground equipment! I get that it’s hard to want to do this sometimes–park time might seem like it’s the only time to get a break from “momming”. You certainly don’t have to do this every time, but just smile and go along with it! If you have little kids, you have to keep an eye on them anyway ;)
- Get physical and be active! Go outside and kick around a soccer ball. Twirl your kids around. Play a game of tag. We know physical activity reduces stress and can help fight anxiety and depression because it produces endorphins, which act as “natural painkillers” and stabilize our moods.
- Add some fun into your work. Mary Poppins, anyone? Here are some ideas for handling chores in a more fun way:
- Turn on some music while you work. With my five year old, this is actually still kind-of distracting, but if I follow her around and prompt her to keep going, she’ll usually get the job done.
- Make it into a game. Ball socks into pairs, and shoot them into the laundry basket. Turn off the lights in the playroom and shine a flashlight on toys that need to be picked up and put away.
- Have a water “fight” while you wash the van on a hot day! I’ve done this and it’s fun, though we do have the rule of not hitting people in the eyes with soapy water!
- Set a timer and race to see how fast you can get done. I find that it doesn’t work to make this into a competition but just a collaborative effort to get stuff done so you can do something else fun!
- Will “every job you undertake become a piece of cake?” Maybe not, and you will probably still have to lay down the law at times, but overall, this really does help turn chores into less of a dreaded task.
- Before summer even begins, make a summer bucket list! Let your kids help you. Ask them what they want to do. If you need ideas for your bucket list, here’s where you can find our epic list of screen-free summer activities for your kids! This gives options to choose from when your kids complain about not having anything to do! (Read my one quick piece of advice about what to do when your kids say “I’m bored”!)
I totally understand that summer can be stressful. Because kids + mom + 24/7 may not be what you’re used to if you have school age children!
But when we let our children’s moods influence our behavior, it can make us act like a grouchy mom instead of the fun, playful and more peaceful mom we want to be!
So I hope you’ll give these ideas a try! You may just get to the end of your summer and see how much better it has been this time around with your kids at home :)
If you were encouraged and inspired by this post, you will love our Purposeful Family Summer Planner!
Want to make summers with your kids count but still a little nervous about being with them again 24/7?
Welcome to your plan for a more joyful and faithful summer–our Purposeful Family Summer Planner!
See what’s included in this NEW printable resource, created especially for busy moms with kids at home during summer, by clicking the image or button below.
SHOW ME THE PLANNER!