The kids an I are in full camp mom mode and ready for our summer adventures. No school and no sports means the kids and I are spending a lot more time together. While I love the extra time (most days) having them home all day does cause a few hiccups in my daily routine. It isn’t easy shopping with kids in tow and having them home all day means I’m cleaning up all day.
As soon as my kids wake up they want a project to do. They will either pull out all of their toys or crayons and paper and set to work. It’s great to have kids who can so easily entertain themselves, but they are still working on the cleaning it all up part. I have learned to let somethings go, but I still find myself tidying up behind them. And if I want to get any kind of work done, I have to turn a blind eye to the mess they are making while I am in my office.
Between cleaning up the messes, making snacks/meals, schlepping us to the park, the library and playing outside; there is the laundry, the grocery shopping and writing a few blog posts each week. I also have a mile long summer project list of things like painting the deck, cleaning out the garage and creating a dramatic command center before school starts (ha, ha OK that’s not really going to happen).
That sure is a lot for one person to manage in a day. So, here are a few ways I am hacking my way through summer:
- Get a Cleaning Lady. I know everyone thinks this is a luxury they can’t afford. It isn’t something I can afford regularly either, but during the summer months I hire a little extra help to balance life out. I pay a local mom who is looking to make extra cash to stay home with her child. Not only am I supporting another mom, but she isn’t charging as much as a cleaning company. I also only have her come to my house every two weeks for a bigger cleaning. Narrow down what you need the most help with (for me it’s the bathrooms and the floors) and ask for a quote on only those areas.
- Outsource Your Shopping. My biggest time (and sanity) saver is ordering my groceries online. In the past I have had them delivered directly to my house. Now I use a curbside service where someone else spends the time pulling the groceries and bagging them up and then they bring them to my car. I don’t have to get two kids out of the car to shop!
- Do The Laundry Every Day. I know this sounds like a lot of work. Between the wet towels and bathing suits, the 10 outfit changes per day I find summer brings more laundry. I toss a load of laundry in the wash at dinner time and then in the dryer after dinner. Then I fold heaping piles of laundry while sitting in front of the TV at night. I don’t even put it away until morning. Actually I make everyone put away their own laundry away in the morning.
- Give The Kids A Bath. I know it can be hard to give kids a bath every day, and there are some nights, especially if we’ve been home all day, where we skip bath. Make their bath time the last activity of the day. Give them fun things in the tub to play with like glow sticks, grow capsules, shaving cream tub paints, or colored ice cubes. Set them up with a dinosaur wash, or a car wash and let their imaginations take over. Giving my kids extra time to play in the tub gives me extra time to do other things. Like sit down.
- Give Yourself A Break. If you are home with kids all day, or maybe you work a 9-5 and the evenings are packed with a bustle of family life, it’s OK to take a break. Enjoy some time to relax. Even if that means leaving the dishes in the sink while you sit outside with your beverage in hand soaking in the evening sunlight. Be sure to take some time with friends, or take a walk alone. I personally like to take the kids to the gym with me (childcare is free) so I can watch my grown up TV shows and they can play. It’s a nice break in the day.
There ya have it, my five go-to favorite summer life hacks. I can’t get everything done in a day without relying on these five things!
What other tips do you have?
The Whatever Mom is a twin mom learning to let go of perfection. She shares her real life struggles with parenting through her blog and contributes her time and talents as a writer to Hudson Valley Parent and Masshole Mommy. When she isn’t writing you can find her chugging coffee, folding laundry and not judging other parents. Don’t forget to subscribe via email so you never miss a blog post again! You can also find her work featured on Mamapedia and The Novice Mommy.