You know that feeling in the pit of your stomach the week before school starts again?
I know some moms would say that feeling is excitement or anticipation…they are more than ready to get back into the structure of the school year and see the seemingly endless summer days actually. come. to. an. end.
I get it… the sibling spats, the sand and dirt on the floorboards and perpetual pile of soggy beach towels… the higher grocery bills, larger mountains of trash and laundry, and irritating complaints like, “I’m bored,” or “I’m hungry,” or “I already DID clean my room…”
But the feeling I get as school approaches again isn’t one of relief or excitement that the summer is finally over… it’s a totally different feeling. More closely comparable to morning sickness, or when a teacher announces a pop quiz, or the glimpse of flashing lights of a police car in your rear view mirror and realizing you were driving a little too fast. It’s not a good feeling at all…
At the beginning of summer, it feels like it will never end. We have all the time in the world for making it memorable and fun. It’s not always in the forefront of our minds that we only have 18 of these, at best, before the ones who hold our hearts are free to go. And how many have already passed?
I’m realizing that the best way to avoid regret is to have a plan…and to take action. And at the same time, I think that these two things – done well – can help alleviate many of the frustrations we have with summertime, particularly as moms who are at home with our kids.
We are currently embarking on the first full week of summer, and I’ve decided that this year is going to be different. I’m not going to just let the days come and go with indifference and then once again face those feelings of, “Wow…that went by so fast. I wish I would have spent the time differently.“
So- I’ve been working on a little project that I’m so excited to use. And even more excited that I’m going to be able to offer it to you as well. I’ve designed a plan… a strategy that I truly believe came from God… to make this summer our best one ever.
In thinking about all the things that make summers difficult, I realized that there are easy solutions. Maybe the biggest challenge is feeling scattered, disorganized and tossed around by camps and baseball games and VBS and vacations. Arriving home after a long day at the pool and realizing I don’t know what to make for dinner and we are out of frozen pizza. The house looking like a tornado went through it and me tossing out chores with no real system and realizing later that things were only half-way done. The kids being so focused on what they want to do that I’m sickened by the selfishness that tries to overtake us all.
The solution to all of these problems lies in intentionality. It’s preparation and planning and setting ourselves up to succeed before the chaos ensues. And I have created a tool that I truly believe can make this our best summer yet.
It’s a collection of PDF downloads that can be printed and made into a binder. This “Best Summer Ever” binder will include ALL the things to help you live intentionally, have more fun, and end your summer without regret! It’s seriously going to make such a huge difference.
There are 15 pages (some of which you will print multiple copies- one for each kid)- and there is so much included. Like…
Summer Rules– Things the kids must do BEFORE electronics/ screen-time is allowed. This is a checklist that could be posted on the fridge or a copy given to each child on a clipboard to use & reuse, if that’s easier.
Cleaning Schedule– I broke down areas of the house and assigned them to a day of the week- and then also listed basic tasks that should be done daily, biweekly, and monthly to stay on top of cleanliness and organization.
Kids Goals + Mom Goals– Beginning our summer with ideas of what we want to accomplish in the next few months will make a WORLD of difference!
Kids’ Room Cleaning Checklist– This is so you don’t have to keep checking and re-checking and telling them they STILL aren’t done. They will know they’re done when every box on this sheet is checked!
Summer Bucket List Bingo– this might be the best part. There are 24 fun activities to do with your kids, and when you complete one- you cross off the respective box on this sheet. I literally cannot wait to get started!
Summer Random Acts of Kindness– this checklist is a way to ensure the summer doesn’t become all about US- accountability to be mindful of how we can serve others and scatter love as we’re out and about having fun.
Weekly Meal Plan + Grocery list– I created this with 2 weeks to be planned at a time. The meal plan is at the top of the page and the grocery list at the bottom- divided by sections of the store to keep it organized!
Summer Reading Chart– There is an area to set a goal for the number of minutes per day, the number of days in a row, and the number of books in the summer. Kids can put an X in the box for each day they meet their minute goal and you can also write down rewards for meeting the goals as motivation.
Weekly Bible Memory Scripture Cards– there are 12 cards that can be printed and cut to display each week and memorized as a family.
Monthly Calendars– so you can have a visual reference other than the calendar on your phone to have everything written down so everyone can see what’s coming up (and not have to keep asking, “How many days until…..?”)
There are so many ways to utilize this binder! I personally love to put the sheets in page protectors or laminate them and use dry erase markers to save on ink and paper. Some of the sheets I will print and post in the kids’ bedrooms. I may post the cleaning schedule on the inside of one of the kitchen cabinets so we can all reference it easily.
The main thing is…
In order for things to be different, we have to do something differently.
We have a choice in how this summer will go– more power than we often use. If every summer up until this one has left you weary and depleted, this one doesn’t have to!
If every fall you find yourself relieved to see your kids going back to school… imagine how it would feel to be sorry it was coming to an end?
If you have struggled with feelings of regret- wishing you had spent the time doing more fun things, making more memories, reading more books, instilling faith and servanthood and responsibility into your kids… imagine how it would feel to end the summer knowing you did all of that?
I know I’m ready for a change! I hope you’ll join me in making this the best summer ever! And if you want to use the binder right along with me, you can find it HERE.