Finding Ways to Enjoy Summertime as a Working Parent
Summer is a time for enjoying long warm days and carefree living, right? Well, not always. The season may idealistically seem slower, but often the pace of work and life responsibilities does not follow suit.
For busy working parents, sometimes even the smallest changes to your normal routine can make a big difference in being able to enjoy the summer season. We asked members of the Family Room blog team to share how they find ways to take advantage of the summer months, despite the constant pace of work, life and parenting.
Ways to Enjoy Summertime as a Working Parent
Amy, Nourish Mom: This is one I really struggle with because, regardless of the season, I still have work responsibilities and a household to run. But we change up our routine a bit by spending a lot more time outside after work in the summer. This typically means dinner is a little later and bath and bed times get relaxed. I also try to be less “rush-rush-rush” about everything and a little more spontaneous after work and on the weekends. There are definitely pros and cons of being working parents in the summer, but we do our best to enjoy our summer.
Mary, Organized Mom: We always take off at least one full week for vacation and then will try to take off some Fridays to make for long weekends. The kids play outside more, of course, and we try to swim as much as possible either in the ocean or at the local YMCA (we find it’s more cost efficient to pay as a guest as we go versus joining for the summer since we can’t ever use the pool during the work day.) We also don’t sign the kids up for any sports or activities in the summer which means more family time on the weekends.
Media Mom: We always take off the week of the Fourth of July and this year I’m gambling by not booking my daughter for any camp the last two weeks of August and trying to “wing it” which likely means at least one more week of vacation at the end of summer. We also try to have recreational plans almost every weekend, and on Thursday nights in the summer my husband will often throw bedtime out the window and take the kids for some fun in the evening, like a cruise night to see old fashioned cars.
Jessie: After work, we sit by the pool for awhile – it’s a nice way to unwind and relax before dinner. We also grill a lot during the summer so we can be outside and enjoy the warm weather. On the weekends, we try to get out of the house and do one outdoor activity, even if it is going to a playground down the street.
Allison: My parents have a pool at their house, so once a week on a hot day my daughter and I go over there instead of doing our normal nightly routine (which involves eating dinner, cleaning up and getting ready for bed). We either fire up the grill or order dinner, which saves me time cooking and doing dishes! On the weekends, we take trips to the beach, have picnics at a park, or plan day trips or different things to do outdoors.
As a working parent, are there small ways you escape your normal routine to appreciate the summer months? Do you do anything special after work or on weekends to enjoy time outside with family?