By Katie Rössler
It’s the summer!!! Wahooo! Remember when it used to feel awesome that summertime was finally here and you could take a break from school? Then you became an adult and summer lost its excitement because your work wasn’t interested in you wanting to take several weeks off to just “chill”. Summer even has a different meaning if you are a mom: it means more time with the kids, in the heat!
Whether you love summertime or are not its biggest fan, it’s important that as moms we take care of ourselves while we spend even more time with our family. Let’s talk about ways to take care of you, mom, during these hot summer months, so that you can enjoy them too!
Think back to your summers as a kid. What did you love to do? What made them memorable? What were the games and activities you played? Last question: can you do any of those things with your kids now? There is no reason to try to come up with a ton of new ideas when you have a history of summers full of ideas to choose from. Sidewalk chalk, playgrounds, jumping rope, making flower crowns, blowing bubbles: the list goes on. The best part is when you do these activities you used to enjoy as a kid, they can bring up positive emotions when you do them with your kids. Reconnect with what you used to love doing and watch the laughter and smiles take over.
With more time around your kids, waiting for those kid-free moments will feel like sitting in the waiting room at a doctor’s office. Create a daily quiet time for you and your kid(s) to read, color, do a puzzle, stare at the wall, and stick to making this time a regular habit in your family’s schedule. Having some time to recharge is important for everyone! Make sure you let your kid(s) know that you will also do something that you want to do during this time. Yes, you may spend some of it reading to your little one, but then they can move on to an activity, sitting right beside you, as you read your book or magazine . Please avoid phones, laptops, and tablets during this time. Your brain needs to unwind and technology drains us more than we realize.
In the evening, finally the kids are in bed and the house is relatively quiet. Carve out at least 20 minutes a night for you. That really is easier to do than we believe. Paint your toenails, keep reading that book or magazine you’ve been wanting to finish, listen to some music and dance like no one is watching (even if your partner is), make a yummy dessert that you don’t have to share – the possibilities are endless. The key is setting a reminder on your phone to go off every night at the same time that says “Time for ME”. Don’t hit snooze on it, unless you truly are unable to stop what you are doing in the moment, but sitting on the couch and being too lazy to get up doesn’t count. Sorry! You matter more than the voice that says, “Just 5 more minutes.”
Mom, you are doing an amazing job, and by the end of this summer you don’t have to feel like you need an extra vacation. It’s all about being creative and planning how you take care of you! We matter just as much as the other awesome people in our family. So let’s start treating ourselves that way and see what happens. I have a feeling that if we do it right, we will be sad the summer is over when fall comes!
Katie Rössler is a licensed professional counselor from the United States. She started Positive Connections in Munich providing workshops and private sessions on relationship building skills. She is the creator of the From Stay at Home Mom to Chief Household Officer program. Katie enjoys running, hiking, and doing yoga. Her go to comfort food is sushi and when she needs to escape from her kids she jumps in the shower! Laugh with her by following her CHO journey on Instagram: @FromSAHMtoCHO