4 Ways To Create a Great Summer for Your Family (And Have Fun Doing It)

Posted by Rachel Blakemore, Social Media Specialist on Jun 29, 2023

4 Ways To Create a Great Summer for Your Family (And Have Fun Doing It)

Summertime, and the livin’ is easy…right? 

As parents, we look forward to summer break all year. It's got sunny weather, family vacations, VBS, swimming pools, outdoor activities, and the Fourth of July! Take a quick scroll through your social media and look at all the fun everyone is having! We’re ALL having a blast! What could be more perfect? Right? Right?!

Then reality hits. Did I sign the kids up for swimming lessons? What about camp? Did I pay for camp? It’s so hot out! “Mom, we’re bored! Take us somewhere!” I just bought groceries; how have they all been eaten already? Vacation? More like “staycation.” Add in the cost of childcare for working parents, and the back-to-school shopping pressure that is beginning to build, and it’s easy to ask, “What was I looking forward to, again?” 

Let me share a suggestion: Don’t let the feeling of not doing enough take away from your summer. No one can do it all, and to try is to just end up exhausted. You already have what your family needs for this summer to be a great one.

Here are a few tips to keep things in perspective while creating some fun memories:

1) A break from social media is self-care. 

She is a liar, so don’t listen to her. No, I am not calling your friends liars, but that algorithm sure is suspect. That perfect post from your friend—the one with her children in matching bathing suits and everyone joyfully splashing in the water—might be the one moment an armistice was achieved between the siblings that day. It might be the only time that week (or month) that they went to the pool. Just out of frame are likely hordes of other families, and a dad with a crying baby in his lap. 

We all want to celebrate our fun times with those we love, and we should totally be sharing and celebrating those things with one another. However, after a bit of scrolling and seeing how much fun everyone is having, things can start to feel a little distorted. Your brain can trick you into thinking that somehow you are failing, just because you aren’t living up to the amalgamation of every best part of the summer that all of your friends are having.


2) Go for quantity over quality.

I know, that’s not the kind of advice one would usually expect, but hear me out. I signed my kids up for swimming lessons with the city’s Parks and Rec Department. It was a third of the cost of lessons anywhere else. My kids don’t think they are missing out on some semi-private lesson in an exclusive swimming pool—they think, “Yay! We get to go swimming!”

The same goes for our backyard splash pad. The kids aren’t lamenting the fact that that’s all they have; they wake up begging me to let them play in it. I would venture to say that having a lot of "small" fun things to do makes for a better summer experience than just a single “big” 1-week vacation. Check out some other easy ideas for fun ways to beat the heat this summer.


3) Ultimately, your kids just want to spend time with you.

We focus so much on what we are doing, sometimes we lose track of the fact of who we are doing it with. Last night, I had to go out for an event. I had been home all day with my six-year-old mini-me, and when she realized that I was going out without her, she broke down into tears. She doesn’t usually react like this, so I tried to figure out what the trigger was. She explained that she just liked being with me and wanted me to stay there. We hadn’t gone anywhere or done anything that day, besides cleaning the house together and cuddling while watching some Disney+ on the couch. Your kids love you because you are their parent who loves them, not because of where you go or what you buy,

4) Don’t forget that this is your summer too!

It is so easy to focus on what we are doing for our kids that we forget to do anything for ourselves, or even spend quality time with our spouse. Drop the kids off at VBS and have a date night. Leave the kids with the grandparents and spend a night away, even if it’s just a hotel in Dallas or an evening alone in your own home. Take time for yourself. Put on a sheet mask, paint your toenails, go to the driving range, or re-read your favorite book. Do what you enjoy and what makes you feel fulfilled. The better you feel, the better you can serve your family.

As I write this, I’m sitting poolside at my favorite public pool in Plano. I have just reminded my kids that we are leaving in 30 minutes and am preparing for the battle that will ensue when I try to get them out. It’s not perfect, but this moment is good. We are happy, and isn’t that what summer is all about?

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