Heading into summer mom life like a boss
Summer mom life is upon us! My children have one week of school left, and I am feeling great about it. I’ve got a sitter lined up, our neighborhood pool is open, and we’ve got travel all set! If reading that makes you wanna punch me, it’s okay – and I still love you.
Heading Into Summer Mom Life Like A Boss
Summer/ Tips/ Mom Life/ By Trisha Goodall
Summer mom life is upon us! My children have one week of school left, and I am feeling great about it. I’ve got a sitter lined up, our neighborhood pool is open, and we’ve got travel all set!
If reading that makes you wanna punch me, it’s okay – and I still love you.
Why am I feeling so at ease going into summer? And how might my situation be different from yours? First of all, let’s pause to check in with emotions. What are you feeling, how is this landing for you? Just notice and don’t judge your feelings. Stay curious!
Next, let’s talk about practical, straight-up facts about my situation…
- My kids have been at school in person 4-days per week since March (cue the choir singing)
- I set my own schedule and work part-time
- My office is my basement
- I don’t have significant financial struggles at this stage of my life (ask me a different year and I’d have a different answer)
- My partner can work from home 3 days a week still
- My kids are old enough to watch an entire movie by themselves while I work
- And, I’ve been on anti-depressants since the fall (yay for modern medicine getting us through a pandemic!)
Your situation may differ from mine a little or a lot. Either way, listen up because I have good news to share with you!
Summer mom life is best served with intention
I have been intentional. (This required me to get in good mental space, to be clear. In the midst of depression, the intention was not feasible for me.) I want to pause to say that if you’re struggling with depression or anxiety there are resources available to support you.
What does this intention look like? Let’s break it down with a little help from the NY Times, Why do women do the household worrying?
This article notes the four components of mental load are Anticipate, Identify, Decide, Monitor.
Moms generally do more of the mental load than their partners, and I’m no exception. However, part of my superpower is that I know this and so I plan around it while designing my summer mom life.
I anticipated that we’d need childcare this summer back in April. And so I told my partner that I was going to start reaching out to different sitters on our list to start the search (identify). I also told him this meant I was busier than normal and so he needed to take on some things or outsource, and some things would be put off until later on.
Communicating in this way allowed us both to understand what was going on. I didn’t continue on as if I didn’t have a huge additional task, and then later lose my sh*$ because WTF AM I DOING IT ALL???? No. I was intentional about where I needed to spend my energy and realistic about how that would impact my day-to-day.
Project management skillz to the rescue
You know I’m more into the heart and less into the practical when I work with moms, but these are my practical tips:
- Meal planning: We make 10billion decisions a day, so thinking ahead while taking into consideration weekly plans (Tuesday I have a meeting, looks like pb&j, etc) then we can have an extremely lighter mind with less decisions each day.
- Calendar & time boxing: I love utilizing calendars! All this “be intentional” won’t happen if you don’t carve out time. Similarly, time-boxing is incredible. It just means limiting yourself to a set amount of time for a given task. This is great for focus, decisions that tend to go round and round, household chores, and more! I always tell moms to put themselves on the calendar first. Utilizing my calendar helped me develop a routine (with time boxing) for summer mom life!
- Bundle/batch: My fitbit goes crazy on cleaning days! But ya know, it’s way faster to put everything in a box, then clean the floor that you never have time to clean because it takes you 20 years just to pick up all the toys! But I digress…That’s batching. Do a bunch of one thing, then a bunch of another thing. Meal prep, cleaning, and focus all benefit from batching.
- Intentional screen-time: This reduces guilt, and the dreaded hot mess that kids turn into. My kids will do one movie, followed by an hour with dad, then another movie. This will buy me a little over 3 hours of time, during which I’ll save tasks that would be okay to be interrupted (because #reallife).
- Intentional special time: This sets our kids up well for those moments when we need to focus on something different. It fills their cup!
- Flexibility: Because life is always a bit unpredictable! I shared about repairing after a craptastic day a few weeks ago where I just couldn’t accept that my plan wasn’t going to happen for the day. I wasn’t flexible and it was a crappy day all around because of it.
I’ve shown mom guilt whose boss and felt my grief
This summer mom life is going to be triggering for many moms, as pointed out by Christina Furnival recently. I realize it might be triggering for me too. And I’ve processed a lot of grief this year as it came up. I know that I feel supported and am able to make progress when I approach my feelings with curiosity rather than judgement.
The world, the past, and sometimes my immediate emotions are all out of my control. I know that I have needs, and I know I’m worthy of trying to meet those needs. I don’t feel guilty when I work while the kids do screens or hangout with a sitter. Guilt can’t even get to me when I’m napping during the times that I’d originally planned to work! If a nap is what my body needs, then a nap it shall get so long as I have the space available.
And this, folks, is the reason that I don’t usually talk about the practical. Because the guilt, the grief, all the feels are killers. Most moms know what to do. They know the tips and tricks, and have read all the books. But their minds and their hearts are not in alignment.
They don’t know how their choices line up with their own values.
And if you don’t have space to do this self-exploration, then rest is not going to come.
Not to worry though, I created a resource for you to find your breathing room, and it’s completely FREE! If you want to talk more and find out how I can help you more specifically then you’re always welcome to chat with me directly as well (also FREE!).