Surviving Summer When You’re a Bad Summer Mom

I try to get excited about summer, I really do. I get the vibe – I understand why it would be exciting. There are parts that I like. I like not having to wake up early and be somewhere immediately, with lunches packed and all the things in the backpack. I like the break from fighting with them about wake up and get dressed and no-not-that-shirt and eat your breakfast and brush your teeth and please brush for longer than that and get your shoes on and no-not-those-shoes and get in the car and where is your backpack and get in the car get in the car GET IN THE CAR. I am happy about that part.

But, we are a household that thrives with routine and structure. We are a household that thrives with a rhythm. And while we all like a break, a break for an extended period of time can turn to chaos pretty quickly.

A lack of structure layered with the fact that May through August are my least favorite months of parenting really seal the deal that I have to take several deep breaths as we enter these months.

Summer Has Always Been Like This

I found some photos the other day of myself in high school with some friends at the beach. Everyone else is frolicking and having a blast, and there was poor redheaded Jenny, miserable under an umbrella, counting the hours till we went home.

I am a redhead. I am paler than Casper. I need SPF 100 every 25 minutes. I am not a fan of the sun – neither his temperature nor his rays. The beach is not my favorite {beautiful to look at, exhausting to experience} {the sand, THE SAND} and a pool is lovely but the water in Houston is rarely refreshing.

A basket of toys in the sand at a beach.

Now that we’ve hashed that out, let’s add kids to the mix!

Mom Isn’t Having Any Fun

It is hot. I have back sweat. I am in a swimsuit that I am not comfortable in. They are in swimsuits that are wet and hard to get on and off. The water is trying to kill them and they refuse to accept that fact and I spend the entire beach/pool/lake day in full panic mode cause everyone keeps trying to drown. They need sunscreen. They need sunscreen again. The sand is in their eyes.

Alright, let’s take water activities out of it. You just wanna go to the park? I don’t want to do that. Why? Because we will go for 20 minutes and then one of you will need to go to the bathroom or get hurt and when we get home I need to take a full shower and get ready all over again because the sweat has ruined the clothes so much that I have to burn them.

And the entertainment. What are we going to do TODAY, Mommy? What fun activity have you planned or us today? Is it inside, which costs money? Or is it outside, which will cause your mascara to melt down your cheeks? Or, are we having an at home day, which we will have to come up with our own activities, meaning we will come to you every 5 minutes and tell you we are bored? Oh, and also, Mommy works part time from home and Daddy works full time from home so we have to keep our voices down.

Maybe I’m being dramatic. I’m probably over exaggerating all of this juuuuust a little bit. Maybe I’m adding some extra flair onto this, dear reader, to paint a little bit of a picture for you about who I am {the enemy of the sun} but let’s discuss how I get through the Summer when I am, indeed, not a great Summer Mom::

Structure as Much as Possible

Have something you do every day, preferably every morning. Maybe it’s that every morning you go on a walk. Every day at 9:30 you go to the gym. You color in coloring books from 7:30-8:00am. Something small to create some semblance of routine.

Schedule Days of the Week

Tuesdays are Library Day. On Thursdays we have lunch with a friend. On Fridays we swim at the neighborhood pool. Keep a rhythm! It will also keep the kids from asking and it will also free you up from having to come up with something all the time. I am a big believer in the Lazy Genius principle of “Decide Once”. Decide what you’re doing once and then you don’t have to do it every time!

Summer Kid Exchanges

Find a friend. Take her kids for a few hours. Let her take a nap or go get a pedicure or watch a few hours of Netflix or go have lunch with a friend or go to Target or go to the doctor or whatever she wants to do while her kids play with your kids. She gets alone time, your kids have friends. Then, next week, she can take your kids for a few hours while you do the same. Do this once a week.

Embrace the Movies

Check your local movie theaters! Some {like Alamo Drafthouse, for example} will show kid movies from years past during non-peak hours for about $3 a ticket!

Three children holding cartons of popcorn.

Above all Else This Summer

Remember that Summer is supposed to be a more relaxed time for them and is a breather from the rules and the routine and the systems. Yes, they need to clean up after themselves and be functioning little humans, but let them be little. Let Summer be Summer. Take them to the pool. Put the sunscreen on them 28 times. It won’t kill you. The heat might, but try to find some shade, my friend.

Two women sitting on lounge chairs.

Here’s a few more of my Go-To Resources::

You will get through this! It won’t be melting in the sun forever, just for half of forever!


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Surviving Summer When You're a Bad Summer Mom. A family of four running through a sprinkler. Logo: Houston moms.

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Jenny’s family has deep Houston roots. Raised in Cypress, this Texas girl married a Louisiana boy. While they loved their time in the Baton Rouge area - they eventually moved back to Houston in 2008, first living in the Galleria area, then slowly working their way further and further West down I-10, eventually landing in Katy where they’ve been since 2015. She has a passion for bringing people together using the power of Social Media. Today you can find her making a fool of herself on Instagram and raising Ellie {2012} and Jack {2015} with her husband Grant. She loves all things comedy, pop culture, macaroni and cheese, and writing about what brings us all together. The only thing in life that she can guarantee is that as you are reading this, there is laundry in her dryer that she is avoiding.


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