The High School Musical song asks, “What time is it?”
The Fresh Prince answers:
I can’t help feeling a bit more like the band, Bananarama:
As a work at home Mom of two teenage daughters who just got out for summer break, I have to admit I’m frightened. I’m concerned. I’m even a little bit afraid. This summer snuck up on me. I usually have all summer camps/activities confirmed and paid for in March. For some reason, this year it just didn’t happen. Now I am faced with nine weeks of teen language: “I’m Bored,” “Can we go to the beach?” “What are we going to do today?” “Why can’t I go to [fill in any place that is more than 45 minutes away]?” “Will you make me breakfast/lunch?”
My 16yo has three jobs – one of which she is working at currently, while the other two have just offered her a job. Hopefully she will be all set. My 14yo, however, is pretty unscheduled for the summer with the exception of a week of dance camp and a week of camp at her new school. That leaves seven long weeks to fill countless hours. I can’t be the only Mom wondering how to embrace and enjoy these “carefree” days. I’m thinking we all need a Summer Survival ’17 Kit. I bet our kids might need one too (coming later this week). Today I’m focusing on the most important lady in the house. Here’s my mantra for the summer – Happy Mama, No Drama! How can we make that happen, ladies?
How to Love Your Teen from the First, to the Last, Day of Summer; Summer ’17 Survival Kit for Mom
Give The Kids a Break
Give them the week after school ends and the week before school starts to completely veg out. No matter how much time they spend staring at that four-inch screen in their hands, just smile and walk on by. Don’t raise your voice or make a snide comment when they take their 173rd selfie on Snapchat. Remember when you were a kid and you thought school was sooo hard? They’ve spent a lot of time studying and working hard, they deserve some down time too.
Post the Taxi Shuttle Schedule
If you’ve got teens at home, you spend half of your waking hours driving here, there and everywhere to get them to sports activities, friends’ homes, the mall, etc. Don’t kid yourself into thinking that summertime will be any different. Establish a weekly schedule. Post it at the beginning of each week in a high traffic area like the kitchen. Write down your availablity to drive them to their desired location. Make them adjust to your schedule, rather than the other way around.
Update the Chore Chart
You’ve got helpers around for the summer. Figure out the thing that drives your teen and tie it to some household chores to help solve two problems at once. Is there a concert they are dying to go to? Can you buy the tickets in exchange for sibling babysitting services for the summer? Do they want to save cash for the latest iPhone to be released in September? Have the kids make their own chart outlining the chore, time and expected fee. Sit down and go over the chart so everyone understands what’s expected. Here is the chart my 14yo put together today.
The summer months fly by. Take time out to enjoy them. Do you want to go on a weekly dinner date with your hubby? Want to reconnect with high school or college friends later in the summer? Have you been dying to take the kids to their favorite beach that always seems just a little too far away? Throw the excuses out and do it — YOLO!
Don’t Work Too Much
If you don’t get to everything on your ever-expanding to-do list, what is the worst that will happen? Slow down and enjoy life. There are way too many articles on women’s health about stress and its ill effects on us.
Dance it Out
Find your de-stress outlet and use it. Love to dance? Grab a friend and go out for a night of dancing. Turn up the tunes in the house and let your booty shake! Have a dance party with your girls in the kitchen – dancing around the island is one of our favorite household activities.