Around this time each year, I get excited. Not about the warm weather, but about the change in routine!
As much as I love consistency, I also love thinking about how to use our time over summer break, then creating a new routine to spend our time intentionally.
Each year, as the kids get older, the summer looks a little different and my responsibilities lessen a little.
As much as my kids would love to have complete freedom around video games and watching YouTube, I put parameters in place so this is controlled over the summer, without me having to “police” it too much. I’ll talk more about this later in the post.
I’m going to walk you through what our summer schedule looks like, and show you what I created that seriously saves my sanity and makes me feel like I’m holding up my end of the mom bargain.
Why Create A Summer Routine?
There are so many benefits to creating a routine for yourself and your kids. If you are feeling like your life is out of control, and your home is in chaos, routines can definitely help.
In addition to lessening overwhelm and chaos, a routine helps to:
- Create more productivity, while using less brain power
- Incorporate good habits so they stick
- Give you a sense of control
- Eliminate resistance and push-back from kids
- Ensure important tasks are completed
Related: 5 Ways Routine Eliminates Chaos
Even though the summer may seem more laid back, everyone can benefit from a structured routine. Research has proven that kids experience less stress and anxiety when they know what to expect, and what is expected of them.
In my house, we take a week off after school ends to decompress and relax. Then the following week, we start with our summer routine.
Our Summer Routine
Let me be transparent, as I am writing this, my kids are still in school. So we haven’t executed this summer routine, yet. However, I created this routine based on past summer experiences, and our planned activities.
5:15 am – Alarm Goes Off
I set my workout clothes out the night before, so when I wake-up, I grab the workout clothes and go into the bathroom to change.
Then I head downstairs and drink 16 oz. of water before heading to the basement to workout.
5:30 am – Exercise
My workout routine is pretty simple. I run the stairs and do varying cardiovascular exercises three days a week, I’ve been doing this for a few years now. Two days a week I do an upper body workout with weights, and one day a week I do a leg workout.
I keep my exercise routine to 20-25 minutes. I prefer working out in the morning, and I have other things I like to get done before the kids get up, so my time is limited.
I listen to entertaining or motivational podcasts while I’m working out. Some of my favorites are:
- Losing 100 Pounds with Corinne
- Watch What Crappens
- The Life Coach School
- Juicy Scoop
- The Crystal Paine Show
I am more inclined to workout when I have something good to listen to.
6:00 am – Grab Coffee and Shower
Coffee is my reward after I workout. Once I pour my coffee, I take my mug and head into the bathroom to shower.
I prefer to shower everyday. I just don’t feel put together if I haven’t showered. But I find if I don’t shower first thing in the morning, it won’t get done. So I make a point to include this in my morning routine.
However, I don’t do my make-up or get dressed for the day at this time. I just shower and then put on comfy clothes.
6:30 am – Journal and Read
This is one of my favorite parts of the morning. I created a little corner in our living room with a chair, stool and lamp for my morning journaling and reading.
If you’ve read any of the Angry Mom Series posts, you know I’m a huge proponent of journaling. I spent 5-15 minutes each morning journaling. The topics vary, but in the past I’ve written about my future, parenting, weight struggles, money…pick a topic and I’m sure I’ve written about it.
A few minutes each morning journaling, brings me new awareness, insight, and starts my day on the right track. I highly recommend it if you aren’t doing it already. If you would like some journal prompts around being a mom, check these out!
Once I’m done journaling, I spend the remaining time reading. I’m always reading a fiction or self-help/inspirational book.
7:00 am – Work On Blog (New Addition to My Summer Routine)
Last summer, I had HUGE expectations for this blog which made me think I needed to spend multiple hours a day working on it. In reality, I spent half the time (at the most) I intended to spend working on the blog. I underestimated how busy I was going to be with the kids, and my desire to hang outside instead of in my office.
This year I’m realistic and planning on spending around an hour a day. I know that if I don’t do this in the morning, it’s going to be super easy to avoid it later in the day.
During this time I’ll write blog posts, emails, and work on one or two summer projects. I write best in the morning when my brain is fresh, so I’m hoping this hour will be very productive!
During the school year, we have a rule that our kids have to stay in bed until a certain time. I created this rule when I was craving morning time to myself – and they were old enough to not need me the minute they woke up. I’m keeping this rule in the summer, also.
By enforcing the “stay in your bedroom until “x” time” rule, I’m guaranteed to have uninterrupted time to focus all my attention on this blog.
8:00 am – Get Kids Up/Get Ready
If the kids are still sleeping, this is when I wake them up. I get them breakfast, then unload the dishwasher and do any lunch/snack preparation for the day.
I place their Summer Routine Checklist on the table next to their breakfast. This list includes everything they have to do to get ready for the day AND earn play/screen time.
After the kitchen is picked up, I get myself ready for the day which includes doing my make-up and hair, and putting on “real clothes”. I also start a load of laundry.
The kids are pretty good about getting themselves ready and the routine checklist helps with this. They know exactly what is expected before they can leave the house, or play for the day.
8:45 am – Leave for Summer Rec Drop-Off
The kids take part in a summer recreation program for the first half of the summer. They love it because they get to see their friends, and hang outside with the older counselors. I love it because it gives me a few hours in the morning to work.
9:00 am – Work From Home
I have a part time job that’s 15 hours a week so I take advantage of the time the kids are out of the house to get 3 hours of work in.
12:00 pm – Pick-Up Kids + Lunch
The summer recreation program ends at noon, so I pick the kids up and we usually come home for lunch. I’ve left the afternoon open so we can be flexible with our plans.
Some afternoons are lazy and quiet. Other afternoons include get togethers with friends, or doing something fun outside. I’m also making an effort to take the kids golfing, or to play tennis.
However, if the kids have not completed what’s on their Summer Routine Checklist, they can’t play or use screens. I created this routine checklist to make my life easier…the kids know that completing the list is the ticket to their screens. They complain a lot about this the first few days, but after a while, they are used to it and find creative ways to get their tasks done. And I feel better having a routine in place to guarantee that the kids are still learning and and contributing to the household chores over the summer.
5:00 pm – Write Out Schedule for Next Day – Start Dinner
I always write out my schedule for the next day, the night before. This way I can get an idea of what is coming up, and I don’t start the day without a plan. I actually do all of my planning for the week on Saturday or Sunday. This has helped with my productivity, and lessened overwhelm because I always have a plan for when something will get done.
Depending on what we have going on at night, dinner is laid back and relaxed. Even in the summer, I plan our meals for the week, ahead of time. This helps with grocery shopping, and I never have to worry about what to have for dinner.
6:00 pm – Eat Dinner
Once dinner is prepared, the kids help set the table as part of their daily chores. We eat dinner as a family every night. Sometimes we watch a show while eating, or I read a book.
After dinner, the kitchen is picked up. I make sure the dishwasher is running, and the coffee is made before we go to bed.
Because it’s summer time, we might spend time outside before bed. If I have a lot of energy, I try to get some cleaning done.
9:00 pm – Lights Out
My husband and I alternate putting the kids to bed each night. My intention is that the kids are in bed with lights out at 9:00 pm.
Once the kids are in bed, we watch a show together, and go to bed ourselves. I need my sleep to get up in the morning and do it all over again!
Tips for Creating Your Summer Routine
When it comes to creating your summer routine, I recommend the following tips:
- Find Your Why – I intentionally changed up my summer routine this year because I wanted to have more time to spend with my kids. I also wanted more time to work on house projects and to not be so “scheduled”. These reasons were my “why”. What is your “why” for creating a summer routine for your family?
- Keep in Mind Your Season of Life – Consider where you are in life and create your summer routine accordingly. If you have a newborn, your summer routine will look very different than mine. Make sure to be realistic when planning your routine.
- Have a Plan and Write It Out – There’s something about actually writing something down that cements it in your mind.
What Will Your Summer Routine Look Like?
Now that you have seen my summer routine, and have some tips for how to create your own, what will your summer routine look like? If you have a summer routine you enjoy, share it in the comments below.