Sitting here in the relative quiet of nap time while my kindergartner is at school, it's hard to imagine the impending doom of 5 days from now. It's almost summer break. A chunk of time I used to look forward to as a child and ignore as a working parent. Nothing changed except for the addition of water play day at daycare. Now as a stay at home mom I know that I will have both kids with me 24/7 with nothing to break up the days. And my 5 year old does not even gift me with a nap time.
In light of this impending doom I've started compiling a list of coping techniques...Summer Strategies for the Stressed out Mom.
1.Baby pools are 100% acceptable as a bathtub. Soap travels. And hosing them down is just fun. Throw an ice pop into the mix and hey you just created a fun summer activity!
2. Send them outside. Send them outside. Send them outside. Also give them snacks but make them drink from the hose when they get thirsty. Why does hose water taste better than tap water? Of course I can't do this with my baby yet but I will at the first possible opportunity. Also here is where math doesn't quite make sense. One kid alone outside= whining and complaining. Invite another kid over and 1 kid+1 kid = mommy gets left alone.
3.Brace yourself for this one. Kids can do chores. You heard me correctly. I've been neglecting to use the man power provided to me in the form of a very capable 5 year old boy. Yes he had his morning list of chores including the basics: brush your teeth, make your bed, feed the dog...etc. But guess what else he can do: make his own PB&J, help me weed the garden,unload the silverware out of the dishwasher (parenting note: remove steak knives first) and put his own laundry in.
Nip the complaining in the bud with this gem: If you complain you are going to have to do some of mommy's chores too. Ah sweet silence.
4.Speaking of chores I not only consider them a normal part of being in this family ( and I don't reward him with cash FYI, I'm just not into that idea. No one gives me a 20 for doing the dishes or cleaning a toilet) I consider them an excellent boredom cure! Whenever my son comes to me with the ubiquitous complaint I'M SO BORED I like to respond with the following: I would love to give you another chore if you just can't find anything else to do! This usually gets his creative juices flowing and next thing you know he is building a fort in the living room with blankets. Or make up a job- like yesterday I told him it would be a big help if he would go look down one of the vole/mole holes and see if he could catch one of them for me.
5. Quiet Time. So I'm still working on this one but I think I'm going to need a mid day break from both of them. So if I can somehow convince the oldest that when the baby takes her afternoon nap- mommy needs a break -that would be great. This may be the time to pull out the tablet.
I'm seriously hoping that as we get into our summer groove I actually start enjoying it. Any other survival tips would be greatly appreciated. As would the address of his Kindergarten teacher where I can drop him off in the morning. Stay hydrated out there, mamas.