Hello? Is this thing still working? I just had to go search for my password so I could login to my own website. Yikes! I guess it has been a while.

Blogging is just too much to make a consistent habit right now. On top of daily life with five kids (who ALL need something different from me at the very same time every day), trying to edit/re-write a manuscript, & staying in a somewhat healthy rhythm spiritually/emotionally/mentally, I just can’t. So I don’t. But I do Instagram, so any random thoughts or ramblings tend to drift that direction. That’s just my lane right now. It works for now, probably won’t forever. [My ten-year-old daughter convinced me to start using snapchat when she saw it on my phone. “Mom! You have snapchat?!?! Why don’t you have a profile picture? You need a picture!! (I signed up a year ago, but didn’t get further than a username). I’m still not so sure about it all, but I’m playing around with it. I guess it’s fun?]

But when I do have something to share that goes beyond a small Insta-paragraph and is more than a 10-second snap can contain, then it’s necessary to bust out the computer and write it on the blog. Just don’t get used to it. They will likely stay few and far between for now.

I LOVE SUMMER!

I’ve shared my affections for summer around here. I just love everything about it. From the hot weather to the longer days to the relaxing no-where-to-be mornings, my personality was born for summer. I love the beach and sitting poolside. I love watermelon and iced coffee. I still get giddy feelings about the end of school and the thought of summer vacation even though it’s been ages since I really benefited from it.

And now, those giddy feeling are combined with a full on panic attack that sets in around spring break.

Because now I have FIVE kids who are all in elementary school- old enough to be able to do things on their own, yet young enough that they still need a generous amount of supervision (at least my kids do). And unfortunately they don’t come with certain understandings built-in. They don’t all know what sleeping in means and they don’t understand the beauty of long afternoon naps combined with a book. They look to me as camp counselor, activity director, life guard, and popsicle holder. My kids have invaded my summer days and attempt to steal my quiet mornings and my sunscreen.

But I won’t let them.

You see, I have two choices. I could just let my kids get away with the “entertain-me-all-day” insanity and chase after them appeasing every whim and desire they have, handing out popsicles every time they say the word bored. OR I can train them to organize their day well, teach them how to make the most of their time, and put them on the path to success. Because they are old enough to learn.

I shared on Instagram last week that I was working on a “summer plan” for my kiddos and a few asked for more details. SO, I thought I’d share them. Because sharing is caring, and because my heart goes out to the mommas out there who are overwhelmed with the thought of having school-age kids at home twenty-four seven for the next ten weeks.

Before you read my plan, I feel like I should share how I got to it. Knowing where I’m coming from will help you know what you need to modify to fit your life/schedule. Also, there’s a few issues you need to settle in your heart before you go into this because when your child comes to you whining and bored (and they will!) you should know on the front end how you’re going to respond.

(This is primarily for school-age kids. Or kids who are able to do things on their own and not get seriously injured.)

  1. Having a basic schedule will help you make sure you get to do all the fun things you want & provides a sense of structure for your kids. Remember, your kids are used to structured days throughout the school-year. When they don’t know what to do with their time, you will find bored, whining, and (with multiple) bickering kids. No bueno.
  2. Your schedule has to fit your personality. Don’t make a rule/schedule that you can’t/won’t follow. If you don’t want to eat breakfast by 9am, don’t make it a rule for your kids.
  3. Being bored is normal and okay, as long as they aren’t whining. I don’t want to fill my kids’ days with so much activity that they don’t have to think for themselves. In those moments of boredom I want them to learn to be creative and find something new or different to do. I’m fully prepared to deal with the bored issue and am creating a schedule/activity ideas that I think will help them work through it. I think more about their long-term future and them learning to think for themselves, not looking to someone else to tell them what to do and when to do it every waking second of the day. Self-leadership is crucial for success and now is a great time for them to start learning it.
  4. My kids are highly motivated with technology, but controlling it is a constant battle. So I am using it to motivate while still giving them boundaries around it. Technology is something that we all have to learn how to control (myself included) and before I will put a device in my kid’s hands, I want to see them practice self-discipline with it. My goal is that they learn to control it before it controls them. I don’t want to see them waste their life away on an iPhone, iPad, computer, video games, etc. Those things are fun and we can enjoy them as long as they don’t control us.
  5. Everything is subject to change. I’m mom, I make the rules. If this is too broad, we may get tougher. If I wake up one morning and want to go to the beach then to the beach we will go. It’s summer, life is chill.

So, with all of those things in mind, here’s my “summer plan”. Take what you want, leave what you don’t, but whatever you do, HAVE FUN!

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Download it here –> Summer Plan

Mandy Sig

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  • Karen Cheng

    Thanks for this, Mandy!!!