Summer Mom Hacks from SLACKER MOM
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School is out. Summer is in full swing. It’s that time of year when moms everywhere realize that teachers aren’t paid nearly enough. Our kids may be our hearts, our lives, but being with them 24/7 requires patience and energy that even a combination Energizer Bunny/ Mother Theresa couldn’t muster. Summer mom hacks are the little things that make your day easier.
And this year is more challenging than your typical summer. After all, our kids have been home ever since schools closed in March! In our area, most summer camps are closed. So….. you may be going a bit stir-crazy right about now.
But never fear, SLACKER MOM is here, with summer mom hacks for lazy parents.
Skip the Bath
In summertime, sprinkler play=bath. Who are you keeping these kids clean for anyway? Keep a bottle of shampoo next to your garden hose.
Or get some colored soap that they think is paint. You know how much they love face-painting? You’ll knock their socks off when you tell them they are going to BODY paint. And they’ll be even happier when you tell them that YOU are going to get in on the action. Park your tired ass in a lounge chair and have them “paint” you. It’s really just a tricky way to get a massage.
Cure for Boredom
Don’t get me started on why boredom is good for kids. It is. But only as long as mom can take their endless whines of “I’m bored.”
One of my favorite summer mom hacks is to create a “Boredom Basket” that they can go to and help themselves when they can’t find anything to do. Fill it with dollar store finds like puzzles, word-search books, and tiny crafts.
Institute a rule that if a kid utters the words, “I’m bored,” then they must do one of the chores listed on the chart above the boredom basket. (Sadly, your expense reports for work cannot be one of those chores.)
Let Mama Sleep
Why is it that even though no one has to be to work or school, kids still wake up at the butt-crack of dawn? No matter how late I put mine to bed, they are up with the sun.
One of the more celebrated parenting milestones (right up there with baby’s first word) is when your kids can take care of themselves in the morning and let you sleep in. Here’s a hack to encourage that little slice of Heaven:
Tell older children that unless the house is on fire or someone is bleeding, mom is not to be awoken before 8am. Bribe older children to “babysit” their younger siblings.
Create a Breakfast Station, with everything they need in reach and even portioned out, so they can help themselves.
Get yourself a white noise machine and/or some earplugs. Make sure the older kids know how to turn on the TV and what shows are allowed. Tell them that screen time is over when mom wakes up. They’ll be quiet as mice.
If you really want to sleep in, tell them that tomorrow morning is family cleaning day and to make sure and wake you up super early to get started. They may let you sleep until lunchtime. This was one of MY mom’s favorite summer mom hacks!
Embrace the Barefoot Life
Let them go barefoot! It really is healthier for them in so many ways. No kidding! And you’ll have less laundry to do.
Wifi is Your Currency, (My Favorite Summer Mom Tip!)
Once your kids are old enough to have phone and tablets of their own, wi-fi becomes prime parenting currency. Each morning, leave them a sticky-note scavenger hunt to the wi-fi code.
For instance, the first note would say, “Go check your hamper. If there’s anything in it, take it to the laundry room.” In the laundry room, they’d find a note that said, “Do page 3 of your math workbook.” On the bottom of page 3, leave another note saying, “Have you fed your fish? Check under his home.” And then the wifi code would be written on a post it under the tank. Brilliance.
Host “Culinary Camp”
Our local paper had an ad for a culinary summer camp. For $500 a week, school aged children can learn how to cook. Crap, for zero dollars a week, I can teach kids how to make simple meals. Don’t feel guilty for talking your kid through making dinner while you are finishing up some work emails at the kitchen counter. You’re teaching him a valuable life lesson. I’ve never seen my son as proud as the day he made lasagna for his aunt and grandparents.
Summer Parenting Hacks That Cut Out the Endless Snack Requests
It doesn’t matter how much my kids eat during an actual meal, they’ll be asking for snacks every 30 minutes afterwards. If you are tired of fielding snack requests and preparing snacks, create a snack department in one cabinet and one portion of your fridge. Cut up the fruit, celery, or whatever once so you aren’t doing it several times a day. And only leave snacks that won’t turn them into sugar-rush zombies.
Survive the Endless “Watch Me’s”
Whether it’s cartwheels or cannon balls, if I had a penny for every time my kids said, “Watch me!” all summer, I could actually afford to send them to summer camp. Obviously, I try to watch their tricks as much as possible. I’m proud of those little monsters and it means a lot to them to have my approval. But sometimes, it’s just too much. That’s when I don a pair of dark shades, so they can’t tell I’m “resting my eyes.” Call it one of my summer mom hacks or call it laziness. All I know is I’m tired.
Set Up a Babysitting Exchange
Last summer, two other moms and I did an experiment. On Monday, my friend took her kids, my kids, and my niece and nephew to the library and the park for a few hours. I went home and worked like a banshee. On Thursday, my sister-in-law hosted all the kids at her house for a play-date until lunchtime. I worked like crazy during those hours. This morning, I hung with all the kids (library then playground) until lunchtime. This way, each mom got two mornings to herself. During a “normal summer”, and depending on the ages of the kids and how they get along, you could add even more families to the mix! This summer, you may want to consider expanding your Covid “Bubble” to include another family you can trade babysitting with.
Summer Mom Hacks for Multi-Tasking
I try to shower or bathe at night after my kids are in bed. It’s the only way I get any peace. If I shower while they are awake, it looks something like this:
I’m lucky if I get time to rinse all of the soap off before someone screams their head off. When I’ve been in a hurry, sometimes I just skip the sunscreen, thinking I’ll spray some on whenever we get outside.
But with a history of skin cancer in my family and my lily-white (pasty!) complexion, that’s just stupid. Besides, I recently learned that sunscreen’s ingredients can take up to 30 minutes to be active, so you shouldn’t wait until you are in the sun to apply. And of course, with any sunscreen, you need to reapply every two hours.
Last summer, I discovered KLENSKIN’s Wash-on Sunscreens. They have versions for both kids and adults. Now, you can hop in the shower, lather head to toe, rinse, pat dry and you are left with an SPF 30 as a great base for everyday incidental protection. Reapply throughout the day with a traditional sunscreen lotion or SPF stick.
Designed by a board-certified dermatologist, KLENSKIN’s products are made with a patented encapsulated sunscreens. This layers the sunscreens on the surface of the skin by creating a protective layer that minimizes absorption.
The kids formulation as a sweet strawberry scent but they also have a fragrance-free formula and a fresh spa scent. (Because at least I can SMELL like I’m in a spa, even if I’m in the OPPOSITE of a spa!)
If you or your kids shower at night, you can keep KLENSKIN next to the sink for when they wash their exposed areas in the morning.
You can also protect the lips with KLENKSKIN SPF 50 lip balms. Kids love these because they come in 4 delicious flavors – grape, orange, cherry or spearmint!
And for 2020, KLENSKIN has a bunch of new products and packaging! There’s a very portable sunscreen on a carabiner, perfect for hikes. They have an adorable and wonderful smelling hand sanitizer. (I’m going through that stuff like crazy!) And they’ve created a Deet-free insect repellent stick. Getting kids to apply sunscreen and bug spray of their own free will is the ultimate in summer mom hacks!
MomCavers get 20% off of purchases at KLENSKIN with promo code KID19.
And we have an awesome giveaway for a full summer prize pack from KLENSKIN!
Summer Giveaway from KLENSKIN & MomCave
Looking for Free and Low-Cost Summer Camps and Activities?
Check out this huge list of resources I compiled on free and low-cost summer camps and activities.
Real-Life Advice from the Trenches
I give my kids a point system that can be redeemed for treats and toys. One point to whoever falls asleep the fastest at night and one point to whoever stays in bed the longest in the morning. Two points if someone makes their own breakfast. Points for cleaning up their own messes. Whoever has the most points gets a trip to the Dollar Store. -Katie Reed, crowdsourcing central
We have a rain barrel near our garden. I keep a bucket next to it and water guns. That way when we are outside we can have an impromptu water gun fight and everything is right there! -Shya Gibbons, Facebook.com/VintageDreamsWithAModernTwist
I kept a ‘rainy day’ laundry basket by the back door. In it, I had craft supplies, projects, surprise to-do ideas, a star-reward home project list, and envelopes labeled “what to do for art,’ ‘what to do with $5”, and some $5 movie passes, along with other fun things to do. I also had notebooks, markers, sparkle pens, journals, cards, $1 store items. On rainy days, I had them go to the ‘summer boredom box,’ we had weeks of fun in there and it worked every summer. -Alexandra,
I’ve been known to keep the kids out late on purpose so they’ll fall asleep in the car and I can carry them into bed. Voila, no bedtime routine! –Amy Wruble Writer
I just get really tired and have my daughter read ME a story and put ME to bed. It works best if dad helps by reminding me to brush my teeth! – Rosie Vreeland-Flickinger, crowdsourcing central
Pre-program her favorite shows or movies on her iPad and tell her she can watch them in the morning while mommy gets some extra sleep! –Estelle Erasmus, writer
Pack clothes in ziploc bags. Full outfit. Can easily be launched at kids so they can dress themselves. -Meredith, Small Town Tall Girl
Buy long sleeved rash guards for swimming so you don’t have to use as much sunscreen. Ashley, The BetterBeBabe
Make a snacker tray instead of making snacks on demand all day. Cut up fruits, veggies, dip, cheese, crackers, nuts, etc. and serve on a tray. Kids can graze all day if they’d like and you can avoid being a short order cook! Cindy, Living for the Sunshine
Playing in an empty baby pool for water play with less drowning risks, no soaking wet kids or time spent filling up the pool. Give them a pitcher of water, cups, spoons etc. and let them practice pouring. Add water beads or ice cubes, things that float etc. (this can even be done indoors on rainy days) -Devon, U Ready, Teddy?
Let them paint or watercolor outside. Any mess is in the grass and let nature wash it away. Hose them down after if they color themselves . -Amelia, MBA Mom Life
We have a no screen time until certain chores are done rule. Our kids are 6 and 9 and their daily to do’s before screen time are: get dressed, brush teeth, clean rooms (including making the bed), pick up the family room and play room, and feed the dog. The first few days they complained but now they know I’m serious so everything gets done without a fuss! -Jill, Organizational Toast
For littles… Make ice cream less messy with a cake case underneath. (Or cupcake liner, for us Americans.-Jen) -Frances, Whinge, Whinge, WineMomCave’s Ultimate Summer Giveaway