127. Planning your Summer on Purpose (Tips for Moms)

When we think about being home with the kids for the summer there can be a lot to dread AND be excited about in this season.  I have found my way out of that mental overwhelm is to make a plan on what what I DO want my summer to be. 

Over the years of planning our seasons as a family, we have developed an approach that helps us stay flexible, work around the hurdles and show up even on hard days.  I want to share the main points with you here. 


This episode has a companion workbook that takes you step by step through planning out the summer that you and your family want to have. 

Get your Summer on Purpose Workbook here.


Planning your days, as a mom

I have found so much value in having a plan on what we will do. I started planning when I was home with my babies and have been loving the benefits ever since. 

My kids even asked me to schedule their days for them during isolation, and I shared how that went here. 


Why should a mom make a plan?

  1. To feel in control, rather than scramble for it last minute
  2. To make room for the important things to happen – balance – proactive
  3. To have some stability – for us and our kids – we know what is happening and what we need to expect and prepare for
  4. To take ownership – don’t let summer just happen AT you
  5. To have FUN!  We want to ENJOY summer

So often we hear the countdown of ‘how many summers we have left with our kids’. And this can make us a little panicky inside. I want to approach summer with intention and abundance. 


Declutter the mental overwhelm of summer

  1. Ask what you feel EXPECTED to do, by culture, society, Instagram
  2. Ask what feels hard about summer as a mom?
  • I have a list:
    • The mornings where they get stir crazy but I’m not ready to head out
    • Feeding everyone healthy snacks
    • Getting work done
    • Sibling spats – those have broken my brain in the past
    • The energy I tell myself I will need to give them activities and adventures
    • How will I handle screentime

I need to really brain dump all the things cluttering my brain and then address them point by point. 


Planning out the summer you WANT to have

Ask your family – what summer do you want to have? What activities do you want to do? What vibes/feelings do you want summer to have?

  • Some years we were like road trips and camping
  • Some we were like backyard BBQs and beaches
  • Actually, we seem to rotate back and forth between the two

Some other visions for a summer:

  • Mocktails and gardening
  • Books and suntans
  • Fishing and hiking
  • Popsicles, parks and kiddie pools
  • Bike parks, bike paths and exploring
  • Neighbourhood water fights

Having a vision is so important. It lets you get clear on what you want so you can make the decisions that will get you there. 


Making a family bucket list for summer

We involve our kids in sharing their ideas on every season and holiday – we want to know what they hope for and see where it we can make it happen. You can also read more about our approach to family meetings right here. 

Some of the things on our bucket list this year:

  • Buy a pool
  • Bubble wars
  • Giant walk day
  • Movie day
  • Pajama day
  • Beach day
  • Candy day
  • Taste test (one of their faves)



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A post shared by Shawna | Life Coach for Moms (@simpleonpurpose.ca)

Other family summer bucket list ideas:

  • Backyard campout
  • Back yard movie night
  • Cabin stay 
  • Kayaking or canoeing trip
  • Waterslide day
  • Camping trip

Also see this post for a MEGA LIST of simple things to do with your kids, and get the free download to print off. 

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Setting daily routines for summer days

I love rhythms of the week – listen to episode 28 to hear some of the ones we often have during the school year. 

Keep it flexible by time blocking. Which is setting aside chunks of time for a type of activity, then getting the specifics nailed down closer to the date. 

Rhythm and routines allow you to add in things that are part of your vision – things you want to make time for. And also for adding in blocks of time for things you need to get done like laundry and meal prep. 


Making plans for the summer

Be proactive and make plans for things like supplies to get, line up child care, plan out meals, etc.  My motto is to plan what makes your life easier. 


What matters most is how you show up

You can make all the wonderful plans, but if you are stuck in overwhelm and stress then the plan won’t save you.  Our work, as the mom, is to keep an eye on how we are showing up – not just for our families but for us too – for our own enjoyment of the season. 

One thing that helps is making time for yourself – if you are a mom martyr, like I was, I know this is hard 

And understand how powerful your mind is in all this – your thoughts create your feelings – so pay attention to the stories you are telling yourself this summer and how they might keep you stuck.

It can be so freeing to recognize that part of the day is hard and part is awesome. And when it is hard you don’t have to let it get all heavy and think you are doing it wrong. You can allow the hard parts to come and go and keep your eyes out for the awesome parts


Remember, why you are planning your summer on purpose

To enjoy this summer! Think about what you loved as a kid about summer – ask your kids what they love about summer – it is a very special season right? So let’s be intentional about making space and time and energy for the summer we want to have. 

three images of summer scenes on pink background with text overlay that says 'summer on purpose: the workbook'

If you want to take everything I talked about here and follow it step by step for yourself then get the Summer on Purpose Workbook – we go through all this and few other ways to be intentional this summer

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