It’s summertime! Time for sun, fun and sand. Frolicking on the beach and in the sea. Late night, breezy skies and dancing under the moonlight. Sleeping till midday and staying up all night. Oh wait, that is not my summer anymore – that was before I had kids. Now summertime is completely different for me: Spending gruesome days at the club and baking in the sun. Kids fighting, hair pulling and nerves screaming. Waking up at the crack of dawn and going to sleep at sunset. Stinky diapers, sticky fingers, and tons of laundry. In short summertime can be a nightmare with kids around. So how to turn it into a pleasant dream for all parties involved? Follow these short guidelines and summertime will pass like a breeze.
Send Kids To a Good Daycare –
I’m not shirking responsibility here by getting rid of my kids. This is actually for the kids benefit more than the parents. Kids need activities and events to occupy their days. So unless you are a mother who is willing to spend at least 5 hours a day entertaining her children and have the ideas, time and energy to do it – send them to a place where they will have more fun. And when you go get them at the end of the day, you will have had time for yourself and can focus more energy on them and only them.
Avoid The Mid-Day Sun –
Plan for a little down time during that period or stay indoors. Dehydration and sun stroke are serious illnesses and should be treated as such. Always have water and other liquids on hand and encourage your kids to drink frequently. Do not wait until they are thirsty – that usually means that they have already reached a certain level of dehydration. Always have them wear a hat when in the sun, outfit them in loose light colored clothing and use a sunscreen with a minimum of 30 SPF on exposed areas. And as always set a good example by drinking water yourself. After all how good is a bed-ridden dehydrated mom?
Get a calendar for the months of Summer and plan activities and trips every few days. Create an agenda for each trip and activity and stick to it. You can be as creative and diverse as you want; go to the zoo and feed the elephants, take a day trip to Sokhna, visit the mall and learn all about advertising and sales techniques, or have a water fight party in the garden. If your kids are old enough, have them suggest ideas and set down the agenda.
Do New and Creative Things –
You don’t have to get out the coloring book every day, go to the club every evening, spend every weekend on the beach in Marina. Think outside the box – come up with new and creative ideas, no matter how crazy! Instead of playing in the sandbox today, how about you turn it into “make your own cupcake day”; Have your kids make tons of cupcakes and then go to an orphanage to donate them. That is called multi-tasking or hitting two birds with one stone; you occupy your kids and at the same time teach them all about giving and that there are less fortunate kids than them. Also instead of going to the same old places every time, check out new things that would never cross your mind – like taking a pottery class together – or going to the Sayida Zeinab Kids Center or a library/bookstore – or even just spending the day in Azhar park.
For the older kids – try to enroll them in at least one sport school this summer. The activity is great for the mind and soul as well as for your own piece of mind.
Minimize TV, PlayStation & Computer –
Summertime is outside time. The kids spend enough time as it is cooped up inside. They should be taking advantage of summer and spending as much time as possible outside.
Get Together With Friends Who Have Kids The Same Age As Yours.
If you have none, look for a playgroup in your area; and if that also fails, why not make your own? Kids get to socialize, let off steam, have fun, and you get to spend time with someone who can say more than two-word sentences.
If both you and your husband work, try to take at least a week off together and spend it exclusively with your kids. Make it sacred family time. That way your kids don’t feel that work is the only important thing in your life and that you don’t have any time for them. This could be a good opportunity to go away – or even stay at home and fill the days with fun family activities like scrabble night, movie and pizza day, etc…The end result, even though summers are crazy, sticky and hot; enjoy them. There are only so many left until your son will be telling you that he doesn’t want to spend summer with you because he is going away with his friends.