Let’s Have a Calm Mom Summer


First, it was a hot girl summer. Then, social media began calling for hot mom summer. This year? Can we make it calm Mom summer?! Here’s the thing – I love summer. Many of my favorite memories come from the summer season. Given that, I often feel the pressure to make it ‘perfect’ for my family – endless fun, countless adventures, constant fun. This year though? I am tired. Navigating motherhood is hard, and summer can be one of the most trying times, when kids are home, days are long, and there might not be consistent access to childcare or camp (wow, I had no idea how hard it was to get into camp!). Personally, I am navigating full-time work, full-time graduate school, and all the other things. So this is my call for all of us – let’s prioritize ourselves and make this a calm mom summer. Here’s how:

Take The Pressure Off

We are (likely!) never going to do everything we want in a given season. I recommend choosing the three most important things you want to do. This exercise helps you decide what is actually most important to you and makes everything else feel like a bonus. And keep it real. These don’t need to be big, fancy, or expensive, but they need to feel meaningful for you.

For me? This year I most want to: have a backyard/outdoor movie night, build a new garden, and read three summer novels entirely outside.

Ease Entertaining

If you know me, you know I love to host gatherings, big and small. It brings me immense joy (and I only recommend hosting if it does the same for you) and it can bring a lot of pressure and not-so-calm energy. This summer, I’m keeping it simple. While we won’t be hosting our annual Fourth of July Party given our travel schedule, we will host a Memorial Day BBQ instead. And instead of trying to manage the bash by myself – I’m asking everyone to bring a shareable app or drink. By not needing to worry about those things during the (still-too-busy) month of May, it allows me to relax more leading up to the party and enjoy it more in the moment.

Safety Planning

To create a calm mom summer, we must talk about safety. Being a pool owner, I think a lot about water safety, which is (and should be) a major cause of concern for parents of young kids (whether you have a pool or not). It is important to read and watch the resources on water safety and talk with your kids and other adults trusted with your kids about them. We also need to talk about safety explicitly. Whenever I am sending a reminder in advance of a pool party I am hosting, I will explicitly write: While we will have lots of adults around the pool at any given time, every parent must be watching their child at all times (or verbally confirming with another adult that they are doing so). Safety is of the utmost importance, so let’s create a safe space for all of us. 

Summer is also a great time to make sure you have safety kits at home and in the car. I make sure I have all medications and first aid materials available, sunscreen, bug spray, flashlights, extra water bottles, snacks and electrolyte mix, hats, and ice packs.

Prioritize Play

Summer is a great time to play, and we should all do so in a way that feels good to us. There are countless ideas on social media to help you create a memorable summer. Choose to do things that you love to do, not that you think you should love doing. If you love outdoor picnics – aim to have one each week! Maybe the beach is your thing – go as often as possible. If you actually really don’t love the heat – create a list of fun indoor activities. Most importantly, find time to do things just for you. Schedule a night out with friends, pick up the latest beach read, or commit to going on a walk early each morning before your iced coffee.

Remember This

I remember a summer or two ago when there was trending audio across social media about the fact that we only have 18 summers with our kids. What I know for sure, is in nearly every case, this is not true. It is yet another tool created to put way too much pressure on us when we should be giving ourselves a whole lot of love and grace.

We may not be so lucky to have that many summers with our kids. And more likely, we’ll have many, many more summers than that. This summer marks my second round of 18 summers with my mom, and I don’t take that for granted for a moment. So let us stay in the present, enjoy the moments we have in front of us, complain about the hard ones (consider this your permission for that, too!), and find our way towards calm this summer.


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