Oh the summer time! For single people and couples without kids, it can be just regular working days with the additional trips to the pool. But for parents, it seems like work is double-time…with no pool fun! Whether it’s summer sports they’re involved with, to days where they keep on repeating, “I’m borrrrrred……,” it can drive a mom and dad crazy (I’ve seen it–not too pretty).
Here are a few things that can keep your head in the game and your sanity in check during these long summer days (and nights):
1. Plans. Keep a list of cheap or free places that offer freezing cold AC for the most unbearable days and watch Groupon and LivingSocial for great deals on museums, plays, and activities that you might not normally do.
2. Popsicles and ice cream. You’ll spend a small fortune on frozen treats if you buy them at the pool or ice cream shop. Instead, stock your own freezer with store brand ice cream and treats.
3. Water guns. They’re fun, they’re cooling, and they occupy the kids for hours on end. The bigger, the better. (Spray bottles work, too, if you are more successfully resisting the guns than I.)
4. Arts & crafts supplies. Next time you’re at the Dollar Store or hit Target’s clearance section, stock up on every cheap craft supply you can find and stick it all in a big box. Instant fun when it’s just too hot to be outside.
5. Sunscreen. You can never have enough sunscreen … ever. And don’t trust little kids to apply themselves. They simply cannot be trusted with a task that important.
6. Sunglasses. Protect the eyes just like you protect the skin!
7. Lemonade stand supplies. It’s amazing what a container of Crystal Light, a pitcher, and some plastic cups can do. The kids will be out of your hair and make some money of their own.
8. A sprinkler. Sure, a pool membership is great, but a Slip N’ Slide or old-fashioned sprinkler does the trick just fine, too. Plus, you won’t have loads of towels to wash. (Just muddy clothes.)
9. A mother’s helper. Babysitters are great, but who has the money to afford them constantly? Find an earnest 10-year-old in your neighborhood and pay her to play with your kids. Ten is the perfect age; they are hard working and eager to please, but won’t spend the whole time texting. Plus, if you snag them young, they will feel indebted to you for years to come.
10. Sanity-savers for you. A good book, yummy scented bath products, US Weekly, whatever helps you make the most of your “me time.” You’ll need it.