Summer vacation is a hard time to be a single parent. Even though my daughter is out of school all summer, I still have to work. And since I’m running a startup, finding time to take a vacation can be challenging. Even though I have to work, I want her childhood summers to be memorable. Here are five things I do to make the most of our summer vacation:
- Plan ahead. Long before summer vacation starts, I take a big-picture look at my calendar. I pencil in a few small getaways throughout the summer. It can be hard to find time and money to take a long trip, so I like to focus on taking small trips and packing in as much fun as possible over a long weekend.
- Make a summer bucket list. My daughter and I like to make a plan of the fun activities we want to do together over the summer ahead of time, so we can be more intentional about creating the time to do those fun things. It’s a great way to look back at the end of the summer at all the activities we did and feel a sense of accomplishment instead of feeling like summer came and went without any fanfare.
- Coordinate schedules. Kids are busy just like we are. It can be tricky to squeeze in time together between sports, birthday parties, summer sleepovers and grocery shopping, working, and doing laundry. I like to have a clear picture of my daughter’s schedule each week, so I can plan around it. If she has softball practice, I’ll squeeze in a workout or work on our meal plan for the week. This helps us have more free time together and it feels like we get a little more out of summer. I got these magnetic meal plans for the fridge, they make it so easy and are dry erase!
- Make a daily ritual. Let’s face it… most summer days are crazy. We all have a lot going on and when you’re the sole person in charge of all of the household to-do’s, it can seem like you spend your whole day working… at work and at home. I like to create daily rituals with my daughter – sacred times we spend together every day, even when life is busy. This could mean having breakfast together on the back deck every morning or taking a bike ride together every evening.
- Be flexible. It can be tough to coordinate schedules and make time to make summer memorable. The good news is that things often change at the last minute and if you’re willing to be flexible and a little bit spontaneous, this can pay off big time with your kids. Who doesn’t love an impromptu trip to get ice cream after a late game or eating takeout pizza poolside when a meeting gets cancelled?