Parent to Parent

Summer Fun for Busy Parents

by Patti Hermes

mom's summer fun I saw the first of the Back To School sale flyers July 15th, and my initial reaction was “Aaaaahhh!” But don’t let them scare you, summer is not over yet! You still have time to savor the last days of summer.

As parents, we tend to think of summertime as the kids’ vacation. We think we have to entertain them, signing them up for summer camp, swim lessons, planning special family fun into as many days as possible. It’s as if summertime is the only fun time, and fun is only for kids. Well, before those last sunny days and balmy nights slip away for another year, take some time for yourself and do what you want, without the children.

Let’s face it. Yes, a day at the beach with the whole family is lots of fun. But who does all the packing, making sure there are adequate snacks, drinks, toys, towels, sunscreen and beach chairs? And who carries all that stuff? And how many of you parents actually get to read that book you brought with you?

So instead of dreaming about a truly relaxing day at the beach, go ahead and schedule one for yourself. Or, if you prefer, enjoy a quiet stroll through a local museum, go wild at the water park or rock out at an outdoor concert. Whatever you do for fun, don’t forget to make time for yourself to actually have some fun this summer! Just because you know your kids would enjoy that baseball game too, doesn’t mean you have to bring them every time.

Sneak in some adult time by sending the kids off with a neighbor or friend’s family for a day (and don’t forget to reciprocate!). Grandparents may be able to keep them over a weekend, or even an entire week. If a lack of child care options is keeping you at home, then throw a party! For me summer is all about being outside, so my children will be entertaining themselves in air-conditioned splendor with a couple of DVD’s and ample snacks, while my friends join me in eating, drinking and merriment outside under the stars.

Part of good parenting is taking care of yourself so that you can take care of the rest of the family. So remember to squeeze in some summer fun just for you. Summer is not just for kids!

Patti Hermes

Patti Hermes, Parent to Parent, is living the dream with her high school sweetheart, raising their boys in the Midwest because it's a good starting point for epic road trips. While writing, reading and homeschooling take up most of her time, she still blogs at
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