The following is a guest post from momAgendaCOMM blogger Kris Cain.
Having two sets of twins that are three years apart, it is no easy task to find a summer program that fits our needs. Last year, the camp that we chose turned out to be a disaster! My kids hated it. They were completely bored and they affectionately nicknamed it “prison camp.” Now, whenever we drive by they close their eyes and frown at the camp.
Because lots of programs in the area do not accept kids under 6 and my boys were only 5 at the time, we tried a church based camp. It was free, but they did not live up to our expectations. My kids have warned me that I better not send them back to that camp. And that is fine with me because I just want them to be happy. The girls attended a couple of awesome camps that I will look into again this year since the boys will be 6 and they will easily be admitted.
However, since I am no longer working a 9-5 job I am considering finding a flexible camp that will let them come only part-time since I will be able to spend more time with them. Of course, the challenge then is finding things to keep busy. Since my own schedule is so busy, I plan to actually schedule time to get things done with my kids. Yes, appointments with my own kids are necessary. If your schedule looks like mine, think about these 3 simple tips to help you find balance:
1. Schedule time with your kids and put it on your calendar now. To keep track of my own schedule and my kids summer schedule, I plan to use my http://www.momagenda.com/products.cfm?cID=21&pID=90” momAgenda Desktop to plan some fun things to do on my calendar. Of course plans might change because scheduling things over a month in advance can get tricky. But, at least it can be used as a guide.
Some things that I have planned (in my head, so far) to do with the kids include:
- A train ride downtown to Millennium Park
- A trip to the Brookfield Zoo
- A trip to the Lincoln Park Zoo
- A boat trip up the Chicago river and around the lake front
- A trip to Six Flags Great America
- At least 3 days to hang at the beach
- And maybe even a weekend road trip
2. Make sure that all of your own appointments are up to date. There are many things coming up that we might know about a month or more in advance. RSVP early, and get it added to your calendar right away so that you will not forget. Summer time in Chicago is a busy time for events and outings. I already have things on my calendar into August. And that is just the beginning!
3. Coordinate time with Daddy. Make sure that planning family outings matches up to Daddy’s schedule, too. Add it to his calendar and remind him often. There’s nothing worse than having a great day planned, then having to change it because you did not know about the “xyz meeting” across town.
Besides outings and fun, I have several things that I would like to get done around the house and I want the kids to help me. The two main areas are to clean out the garage and the basement. There is so much valuable space there that could be used for fun rather than storage. We have lived in this house for almost six years. Some items got banished to the basement never to be heard from again. My kids think it is fun to hang out in the basement (go figure), so I plan to make a day of it. We can hang out down there if we get the job done.
And of course summer means that there has to be fun for Mommy! Although I have a very busy few months planned with hosting events, I also have some fun planned. This July/August will be my 20 year class reunion. Yes, 20 years! At the beginning of August I will be on a cruise to the Bahamas to celebrate. I am very much looking forward to relaxing under the sun without 4 kids calling my name. I will plan to get a massage and just try not to think about my to-do list.
What do you have planned for your family for the summer and what’s your secret to keeping the family organized this time of year?