Mommy Summer Brain

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Mommy Summer Brain

It is July! My favorite month of the year. Summer is in full swing. While our kids are diving into the season headfirst, many of us moms are grappling with what I like to call “summer brain.” It’s that feeling of disorganization and forgetfulness that seems to hit when the kids are out of school and our routines are thrown out the window.

My producer just asked me for my blog, and I said to my husband before he left for work this morning: “I have summer brain. How am I going to write when I have summer brain.”

  • I feel disorganized.
  • I am staying up later and sleeping later.
  • I’ve lost my routine.
  • I am having a harder time getting things done.
  • I am trying to fit in work and lots of summer fun.
  • I have my three kids at home all day = juggling three kids ALL day.
  • I feel more forgetful.

Summer brain is a real thing. I am living it. The school year is a whirlwind of schedules, homework, and extracurricular activities. We transition into summer with the idea that things will slow down, but somehow, they only get crazier. A mom just said to me, “My kids need to go back to school.” My hope is that by the time you are done reading this that you won’t feel that way! If you love having your children home for summer, I hope this can be helpful anyway! I love summer. I also deeply have summer brain.

Embrace the Chaos and the Mess

First things first, embrace the chaos. Summer is a time for fun and relaxation, not perfection. Let go of the pressure to have a perfectly organized schedule. Allow yourself and your kids some flexibility. Last minute trips to the ice cream shop or a spontaneous beach day are what summer memories are made of. I need to loosen up and shift to summer mode. I also need to realize that with all three of my children home all day, the house is not going to be as clean as I would like it. it’s okay for things to be a little messy and chaotic. Summer is about making memories, not about having a perfectly clean house or sticking to a strict schedule.

Create a Family Calendar

Keep track of all your activities, appointments, and special events on a family calendar. Whether it’s a physical calendar on the fridge or a shared digital one, having everything in one place will help keep you organized. Just when I think I have everything organized, I realize that I forgot something. I just need to keep my calendar updated. I have definitely forgotten things this summer. A perfect example is having the orthodontist on the family calendar and still forgetting about it because my daughter’s friends came over and I got distracted. I need to help myself with alerts on my phone. It will warn me to get out of the pool and head to the orthodontist. It will warn me to send Lillie’s friends home because she has cheerleading. Summer is a different mode of parenting.

Create a Loose Routine

While it’s great to be spontaneous, having a loose routine can help keep some structure in your day. Plan for a few anchor activities, like morning walks or evening story time, to give your day some rhythm. This can help prevent the entire day from feeling like a free-for-all. I’m all for a free for all but I love family dinners and evening family movie time. Morning walks with my daughter have been so enjoyable. I need loose summer days with a little rhythm. Find what works for you. I know some parents have a full-on summer schedule for their kids. Especially the moms who are still working all day. Some kids are at camp all day and this doesn’t apply to you.

Delegate and Share the Load

Don’t try to do everything yourself. Enlist the help of your partner, older kids, or even set up a mom swap with friends. Sharing the load not only eases your burden but also creates a community of support. Plus, kids love spending time with their friends, so it’s a win-win! I caught up with high school friends last night while my husband Seth covered voice lesson duty and my friends covered Lillie friend time duty. I think one of moms’ biggest flaws is trying to do everything ourselves. There is a reason that there is the term, “It takes a village!” We were never supposed to parent by ourselves. Remind yourself of that. Especially when you feel overwhelmed or when you feel like you need a parenting break.

Prioritize Self-Care

It’s easy to put ourselves last on the list, but taking care of yourself is crucial. Whether it’s a quiet cup of coffee in the morning, a solo walk, or a night out with friends, make time for activities that recharge you. A happy, rested mom is the best gift you can give your family. Don’t ever feel badly for taking a mommy time out for yourself. Your kids want a happy mom. You are teaching your kids the importance of self-care. We want our kids to take care of themselves so be a good role model. It will also make you a better summer mommy.

Stay Connected

Even though schedules are looser, staying connected with your mom tribe can be a lifesaver. Plan regular meetups, whether it’s at the park, pool, or someone’s backyard. Sharing the ups and downs of summer can provide much needed support and laughter. Lillie has given me the gift of her best friends’ moms. I love my time with them. When I think of summer, I think of the six of us by the pool. While I love giving my children friend time, when I can add my friends into the mix it makes it even better and keeps me more sane.

Enjoy the Little Moments

Finally, remember that summer is fleeting. Take time to enjoy the little moments. Taking summer walks with my family. Going for a bike ride. Taking them to the drive in. Ella and I reading on the pool deck together is so special to me. These are the moments that your kids will remember and cherish.

Meal Plan and Prep

Take some time each week to plan and prep meals. This can save you from the daily “What’s for dinner?” panic. Consider preparing a few easy, go-to summer meals that require minimal effort. I also find that – I don’t want to come inside so I end up cooking later and we end up eating later. I also like to grill a lot in the summer. Summer meals are much lower key. Summer is short in Buffalo, NY and I want to savor it! I would much rather be outside enjoying the summer vs. inside cooking. I thought my children were going to take some of the summer cooking load but that hasn’t happened yet. I need to work on that!

Establish Quiet Time

Set aside a daily quiet time for everyone in the family. Whether it’s for reading, napping, or just relaxing, this break can help everyone recharge and give you a moment of peace. I have put myself in mommy reading time outs. Kids don’t realize they need to rest and recharge. I tell moms that I reset and recharge many times throughout a day.

Delegate Chores

Get the kids involved in household chores. Create a chore chart to assign age-appropriate tasks. Not only does this lighten your load, but it also teaches kids responsibility. I love that my kids are home to be more helpful. Lillie tends to complain about the messes (like I do), so I put her to work. Max is great at carrying all my heavy grocery bags and bags of rocks for the backyard. Ella loves to run errands with me and help me.

Stay Hydrated and Fed

Make sure everyone stays hydrated, especially during those hot summer days. Keep water bottles handy and encourage outdoor play to burn off energy. I love when my kids are outside and not on their screens. However, I have to make sure my youngest takes time out of the fun for meals and for water. She tends to get headaches if she doesn’t eat regularly and drink enough water. She is 11, so I expect her to be more responsible with this. However, we need to keep a pulse on it and make sure our kids are still eating meals and drinking water through the summer months. We have such a meal routine during the school year. During the summer, a looser mealtime schedule is not always a good thing.

Summer is short. It will be over before we blink.

Embrace the chaos.

Embrace the mess.

Try to be a little carefree.

Dinners don’t have to be perfect or on time.

Boredom is okay.

It’s ok to forget what day it is.

I’m going to try to be carefree. I’m going to try to get some work done. I am typing this next to my 11 year old as she watches tv and eats breakfast at 10:45 AM. You know what that means. When you have a 10:45 breakfast, lunch is later, and dinner is late. This is summer. My summer brain will adjust and then the kids will go back to school. I hope you can manage your summer brain and enjoy summer with your kids. If you are feeling more unfocused at work. Know that you aren’t alone. Summer mom mode may be different, but we’ve got this. I hope you can go enjoy the sunshine today! Cheers to summer mom brain!

Laughing, Learning, Loving,

Rebecca Greene, LCSW-R


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By |2024-07-03T14:31:52+00:00July 3rd, 2024|Mommy Brain, Summer|Comments Off on Mommy Summer Brain

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About the Author:

Rebecca Greene received her Bachelor’s degree in psychology and her Master’s degree in social work at the University at Buffalo. She has experience working as a therapist and supervisor for families whose children had severe behavior problems. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years before diving back into work. Rebecca is a social worker, blogger, vlogger, podcaster and author. She lives at home with her husband Seth, their son Max, their daughters Ella and Lillie, their cats Faith and Joy and their dog Tanner. Rebecca’s full house keeps her very busy. She finds much joy in writing and loves connecting with the experts on her podcast.
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