The Life and Death of June Cleaver


Being an ideal parent requires a level of energy not found at the bottom of a pot of coffee, or a case of red bull. No matter your daily caffeine consumption, or your history as a high-school cheerleader, chances are you’re running low on steam at some point throughout the day.. Lately, For me, that ‘point’ is one that is constant.

I never seem to have enough oomph in me to ‘get things done’. Hell, let’s be honest… I am lucky if I manage to get them started these days. I am not gonna lie. I am God Damn EXHAUSTED and that “mother of the year” award is well out of my reach.

I am no June Cleaver, that’s for sure, but is that really such a bad thing?

I look around at all the parents I know, and while there are a few that might ‘pretend’ to be perfect on Facebook, it is a rare sight to see one that actually is. The truth is, most of my Mommy friends don’t even try to pretend they have it all together anymore, and you know what… they are a lot happier because of it.

I had the inkling to Google ‘June Cleaver” syndrome, (this curiosity came to me while I probably should have been cleaning my kitchen)  and what I found was hilarious… I really was just joking around, but apparently I am not the only one that see this as an issue in life.  Here is what came up in my search…

The first result from Google was a site called Ungrind.com and the author has a post called ‘June Cleaver Syndrome” in which she writes this:

June Cleaver Syndrome develops when we’re busy imitating someone else’s expectations, rather than those that are a reasonable fit for our lifestyle. We have an idea of what a “perfect” mom should look like, but that image isn’t anything near to the woman we are.

I can not help but envy the woman who wrote this, and agree 100% with the words. Even in the world we live in today, where the shows we watch make being a less-than-perfect mother a little more common (and dare I say acceptable) but we are also faced with the other extreme and judgment that comes along with this reality should it fall too far out of reach.

Sure, nobody expects us to stay home and cook and clean all day, a mother’s sole purpose in life is not to raise the children and keep the house… Yet how much of those duties have really been passed on?? Yes, we go out and work, or we can get away with a less than spotless house, but how do we ‘feel’ about it? How do we think we look because of it? How many of us worry, or make excuses for it? How many feel ‘bad’? Well I say, GET OVER IT!!

I am far too exhausted to worry about whether there is dust on my shelves, whether my floors are a little too sticky, or there are dishes in my sink. I am not going to vacuum every single day, and I am fine with the fact that there are fingerprints on my windows…

I am done with trying to be a ‘great’ mom, trying to please everyone, or trying to impress guests.. The truth is, I’M TRIED, and if you don’t know how that feels as a mother then your obviously on drugs (in which case, I want to know what they are and where you got them) because the truth is that just like everyone else I’d love to have a spotless house, and spend quality time with my children whenever they desired, teaching them endlessly, cherishing each second and watching them blossom and grow… But I am just too damn tired to care, and I highly doubt that my mucky floors are going to ruin their childhood.

I do what I can, when I can, IF I want to.. and If you don’t understand that, then you may not want to come over for a cup of tea or that bottle of wine because I am not going to kill myself simply to impress other people!

NoJuneCleaver

This was just another random rant from a Mad Mama.

Until Next Time…

 

My Narcissistic World!


I haven’t had much to say lately… Okay that’s a lie, I have had a lot to ‘say’ but nothing to write.

My life, as always, has been a strange fusion of chaos and calamity still somehow causing extreme bouts of boredom. Perhaps it is the chaos itself that I am bored of… because despite all the chaos that constantly surrounds me, I find my life very mundane. Sure there are chores to do, children to care for and other important items that should be complete, but let’s be serious these things are not there to humor me, they have been put in place simply to drive me nuts. Even in the midst of catastrophe, which occurs often in my life, I am not overly entertained.

I think I need a hobby, or a crap load of money, wine and illegal narcotics… something, because as of late, even my imagination seems to have fallen asleep at the wheel, and my ability to amuse myself has been lost among the endless loads of dirty laundry.

In an ideal world I would travel, I would visit exotic lands. I would write books that would change people’s lives, and tour with Oprah as she battles to change the world.

In an ideal world I would have a nanny, a housekeeper and a chef. I would have a well stocked wine cellar and a drunken’ smile plastered on my face.

In an ideal world it would always be summer, because having to bundle up really bums me out. I would live on the beach and I would never have to work again.

In an ideal world I would never be bored like I constantly am, I would have a personal assistant to handle all my problems, and a group of others whose sole purpose is simply finding ways to keep me amused.

In an ideal world I would have top of the line electronics, robotic appliances and fancy cars. I would have breakfast in Paris, lunch in Hawaii and Dinner in Italy.

In an ideal world I would have a private jet, and my own petting zoo. (With people to care for the animals of course) I would have a walk-in closet the size of a small house and the perfect clothes to fill it, my shoes and bags would have their own room, and my kids would have their own private wing!

Sure, I’m a little narcissistic, but Hell it’s MY ideal world and I’ll enjoy it the way I want to!!!

The Sad and Sorry Life of the Internet Bandit


Seriously, some people need lives… Not that I am one to talk! I mean at this point in life my daily routine consists of spoiled children, dirty clothes and less than stellar cooking. My main source of excitement is my life online (my blogging) and my weekly trips to the grocery store. I am probably not an expert on the subject of how to live a full and meaningful life, but one thing I DO know is that I am not as pathetic as this guy… (Sorry about the blurry picture I will explain!)

The Internet Bandit

This photo (blurry as it is) was taken through my living-room window at approximately 7:30 a.m. (I was trying to be inconspicuous, hence the blurry image created because using a flash would have been a little too obvious!) But this picture could have been taken at any time throughout the day and it would have held the same image. The man in the photo above is the local ‘Internet Bandit‘ Day in and day out he can be found in front of, or near the corner of, my house stealing someone’s unsecured internet connection!

Now I am not shunning him because he is using someone else’s connection (we’ve all done it!) but that he is doing it so openly and without any shame in a public area. Not only is he doing this so openly, he is doing it all day long! The funniest part of this whole situation is that you KNOW this guy is probably sitting on Facebook (or some dating site) just lying through his teeth!

I can picture his Facebook status as I watch him through my window….

Internet Bandit says “Chillin’ at home on the couch watching the game and having a few beers.”

or

Internet Bandit says “Had a long day at work today.”

I kind of wish I could find him on Facebook just to comment on his status and scare the crap outta the liar…
“Oh yeah! Maybe we will swing by and have a beer with you!!”
“Funny, you were at work today? I could have SWORE I saw a guy that look JUST like you standing on the corner looking like a LOSER!” 

Honestly, my major issue with what he is doing is the fact that he is just sitting on a residential street doing it. He is not going to Tim Hortons or McDonalds where they offer FREE WIFI, he is not even sitting in his own house jumping on his elderly neighbors unsecured wireless network. No, this guy does not even LIVE here, he ‘commutes‘ to this corner from down the block to sit outside and steal internet!!

Can you honestly not afford the $19.99??
I bet you could if you went and found a job instead of sitting outside someone’s house stealing their internet all day while you lie to your friends on Facebook!!
In fact, if you had a job to afford the internet you probably wouldn’t have the time to be on it ALL DAY LONG! 

Just Saying!

 

Lessons From My Mother


I came across this cute little piece in a local newsletter called “The Perkolator” and I had to share it here as it shows the valuable lessons we can all appreciate learning from our mothers.

Lessons From My Mother:

  1. My mother taught me to appreciate a job well done
    “If your going to kill each other, do it outside. I just finished cleaning.”
  2.  My mother taught me religion
    “You better pray that will come out of the carpet.”
  3. My mother taught me about time travel
    “If you don’t straighten up, I’m going to knock you into the middle of next week.”
  4.  My mother taught me logic
    “Because I said so, that’s why.”
  5. My mother taught me more logic
    “If you fall out of that tree and break your neck, you’re not going to the store with me.”
  6. My mother taught me foresight
    “Make sure you wear clean underwear, in case you’re in an accident.”
  7. My mother taught me irony
    “Keep crying, and I’ll give you something to cry about.”
  8. My mother taught me about the science of osmosis
    “Shut your mouth and eat your supper.”
  9. My mother taught me about contortionism
    “Will you look at that dirt on the back of your neck.”
  10. My mother taught me about stamina
    “You’ll sit there until all that spinach is gone.”
  11. My mother taught me about weather
    “This room of yours looks as if a tornado went through it.”
  12. My mother taught me about hypocrisy
    “If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a million times. Don’t exaggerate!”
  13. My mother taught me the circle of life
    “I brought you into this world, and I can take you out.”
  14. My mother taught me about behavior modification
    “Stop acting like your father!”
  15. My mother taught me about envy
    “There are millions of less fortunate children in the world who don’t have wonderful parents like you do.”

Thanks Mom, these lessons will last a lifetime!  

Back to Sanity… I mean School!


Well there is less than a week until school starts and as usual I am not prepared at all… In fact, I am nowhere near ready. This years disorganization takes the cake in comparison to any other year before it. I am not known for my strong organization skills, and I am in fact known well as ‘procrastination queen’ (as well as drama queen, queen bitch, and spoiled princess)

This year I have somehow managed to completely and utterly out do myself and have managed to completely avoid any of the regular ‘back to school’ activities in the hopes that this ‘to-do list’ would somehow complete itself… Yet, it has not!

Now don’t get me wrong, I am über exited for school to begin again, I am a firm believer that summer vacation is far too long for kids. Even with only one of the two kids I own being in school, the return of classes brings much peace in to my home. No seriously, the contrast is astounding… and yet instead of being prepared and ready to ship my son off to grade three with a smiling face and a waiting bubble bath (for me) I have procrastinated yet again and left all of the major things until the last-minute. Now with less than a week until the start of classes panic is setting in and I have NOTHING!

My ‘Back-to-school To-Do List‘ is lengthy, and I can’t figure out where I am supposed to begin. I am positing it here in the hopes that one of my readers has a ‘back-to-school’ fairy I may be able to borrow for a day or two to tick some of these pesky tasks off this dreadful list….

Back-to-school To-Do

  1. Register C for new school
  2. Figure out where new school is so I can register C
  3. Figure out where new home is, so I can find out where new school is, so I can register C…
  4. Find new home…. (Yup this is procrastination at its finest)
  5. Purchase back-to-school items such as; Back pack, paper, pencils, binders, etc… (Honestly, Walmart should deliver!)
  6. Search out and purchase two, Yes! TWO, pairs of shoes for C (Shoe shopping with a boy is a pain in the ass in the first place, let alone show shopping for TWO pairs of shoes!!)
  7. Grocery shop for school lunch items that will not have Child Services at your door the first day back… (Note: Schools frown upon chocolate spread, cookies, candy and pop… Apparently lunch is supposed to be ‘healthy’ and promote good eating habits! This all stems back to some Sally Sue and her stupid organic garden I am sure!!!)
  8. Win the lottery… so I can find said house, purchase said items, go grocery shopping for these stupid ‘healthy organic items’ and find the new school so I can register C…
You know… On second thought, screw the fairy… I think I might need a whole team of them to tackle this list!!!

The To-Do Fairies... Helping battle lists since before lists existed!!

Why is it I don’t get a magical godmother? Honestly if anyone is deserving of a crazy lady with a wand its me, not these spoiled brats in cartoons that live in castles and whine about having to mop floors….

This is likely the Fairy God Mother I would end up with... it's just my luck!!

I know all this is my fault, I am a procrastinator and I am aware that it is an issue… But seriously people who have addiction problems get a break, people who have stealing problems get a break, My God even Tiger Woods (the sex addict) gets a break… Can’t I get a ‘Lazy Person’ Break????
Anyway… If you happen to have a team/army/or group of Fairies locked away in your closet/basement/dungeon, and you are not using them at the moment, PLEASE send them my way… I will PAY you for them… Tomorrow… Or maybe Next week….
Cheers!

Not So Fortunate – The Truth is in the Cookie!


I got this prompt from Plinky.com and I thought it would make for a good blog post.

“You are now in charge of writing the fortunes in fortune cookies. Tell us our fortunes.”

So without a need for introduction here is what fortune cookies should say:

  • You will be hungry again in an hour
  • Nothing is going to change
  • No that pork chop was not supposed to be green
  • Chicken balls are not cat meat in disguise
  • You do love your husband, even if it doesn’t seem like it at the moment as you watch him inhale his fourth helping of meatballs
  • Children should never be brought to restaurants
  • You will have an upset stomach upon leaving the restaurant, we can not be held responsible.
  • You have something on your chin
  • The one-eyed man across the room is watching you
  • Yes the waitress is flirting with your boyfriend.
  • We saw how much food you wasted. There are children starving in Africa you know…
  • You should never where white out to dinner.
  • One more drink will help you feel better, honest!
  • Thanks for coming, we’ll see you again once you forget how much you hated the food here.
  • All you can eat is not an excuse to fill up on ice cream and desserts.
  • You possibly  just gained 12lbs during dinner.
  • Fortune cookies lie!

Six Reasons Why Summer Sucks…


We are well in to the summer months now, and I don’t know how it is at your house, but here we have pretty much had enough. I am one of those parents that believes summer vacation is far to long for kids (for me), and I am seriously considering circulating a petition to cut it’s length at least in half.

The beginning of summer is always great, full of plans and excitement. The days seem to fly by fast and there are endless amounts of things to do to keep the kids busy, but some time after the 4th of July and into the start of August (the hottest month of course) things seem to fall apart. You slowly begin to hear cries of ‘I’m bored‘ that get louder and more repetitive as days go on. Boredom and chaos seem to take over and your house goes from a happy, relaxing place to a war zone complete with water-guns, and water works.

Yup, it’s true, Summer is not all games and giggles, especially for us parents.

Here are just a few reasons that summer sucks:

  • Summer means no school, which in turn means that there are children everywhere. A once peaceful trip to the grocery store means tears, screams and battles. If you are lucky enough to be able to complete this task without your own kids in tow, you are not necessarily safe from the insanity. There are still other people’s children, and they are often worse than your own. You have to dodge out-of-control toddlers as they run down the aisles and pull cookies off the shelves (this is why some smart mother invented those ‘toddler leash’ contraptions), there are the children screaming that they want a treat, and if your really lucky there are the ones that throw themselves on the ground and kick/scream/hold their breath until they get that said treat. The convenience of  shopping first thing in the morning no longer holds that same peaceful escape, instead you are faced with parents who are walking zombies, delirious from lack of sleep and children who are even more exhausted and hungry for their morning helping of breakfast (a.k.a bowl full of sugar.) Often seen stumbling around the aisles, their children 20 feet behind with a candy bar in their mouths and a scowl on their faces, these parents (and kids) are one of the reasons summer sucks.
  • Summer = extra laundry. Funny thing this is, but it is true for everyone. Although we wear far ‘less‘ clothing in the heat of the simmer months, there always seems to be more laundry to do. Swimming, outdoor adventures and frozen treats mean that hampers all over the world are filling faster. Rising temperatures mean more daily outfit changes and piles of not-actually-dirty-but-thrown-on-the-floor-anyway, clothes that need to be cleaned. Summer means hot weather, hot weather means more laundry, laundry means drying, and we all know how hot the dryer makes the house… Just another one of those reasons that summer sucks.
  • Summer means vacation, and for many families this means travel. Travelling with children, even a short distance, is like trying to round up a pack of wild monkeys. If you are dumb enough crazy enough to attempt to travel by plane with children, you had better be prepared. Long lines, security check-points, and inevitable wait times mean a need for constant entertainment. Travelling by car holds its own obstacles and is no easier than travelling by plane, except the fact that it is less public and you have the option of stepping out of the car, feet securely on the ground. Travel during summer vacation means constant questions of ‘Are we there yet?‘ endless games of eye spy, and sibling battles that have you reaching a arm over the seat to swipe at the nearest child within reach. Travel comes with the guarantee of you saying, at least once, “If you don’t stop that I am going to turn this car around” and will almost surely have you in tears at the realization that you have in fact turned in to your parents. Travel, in some form, is inevitable during the warm weather, and is yet another reason that summer sucks for parents.
  • There is an elevated cost to summer vacation that is unavoidable. Even the most savvy parent feels the strain of summer when it comes to finances. There is the cost of added daycare should you not be lucky enough to get a ‘summer vacation’ from your work, there is added costs of food to fill active children’s stomachs, the cost of clothing for dirty/wet summer play, the added costs of utilities as the sprinkler is constantly on high and the cost of you cooling off the outdoors with your central air as children storm in and out of the house. Summer gets expensive when you add in the travel and the entertainment needs, and it is one more reason that summer seriously sucks for parents. 
  • When the children are home from school and are settling in for the dog days of summer you may find that you have suddenly become a full-time Molly Maid. Water play, and fun outdoors mean dirty foot prints on the floor. Frozen treats, and daily snacks mean finger prints and sticky messes that need to be cleaned. Hand in hand with excess laundry, summer brings an added mess. During the warmer weather months you will find yourself wasting away beautiful days scrubbing the floors or cleaning up arts and crafts that were never completed. Having kids home all-day, everyday, can be very overwhelming and the mess they bring is another reason that summer sucks for parents. 
  • Finally there is the need for constant entertainment. Once the novelty of summer vacation wears off, you will begin to here things like; “I’m Bored”, and “There’s nothing to do” spewing from your children’s mouths. It is at this point that you should panic, pack a bag and call in reinforcements (a.k.a grandparents) because unless you are one of those ‘perky-all-the-time’ parents that I hate, you are in for some trouble. There is no amount off coffee in the world that will better equip you for dealing with a ‘summer bored’ child. Creativity, (and a good hiding place) are your only tools in this battle. You might want to consider stocking up on energy drinks (and ear plugs) if your children are younger, or even moving house so that you are closely connected to a park. (but it better be a good park, one that constantly changes and creates new ways to climb and play. In fact, it should be magical, and have exotic animals that the kids can ride.) Boredom and lack of entertainment are just more reasons that summer sucks for parents. 

These are just a few of the many reasons that Summer sucks for parents there are many more that are not listed here.

Feel free to share your own in the comments section below, and don’t forget all the reasons that summer sucks for kids too(There is the boredom, messed up routine, lack of sleep, lack of gossip, swimming pools filled with piss and lost brain cells. Don’t get me wrong, I love the summer weather, just sans the kids and I’d be great.) 

For another great list of reasons that Summer Sucks check out The Insane Domain. The list posted there is guaranteed to make you giggle, and will probably have you nodding your head at the computer screen like a loser… 

Cheers!

My God, I’m a Country Girl! – City Living and the Cost of Chaos.


Broadway show billboards at the corner of 7th ...

Image via Wikipedia

The city can be a wonderful place full of life and excitement. It can also be an overwhelming place full of chaos and stress, for me it has been exactly that. I have enjoyed the time I have spent in the city, but living here has made me realize that no matter how much I try to deny it, I am a country girl at heart. This is a strange realization to me, as I was born in the hustle and bustle of the city. I grew up here and I loved my childhood. Our family made the most of city living, with constant outings and daily adventures. Despite my city blood lines I just enjoy the peace and quiet of the country to the chaos of the city any day….

Now when I say ‘country’ I don’t mean cows, chickens and bales of hay. I simply mean a ‘smaller’ city or town with less going on and quiet moments to enjoy. The city I moved here from held that for me. It is big enough that you have all the amenities you require, but small enough that you can enjoy moments of peace when you desire them.

I am just not cut out for the Craziness that is city living and here is why:

  1. You are ‘No One’ Here – When you are living among 2.5 million other people you have to deal with the fact that you are ‘no one’. Okay, maybe your someone to somebody, but he reality is that city living gives you this sort of feeling that you don’t exist. I feel like an ant among the grass, somehow lost in the chaos of the city. It is rare that you run into the same person twice, and finding a friendly face (which is a comfort I enjoy) is few and far between here.
  2. There is never silence – Especially where we have been living, there is never a moment where you can just ‘be’. Surrounded by constant noise of cars, planes and people, city life lacks that ‘silence’ that I took for granted for so long. Even if it is momentary, that silence is time to myself to just be with myself and enjoy the world around me. The never-ending noise of the city is enough to make a person crazy, and it clutters my head.
  3. Getting places is a journey in itself – Even to go to the grocery store has become a chore for me while living in the city. There is never a good time to shop. In a smaller city you sort of learn the busy and quiet times of your local stores and you work around the chaos. That is impossible here. It seems no matter what time I was going to the store there were herds of people, long lines and just general chaos… it is overwhelming, especially with children in tow. Not only is shopping a task in itself, travelling to the shops becomes an adventure as well. Buses, trains and streetcars are constantly packed with travelers that are in a mad rush to get from one place to another. You are crammed together to the point of bursting, it feels like you are sardines packed in a can. I never had a problem with crowds before, but I certainly do now. I don’t like people invading my space unless I invite them to do so.
  4. People are just not nice – Not to stereotype, but people in the city are ‘rude’! It is very rare that anyone says excuse me before plowing through you in line, no one stops just to chat, they hardly ever say hello, and Thank-you is some long-lost word that no one ever uses. Walking down the sidewalk becomes a hazard and holds its own risks of injury from hurried travelers who refuse to step aside. I have watched healthy people look away as an elderly person steps on to the bus. I have witnessed more ignorance in the last few months than I have seen in a lifetime, and it is sad. Has life become so chaotic for people that they have forgotten the basics of common courtesy? When a pregnant woman, elderly, or disabled person gets on a bus, you get up and offer them your seat, Period! It is not hard to do, takes only a second and certainly won’t kill you, nor will holding the door for the person behind you struggling with two children and 20 bags… Pull up people, seriously! Anyway… sorry about that rant that is a whole post in itself…
  5. It costs a lot – Living in the city is expensive. Besides the outrageous amounts you will pay in rent there is the cost of travel, the cost of food, the cost of everything. Even a simple family outing turns in to an extravagant affair… Though there are more resources in the city, I have learned that they are harder to tap into, with tight stipulations and odd hours of operation people complain that it is more difficult to find the help you need here than it is in smaller towns. Long waiting lists and large need make attaining what you need a very difficult process.
Maybe it is me personally, I guess I was just made for a simpler life. The city has its plus side, of course or 2.5 million people would not live here, but for me the pro’s just don’t out-weigh the con’s.
I think for me the city is more a place that I enjoy to visit, but don’t want to live. I like to explore and enjoy the chaos when “I” want to, but I like the escape and luxury of going back to a quiet home.
Do you live in a big city? What do you like/dislike about it? If you live in a small town, why do you enjoy it?
I would love to hear how others feel about city/country living, feel free to share your thoughts in the comment area.
Cheers!

Pooped!


Well, I had one of those moments. You know, those so disgusting that they are funny moments that you will never forget as they have now scarred you for life…

My beautiful daughter L is now 16 months old. She is funny and saucy and full of curiosity. She likes puppies, playing outside, and most of all her bath. Last night while enjoy a soak in the tub my beautiful little princess decided she needed to poop. I was busy tidying up and gathering PJ’s and my son was sitting next to the tub with her. From across the room I was alerted to the occurring disaster by my sons uncontrollable giggles and squeals.. Apparently my beautiful daughter had a poop in the tub and then proceeded to pick it up and immediately catapult it from the tub, all within split-seconds!!!

During this event my son, rather than making any attempt to stop or prevent the fiasco from occurring, decided to take pictures of the act in progress! Unfortunately the pictures were too blurry to be used in this post, and would just not have done justice to the situation, and the suffering I endured having to scoop baby poop off the floor! So… instead I have found another NOT as suitable image to substitute here..

Cheers!

10 Secrets of a Successful Summer and Sanity to Spare…


Kids are a joy, a blessing and a real pain-in-the-ass! Made even more the latter during the holiday’s… Yes, I am talking about “summer vacation”. You know those evil 2 months when even the teachers don’t want to be around your little demons, and you are constantly bombarded with various versions of ‘I’m bored‘ day-in-and-day-out non-stop, to the point that you just want to stop, grab the little jerks, shake them and scream at the top of your lungs….

BORED? YOUR BORED? Well MUST BE NICE!!! Perhaps you would like to do the laundry? Make lunch? Make dinner? Mop the floor for the fifteenth time this week? What’s that…? Oh you’re not BORED anymore… Hmmmm…”

or simply pack your bags and leave.

Whatever the case, there are some easy and effective ideas for keeping kids busy during the summer holidays that I want to share. These ideas will not only entertain the kids, but keep you relatively close to sanity as well… (Unless your teetering on the edge to start with, in which case I make no promises!)

The Secret of a  Successful Summer and Some Sanity to Spare:

  1. Summer Camp – Nothing breaks-up the holiday, or fights off insanity, like good old Summer Camp. A week or two of overnight camp for the kids is a great way to keep them entertained, help them lean, grow and experience the world, and enjoy some peace and quiet yourself. Most cities provide ample camp options for parents through over-night ‘away’ camps, or day camp options. If cost is an issue looking into your local resources, most cities have options for camp sponsorship so you can send your children away without much cost on you. Truly though, look at it as an investment and save ahead of time… Trust me it is worth the coin.
  2. Grandma and Grandpa – If camp is not an option consider creating your own escape with the help of family members. Grandma, Grandpa, Aunts and Uncles can be a great resource if available. Plan a mini-vacation for your kids by sending them to see relatives for a week, a month, or even a day. It doesn’t even matter if they life around the corner from you, or across the street, the main goal here is to get them out of the house, and get yourself some alone time. The change of environment, and noise level, will be good for everyone. Contact these people ahead of time… In fact, it is best to bring up such plans close to Christmas when it is hard for people to say no!
  3. Share the Joy – Get together with other parents and arrange ‘summer play dates’ where you each take turns hosting the kids at your house. You may have to put up with a day of extra noisy children, but it will be well worth it when it is another parents turn to host.
  4. Aim for Amusement – Amusement Parks are another great option for keeping kids happy during the long break from school. Check out your local listings for a park nearby and gather the kids up for an outing. Amusement Parks are guaranteed to keep the kids busy for at least one day, if your children are older, and the park is close to home, consider purchasing a seasons pass. Kids never get sick of roller coasters and you will have a few hours to yourself.
  5. Hit the Beach – The local beach, park, pond or river is a great way to get the kids out of your hair and give them something to do. Pack snacks, drinks, sunscreen and a blanket and head for the water. The kids can play and you can relax. Grab a friend or relative and take turns keeping an eye on them at the water so you each get the enjoyment of not having to worry and the kids stay safe.
  6. Lifelong Learning – Sign the kids up for some sort of lessons or sport over the summer. Not only will lessons help promote hobbies and education, they will give you an hour of peace each week. Karate, music lessons, dance, or sports are great options and many are available at low-cost options.
  7. Literally Lounge – The local library is a great resource for parents. Most libraries offer free or low-cost courses, groups and activities for children of all ages. Many of which are ‘parent free’ Check out your local library to see what they offer, in the very least you will have enough time to enjoy a good book and let your mind savor the silence.
  8. Trust Tradition – When we were young summer vacation was spent outdoors. We came in for a quick-lunch and got called in for dinner. Trust tradition and kick the kids outside for the day when you are feeling overwhelmed. Have them ride their bikes, set up a sprinkler, or build a tree-house. Children are often creative, provide them with a few items and let their imaginations run free.
  9. Stock Up – Be prepared for boredom but stocking up on entertaining items. Arts and crafts, movies and board games are great ways to beat boredom or waste away a rainy day. Keep a box, or closet, of useful items handy and point it out when you hear complaints.
  10. Last Resort – If all else fails look to someone else to do the hard work for you. Daycare centers and babysitters should not be forgotten during long summer days. Hire someone, or send the kids off for a few hours each week to help break up the routine. Summer is a great time to hire a sitter as there are many students willing to work for a little pocket-money and daycare centers often provide part-time or casual discounts to tired parents. Let someone else take over and take some time to yourself.

Don’t let the strain of summer stress you out, having children does not have to mean losing your mind. Look for creative ways to keep the kids busy and ask for help when you need it. Chances are your parents remember how hard summer vacation could be and will be more than willing to lend a hand. Most of all enjoy the time summer provides for families, before long your kids won’t want your advice, so plan ahead and make the best of the warm weather.