But there's one week left, and you've run out of parks, fountains, yogurt shops, forced family fun, and pools. What's a tired Mom to do? Are you tired of entertaining and feeding your kids like the rest of us? The sun is still shining and you're letting them rot in the basement with the TV on? You can't make it to the finish line - are you so OVER SUMMER?
Well, you've come to the right place. Here are some ways to survive the last week of summer with your kids:
Can you say Summer Day Camp? Can you picture freedom from 9am-5pm? I am a Stay in the MInivan Mom, so for a long time I never signed my kids up for camp because I thought I was supposed to be camp. I stumbled across this idea about 10 years ago - when I realized just how stressful the last week of summer and the first week of school can be. We were all sick of each other and grumpy at the end of summer from all the hot, sticky togetherness. I signed them up for a full day camp at the park near my house; the camp had perky, teenage counselors and games, activities, and songs to ENTERTAIN even the most bored child in my house. Win! But there was MORE!
Here are the Summer Day Camp benefits I was NOT expecting:
- A week to myself to buy last-still-not-found things on my scavenger list, er, I mean, school supply list, without kids home watching TV or following me in the store begging for toys while I tried to use my last two surviving summer brain cells.
- A week for my kids to be tired enough to go to sleep before the sun went down. This usually occurs during the first week of school, much to the despair of the almost rested Entertainment Director of Your Offspring, and that teacher ends up with a classroom of grumpy, tired students. If the kids adjust their sleep cycles the week BEFORE school, by getting up early for camp, running around in the sunshine and fresh air all day, and then crashing in tired happiness before nightfall (which is 9pm in the Pacific Northwest), everyone is more pleasant the first week of school.
- A week to reward myself for keeping the children alive all summer - this is now the week where I schedule my Summer Rewards: massage, haircut, pedi... and now that I'm over 50, the chiropractor. I call it Summer Spa Camp.
I hope you have had a successful summer, and by successful, I mean the kids have eaten something and took at least one shower (swimming in the community pool DOES NOT count). If you see me next week during Summer Spa Camp, you'll notice that I'll be smiling...