What is The Summer Shift? Is it a cute dress from Lilly Pulizer? Well, yes. But not this one.
It’s moving from one set of tasks to another. Notice the tasks are still there.
Shifting gears seems to be what we do all year when the kids are in school. During summer imagine yourself shifting into 3rd gear—and maintaining a constant yet slower speed.
The time to smell the roses, if you will.
Is it a break? I personally don’t think so, but then again I’m still in the mothering season of having all four at home during the so-called “break”.
Hence, The Summer Switch.
–We switch from taking kids to school, picking them up, doing homework and going to soccer practice to taking bored kids and making them busy.
–We do all the things that we said we will do “in the summer”.
–We go to the grocery store every 5 minutes because the kids are declaring that there is “no food in this house”.
Here are a few ways that I have found to keep summer shifting stay smooth:
Food. (I know I always talk about feeding children, but you have to understand it is a bit of an obsession with me.) It sounds simple, but especially with teenagers, food=love. Having favorites on hand, healthy snacks and plenty of milk for cereal takes the edge off of every kid I’ve ever encountered.
No, I am not trying to contribute the national obesity epidemic. I am just telling you that it works.
Here are a few things we have enjoyed (ok, gorged upon) during the summer months:
–The Pioneer woman’s recipe for Hot Roast Beef Sandwiches.
–Italian sandwiches made ahead (less the condiments and veggies) and placed in baggies.
–Yogurt; every variety but we are really a Stoneyfield Farms family. Greek yogurt is gaining quick popularity. I can’t seem to keep enough of it in the fridge.
Planned events. It doesn’t matter if it is a simple errand. Planning an outing at a particular time helps everyone gain focus on an otherwise scattered day. It can be going to the grocery store, going to drop off donations at the thrift store or setting up a play date. The designated time helps us all.
Unplanned events. Lazy days. Couch potato days. In Florida, we get a couple of rainy day spells in a row. Those are perfect days to stay indoors, eat the above mentioned food and declare them “low productivity” days. Nothing really “gets done” it is just “maintained”–along with my sanity.
Get help of extended family or with in anyone else that you can switch out time. My In-Laws have gifted me with help over the summer. The gift of making children busy, happy and doing work — real work — all at the same time. I’m not sure if I did anything to deserve the grace that they have provided for me this summer. There will be chocolate chip cookies involved for my father-in-law. I’m sure of it.
A small price to pay for writing time.
Summer is more about maintenance and less about productivity. Sometimes we just have to structure our non-productivity!