The summer holiday is a wonderful time for a mom to connect with her kids. A mom is not in her usual stressful position of carpooling, keeping up with school emails, making lunches and helping with homework. Your kids are not spending hours at school, doing homework, and attending extracurricular activities. It’s a time to refocus your family life and reconstruct your values and togetherness.
Unfortunately, summer can also be a very trying time for mommy dearest. After Ramadan and your short getaway is over, there you are – stuck at home with the kids! The lack of structure and your kids’ boredom can make each day feel like a mission and extra long. Your kids are on a break but it’s not really your break because the house gets messier and you just can’t get out of the kitchen!
You don’t want your kids on devices or watching TV all day, yet it’s the only time you get a breather from the constant calls for “Mommy…!”. Conflicted between the guilt of raising your kids well or losing your sanity, your usual restrictions become somewhat on the lax side. Now on top of feeling overwhelmed, you also feel like a “loser mom” for giving in.
Dear fellow moms, you’re not alone. Most mothers are going through the same pressure as you during summer. Unless you’re on a nice, long vacation visiting supportive family, have unlimited funds to take your kids places each day, or have mild weather that’s bearable for your kids to play outside a lot, you’re pretty much at home with your kids most summer days. I feel you and I relate.
Get up, dust yourself off, and give yourself a pat on the back. You’re doing great mom, you’re not in your usual element, lower your expectations and just breathe. The most you can do is to make the best of a tough situation and survive the summer. Here are a few ideas of things I’ve done with my kids this summer that kept my head above water:
♦ Firstly, I reminded myself that this is a temporary situation and there are only a few weeks left, so look to the future! Also, the last week of summer is usually busy with school supply shopping and prepping anyway.
♦ I took advantage of our subdivision community pool, but if that wasn’t an option, I’d find the nearest recreation center to take my kids swimming on the cheap. Besides having a good time, it tires kids out.
♦ I allowed my kids to experiment in the kitchen with new recipes from Pinterest or a YouTube cooking show. I mean, which kid doesn’t like to cook? Yes, it’s a messy kitchen to deal with, but the rule is “you cook, you clean”. If your kids don’t clean the way you want, just tell yourself it’s better than dealing with bored kids.
♦ I let my kids re-decorate their bedroom with DIY ideas from stuff lying in the garage or our storage room. Also, with the Dollar Tree as a backup, we made cute decor with cheap supplies. We got ideas from Pinterest.
♦ My children started workout routines. My boys did push ups, lifted my exercise dumbbells, played “laundry basket- ball”, and ran up and down the stairs. My girls did jump-rope, jumped on my mini exercise trampoline, and bounced on my big exercise ball. If you set a goal for a prize, you’ll see how motivated they can get!
♦ We had a quiz and riddle tournament. We found riddles online and the kids got points for the correct or closest answer. This one brought a lot of laughter and fun times. After the riddles were exhausted, we did a quiz on the human body. This was so enlightening and also made us think of the Marvels of Allah’s Creation.
♦ We played a lot of board games, but not the same ol’ ones. We researched new ones and played more intricate and long-playing games. Some we already had, but if needed, buying a board game for many kids is not expensive. You can also let your kids club together from their spending money to buy it. They look after it so much better too!
♦ At early evenings, we would have a sleepover. All my kids would sleep in one bedroom or the living room floor and tell stories together and have glow sticks or use a projection light of the stars on the ceiling.
♦ We didn’t yet, but you could window shop and get $1 ice cream afterward from McDonald’s to have at the park.
♦ My kids would have late, late afternoon bike rides and play basketball on the cul-de-sac.
♦ On rainy days especially, we would watch Islamic YouTube videos that were short, and Muslim comedians on YouTube like Smile to Jannah.
♦ When you run out of ideas or can’t do some, I allow my kids play on devices, but I implement a “How to get your device” list. This is a list of requirements my kids have to accomplish in order to get their device. I also tell my kids to balance the time they play on a device with the time they read a wholesome book.
♦ Last but not least, don’t forget to make dua and ask Al Waliy – the best of Helpers, our truest Friend Allah, to make our difficulty easy.
I pray these ideas help moms with bored kids this summer. It would be great to hear other mother’s ideas of coping their summer, so share your thoughts below or on Instagram with me.😉