Plan your family’s summer now and enjoy later

It started about a month or so ago. In casual conversation, or specific emails, friends starting making plans for their kids’ activities for the summer and asking me about my children. What was I planing for my kids? What camps were they doing, swim lessons, soccer teams, etc.? I had no idea and for some reason this year the whole situation was completely overwhelming to me. It may sound ridiculous, but it was hanging over my head and I was actually lying in bed at night thinking about it (I know what you’re thinking – this woman needs to get a life). I have three kids – 4, 6, and 8 – and I am finally at the point where all three can participate in activities, but, with different interests, ages, skill levels, etc., how am I to weave together a schedule that works for everyone, including me, and does not require my minivan to hit the highways for hours each day, especially given the gas prices?

 Finally my husband took pity on me and printed out a blank calendar for the months of June, July and August, he gave me a budget to work with for activities, I collected all of my brochures and information on the kids’ activities and we had a planning session.

I cannot tell you how much better I felt after writing everything down on paper. I think this exercise was especially valuable because I was able to balance the activity weeks with weeks or days with no planned schedule so we are free to go to the beach, go to a friend’s pool or maybe have a – gasp – pj day.

Have you planned your family’s summer? 

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Rachael Ray