True story. It is a Saturday morning at precisely 8:00 a.m. My husband and I have three computers out, trying to register three kids in the same week of summer camps. The camp is filled in three minutes. I am not even kidding. Three minutes. This is way too stressful, right? I figure out how to join the waitlist for one kid and hope that they all eventually get in.
Last summer I overbooked my kids in camps. I vowed to find more balance this summer. As a working mom part-time this summer, I need childcare as well as summer activities.
So how do we find balance?
Honestly, I am not sure. However, these are five ways I try and balance out summer camps and summer.
- Have your kids choose a certain number of camps based on their interests. Find a friend that will join too and take turns carpooling. Carpooling was a huge time saver. Pick who drops off or picks up. You can alternate days.
- Don’t forget the pool. We had a wonderful summer at the local pool. I could answer emails during break times and the kids could meet friends. Bonus: Have your kids earn money to spend on snacks. There is something about pool snacks that kids love more!
- Try half-day camps. If you have really little ones, or maybe you have kids that aren’t as pumped about full-day camps, half-day camps are a wonderful option.
- Incorporate our childhood summers. There is nothing wrong with staying home, filling up water balloons, turning on the sprinkler, nerf wars, and sending them outside. They can have lemonade stands or even an art sale (my youngest loved it!)
- Alternate camp weeks: I have three kids and I found alternating weeks for them worked out great. Having one or two at home gave them more flexibility to have friends over and have more special time with me as well. If you have one kid, try alternating summer camps with stay-at-home weeks.
As I said, I do not have a perfect solution, but this helped me last summer. No matter what advice is given, you know your kids best. What works for one may not work for another. Test the waters and see what works best for your family. And don’t forget to have plenty of popsicles along the way!