The Train Wreck Mom Summer Survival List (written before I got a job)

Summer is in full swing. And you’ve already exhausted every free activity in your area. What’s a mom to do?

Make a routine that isn’t routine. Madness, I know. A routine is for the school year. Summer is for relaxing and chilling out and letting their brains turn to mush. How’s that working for you? Yeah, that’s why you’re reading this.

A routine that isn’t routine helps the kids know what’s coming up and what to prepare for. It also gives them an opportunity to take part in the planning.

Understand this: I am not saying plan out every second of every minute of every day. That’s insane. What am I saying is have some semblance of order to the day that allows flexibility for change due to mood, weather, or a better offer.


Chores – These have to be done no matter what. We have a rotation policy in my house. With three teenager girls and a four year old boy, I need all the help I can get. The girls are all responsible for their own laundry. That means wash, dry, fold, and put away. They each have their own day they do this. Then we rotate who puts the dishes away, who loads and runs the dishwasher, and who is in charge of the cat pan and trash. The four year old helps me pick up anything on the floor so I can run the Robbie ( have you read my review on the Roomba?) After that, then everyone heads to their rooms for a quick tidy up. Typically, this takes thirty minutes. It involves picking up the dirty clothes (yes, under the bed and behind the dresser), any trash and dishes, pick up and put away the clean clothes, and any other random things that tend to leak off the shelves and on the floor.

Then, I become that mom. That lame mom that makes her kids sit down and read a book. Shock! Horror! Gasp! How dare I? Yup. Thirty minutes of your nose in a book. And don’t think I’m not going to ask what you just read. I’m pretty liberal as to what they can read. With a 17, 15, 13, and 4 year old, we have a pretty wide variety of interests. Personally, I can’t get enough of dinosaur or shark fact books.

After that, we get to making something. Whether we are baking, or crafting, or doing a video, we are creating something. This is easy for The Bunny; she’s the artist in the family so any chance she can get to draw she jumps on like a lion on a gazelle. HayHay is into singing and dancing so that’s her choice of artistic release. Danny is the chef so she gets free range of the kitchen

After that’s all done then we get to some non screen time type of fun. That means games. Family games. For some families, this isn’t a big deal. In my family, there is a huge age gap. Three teen girls and a four year old boy. Board games are out. Way out. So, we get creative. Scavenger hunts. Backyard bowling. Even t-ball. Anything we can do to burn some energy and get more connected as a family is a goal. The problem we run into here is the heat. As I’m writing this, the temperature outside is going to reach 98 degrees. That’s right. There’s a boy band outside. So, outside time has to be carefully monitored.

After that, it’s usually time for lunch. This is a great time for cooking and basic life lessons skills moments. Talking about the price of things, fractions, healthy food. You know, all that healthy, happy, normal family stuff.

That’s pretty much our day. We go free range chickens after that.

Now, for a weekly plan, I try to do daily themes.

Mondays – Make Something. Food, a video, a craft project. I’m not picky – just make something. And if something means a mess then clean that up.

Tuesdays – TV. Yes, I know. Shocking. I let my kids watch TV. How dare I? I like binge watching. I like Amazon Prime. So, yeah. We have a day of just chill out and veg out. It’s summer and kids need some down time, too.

Wednesdays – Water Play. Water guns, a plastic kiddie pool, water balloons, the hose. Whatever you got as long as water is involved. I’m a fan of wash the truck Wednesday but the kids are not so happy about that one.

Thursdays – Thankful. This is a great day to write letters, postcards, or journal. I’m a big fan of communication.

Fridays – Field Trip. Get out into the world and do something. Even if it’s your local park, pool, or walking trail. Just remember to pack water, snacks, sunscreen, and a bug spray.

So, that’s my survival guide. I’d love to hear what your summer looks like. Are you going somewhere? Are you doing anything fun? Let me know.


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