Summer conjures up images of sunshine, relaxation, friends, swimming, flip flops, ice cold treats…
None of us want the summer to just slip away without having at least a little fun! In our busy lives, summer is the perfect excuse to slow down and enjoy life, our kids, our family…and make some memories!
We’re going to spend the month of July writing our Summer Story!
What does that look like? Having fun, documenting it, reminiscing together, and creating a tangible keepsake you and your family can look back on at the end of Summer 2018 and remember just how FUN you had together!
We’ll make sure every person in our family has fun this summer. The main goal is to do something that is:
Fun for you
Fun for your partner
Fun for each child
Fun for the whole family
This goal is all about honoring the individuals that make up a family. “Fun” isn’t going to look the same for every person. So we’ll make room for everyone’s vision of what summer is to them.
Let’s avoid the end of the summer slump where we look back in August and September and think “Man, where did the summer go? I wish I’d done more.” Let’s shed that mom guilt one day at a time by making sure THIS summer doesn’t slip away without lots of fun! Yes, there’s work. Yes, there’s bills. Yes, there’s stress. But there is also sunshine and love and memories to be made. Join us for this month’s guided journal as we write our Summer Story!
“Summer will end soon enough, and childhood as well.” – George R.R. Martin, Game of Thrones
Bring your family in on this month’s challenge from Day 1! Let them know that you’re all going to work together to write your family’s Summer Story. The goal is for each family member to do at least one thing this summer that’s fun for them.
Start brainstorming! Make lists. One big list, lots of individual lists…you decide. You don’t have to commit to anything on the lists…this is just the idea part. Let your kids know that, too, that this is just the idea stage. Get your family thinking about what sounds fun. Spend a few days coming up with the list. Put the list in plain sight. Add to it as you think of things.
You can prompt them by asking what would feel like summer: Swimming? Popsicles every week? A new pair of flip flops? Watermelon for lunch? Making homemade lemonade? A road trip? A hike? A picnic? Fishing? Water balloon fight? Flashlight tag? Catching fireflies? Find out what’s sounds fun to each person: write it all down, even the impractical. Today is about dreaming big…we’ll work out the details later.
You’ll hear me say over and over that “you cannot pour from an empty cup.” So what about you, mama? What sounds fun to you? Write it down. I really want you to complete your fun thing first. Be the model. It’s okay for you to go first.
Yesterday you made a list of ideas about what is fun for you…now what can you do to put it into action? Write out what it will take to make your summer fun come true. Schedule a sitter, coordinate schedules, etc. Get all your ducks in a row. Set yourself up for success.
Then write about it—capture the details, the clothes, the food, the smells, the weather, the fireworks, the look on your child’s face, the music—all of it. Think of it as practice writing for your summer story.
Take a look at your lists. Are there active AND restful items on the list? What could you add to the list that would be easy, peaceful, and promote rest? Add things to your list that capture the essence of summer laziness.
Who do you want to hang out with this summer? Who do you want to see? Meet up with? Chill by the pool with? Who do your kids want to spend time with? How can you incorporate friends and family into your summer story? Start writing down the “who” and reaching out to others so you can start coordinating schedules.
Revisit the lists. What do you need to do to make some of them happen? Which are realistic for this month? Affordable? Free? Which ones take pre-planning? Which ones can you transfer to a long-term goal list? Which ones could be spur of the moment? Start making plans to make them happen. Writing down plans or what you need to succeed is a great step in the right direction.
Each person’s idea of fun is going to be different (even in a family…especially in a family). It’s a good idea to let everyone know that and to remind them as the month goes along. The goal is that each family member gets to do at least one fun thing…without others ruining their experience with a poor attitude.
What can you do as a mom to hold the space for everyone? How can you help guide your family through the different fun activities without someone else’s attitude interrupting the fun? What do you think each person needs to hear or be reminded of going into the activities? What do you need to say that will get through to each person in the family? Do you even need to say anything? What do you need to tell yourself if your kids choose something you can’t stand as the parent? What can you do to keep a positive attitude and help them meet their summer goal?
Spend today writing about holding the space and how you can model positivity and fun during each activity. You might not need to, but I’ve found it easier to think about it a bit ahead of time and have a positive response before going into an activity in case one person’s grumpiness starts to mar someone else’s fun.
Check in with yourself and your kids. Are you getting burnt out? Are you balancing play with rest? Is everyone getting enough sleep? Observe your family and see if you are balancing fun and rest. Write about what is going well or what you could work on.
Make it a point to take at least one photo of each fun outing to add to your summer story. Think about what you need to do to make this happen. Clear up space in your phone’s memory? Get a new SD card for your camera? Write it down. Think about captions.
Is everyone getting his or her basic needs met throughout the day? (This includes you, mama!) Does everyone have enough water, food, and rest? Most adults and kids do better when they are hydrated, fed, and feel rested. Write about it. What do you do to make sure these basic needs are being met? Are there things you could work on? Could you push more water? Pack more water bottles? Pre-plan snacks? Make your bathroom breaks a priority? Write about it.
Plans change a lot…especially when you have kids. Take a look at your lists. See if anything needs to shift or change. Write down your observations. What’s going well, what could shift.
“Do what we can, summer will have it’s flies.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
It’s a Friday. In Summer. Stop what you’re doing. Go outside. Do something fun. Give in to the Aloha Friday vibe and just make room for joy! (Then come back and journal about it).
We’re half way through this month’s Family Fun challenge! Who’s done what? Write about it—alone or with your family. Write down details of what went well. Honor the memories you’ve made in the last two weeks by documenting them in your journal. (You’ll thank yourself later when you go to put together your end of summer keepsake).
“When you are grateful, you don’t have time to worry.” – Tony Robbins
How do we stay motivated as moms? With gratitude and grace. We cannot be grateful and angry at the same time. We don’t have time to worry when we are focused on gratitude. Gratitude and negative emotions cannot exist at the same time. So we give ourselves some grace…permission to dwell in gratitude without guilt. Take time to enjoy motherhood, summertime, and the company of loved ones—and be genuinely grateful for all of it.
What are you grateful for…in your home?
What are you grateful for…when it comes to your children?
What are you grateful for…in your role as a mom?
What are you grateful for…in your neighborhood? Or even the city where you live?
What are you grateful for…in your every day life?
What are you grateful for…in your friendships?
What are you grateful for…this summer?
If you’re not done with your goals, keep going! If you’ve had adventures already, start writing them down. Remember as many details as you can. The sights, smells, weather, food, people, clothes, music, place, time, plants, jokes, smiles…as much as you can. This is your reflection day, mama. Enjoy it.
Bring your family in on it! Repeat yesterday’s prompts, but with your family. Write from their point of view and what they remember.
Sit down together as a family and choose which photos you want to include in your Summer Story. Which ones are you going to print out? This could take 5 minutes or an hour. Enjoy that time together.
Then write about that moment you had together choosing the photos: how long it took, which memories your kids or partner got most excited about, how it felt to sit together and reminisce about your summer memories.
Sit down together (or solo) and write the captions from the photos you chose yesterday. Include dates, names, locations, details, quotes. (Check out the awesome summer quotes on the yayamamas IG and FB pages for ideas!) Spend some time writing short snippets or stories or gather the ones you’ve already written. It’s a great way to slow down and reminisce; for everyone to really appreciate all you’ve done.
What could you do that’s fun right in your own yard? On your own street? Right at home? Write about it. Get creative (poetic even) with the details. As the month draws to a close, this will act as a nice reminder that you don’t have to venture far to be present with your children, giving them your full attention, as you discover (or rediscover) your own backyard just for fun.
I want you to be honest with yourself. How much of this month’s fun was about “stuff” and how much of it was just about being together as a family? What were your most fun moments? When did you feel most connected and plugged into your kids?
Summer isn’t over yet, even if our challenge is drawing to a close. If you didn’t squeeze in everyone’s idea, there is still time. Remember, it doesn’t have to be elaborate. It can be as simple as a popsicle on the back porch.
If you already met your goals, how would you and your family feel about keeping the fun going? What if once a month or even every week you focused on Family Fun as a way to reconnect and keep the spirit of summer alive all year? Think about it. Talk about it. Write about it. You’ve been talking openly with your family about your Family Fun goals all month long…keep the conversation going! Decide on new Family Fun goals and write them down.
The four week challenge is over, but there are still a few days left in the month. (Bonus Days, if you will). At yayamamas, we always use the first bonus day to send thank yous. They can be casual or formal, a text or hand written note. Send a thank you today. Not sure who to thank? Try going back to week three’s journal entries. Gratitude week is a great place to start.
Print photos from this month’s memories and put them up somewhere in the house! The fridge, in a collage in the hallway…or put them together in a photo book! Whatever you choose, make it something you can see and touch then put it in plain sight to celebrate and remember all the Family Fun from Summer 2018!
We’ve spent the month having fun, writing our summer story, and making the most of summer. Way to go, mamas. I’m proud of you. Proud of us. As the dog days of August loom in front of us and school schedules get closer and closer, we start to shift our focus to August’s Guided Journal Prompts…a sense of Home.
Home. What does that one word conjure up for you? What are your first thoughts? The first words that pop into your head? Write those down. And join us here tomorrow for more journal prompts as we strengthen ourselves and our families one day at a time. #strongwomenmakestrongmothers