Today I am excited to have my friend Kimby guest posting! She is another Texan and has recently become a Stay at Home Mom! She wants to share her experience and tips for surviving the summer with 4 kids at home! I think you will love her bucket list! Thanks Kimby!
The countdown to summer began a few weeks ago. Everyday, as we change the number on my countdown chalkboard, the kids scream in delight while I scream on the inside. A little about our family….we are a blended family. I have Alli Paige, who is 11, my husband Jason has Alli, who is 9 and Emilee who is 7 and together we have Landry, who is 2. That’s right, 2 Alli’s and yes, all girls.
When we got married 3 years ago, we both worked 2 full time jobs. We both continued to work until Landry was 6 months old. This got us through the summer time. After the summer we sat down to evaluate where all of our money was going…who knew day care would end up costing more each week than what I was bringing home? At that time, we decided it would be more cost efficient for me to stay at home with the kids. I never saw myself as a SAHM. I had been working since I was 15. What was I going to do with a baby and 3 kids at home? The thought of not having to get ready in the morning to go to an office did sound appealing. Not having to put on makeup or a bra?!??! The more I thought about the pros and cons, the more appealing it sounded. Little did I know this choice was going to be harder than any “real” job I ever had.
Now skipping to last summer. My first extended time to have all 4 girls at home. I did not have anything planned out. I thought, “who need’s a schedule?”. Again, being a first timer, I quickly learned that you have to plan every minute of every day of the summer or you or the kids will go crazy! It only took me 2 days to realize this fly by the seat of your pants parenting isn’t going to work. At that moment I also thanked God for the teacher’s for all they do and wished we had year round school. I tentatively planned out a few days. Library, splash pad, movie day….but after a week, I was out of ideas. Also, being a SAHM had cut into any “fun money” we had. Trying to come up with last minute ideas that would be fun and entertaining for a 1 year old up to a 10 year old was exhausting and stressful. I was not enjoying the kids and they were not enjoying me. By the end of last summer we were ALL ready for school to start.
I told myself this summer would be different. I spent hours on Pinterest, talking to other moms, researching ideas for entertaining kids on a budget. The kids and I sat down last weekend and came up with our “Summer Bucket List”. We all came up with ideas on activities we would like to accomplish this summer. Some of the ideas are free…learn 20 Spanish words, learn a bible verse, join the local library club and wash the dogs. Other ideas will cost a little money but if the majority is free or inexpensive. We should be able to save for the bigger ideas like ride a horse, go to the movies or visiting an art gallery.
The kids are so excited about experiencing new things! They are so excited about getting to play in the rain and swim at night. These are simple activities that I did as a kid, but never thought to share with my kids. With video games, iPads and the TV, we sometimes forget how to have fun without electronics. Sometimes it’s nice to get back to basics.
In 3 ½ days (yes….we are counting down every little hour) all 4 kids will be home for the summer. Although I still have a little anxiety about keeping them entertained for months, I feel better prepared. I don’t know if we will be able to cross off everything on our bucket list, but I know we will make tons of memories this summer.
Here are some of the links to a few of our bucket list items. I hope you enjoy them as much as I hope too. Fun for kids of all ages: http://handsonaswegrow.com/halloween-activity-a-sticky-spider-web/ Idea for a nature scavenger hunt: http://indulgy.com/post/r5RcYsEeD1/nature-walk-scavenger-hunt We may have to make several types of these: http://www.craftaholicsanonymous.net/33-of-the-best-popsicle-recipes-for-summer Here are some easy bible verses for children to learn and live by: http://ministry-to-children.com/30-easy-bible-verses/ I have never done get catching…but this looks super fun of all ages and best part…these are hidden all over the world: http://www.geocaching.com
What is on your summer bucket list this year?