I’m going to be very honest.
Our summer is scheduled.
We have structured this summer to be full of bliss and fun.
But, we’re not going to be too busy.
I don’t do busyness.
Of course, hopefully you know that by now since I wrote a book called Savoring Slow.
However, we are a family that thrives on structure, routine and traditions. We are a family that embraces a full day of good things. We are a family that schedules downtime into our scheduled days.
And we are a family that will work in as many moments as we can to live the Savoring Slow life but we’ll do it with a structured slow day.
How do you embrace a slow summer with kids?
When I wrote Savoring Slow, I intentionally wrote a book that keeps your life busy and full but allows you to enjoy your life as it is. Living in the moment — each and every moment — is the best way to have fun and slow down the feeling of time passing.
I, personally, find really good things in my own boredom. I have rarely been bored in my life.
And most of the time my girls really love to create their own fun, too.
But last summer I realized that lack of structure cost us a great deal of peace. That boredom meant more stress, not less. We moved from day to day with very little structure and it backfired.
This summer we’re moving back to structured routine that includes ample down time for my kids to build forts, read in trees and swim until their fingers turn wrinkly.
What does structured slow days mean?
Busy days often feel out of control, as if you are barely keeping up and constantly fighting the clock and time and being in the car.
For many of us, that is the reality, but it doesn’t have to be. In Savoring Slow, I talk a lot about being peacefully productive — getting things done slowly.
A slow summer can be full and beautiful. It can offer lots of opportunity to explore and wander and wonder. And with the right planning, it can also allow for the right mix of structure and rest that a family really needs.
Here are 5 Simple Tips For Embracing A Slow Summer Mindset with Kids:
Stick to your plan.
I get up early and create our daily plan over coffee — just as I wrote in my eBook 10 habits of Highly Effective Mamas. I ask myself several important questions that will help me decide what is both needed and wanted by all of us. And I make sure we fit it all in. When anyone in the family makes an off-schedule suggestion, I’m open to it but the schedule is often the final decider. If it’s not going to fit in with what we already planned out, we put it on the list for another day.
Leave Lots of Space.
A busy schedule has very little downtime. But a structured slow day leaves a lot of time and space in your day for rest, connection and play. When we add in room to breathe before and after each activity we also invite slow into our days. There’s no rushing because we’re always where we need to be in each moment. For the days we do need to rush, we’ll make sure to take a slow evening to offset it.
Be Willing to Change.
Just because we have the schedule — and try to stick with it — that doesn’t mean we can’t tweak and change things as the day goes on. In fact, that is often necessary. A good day has room for flexibility. You just never know when a friend will call and invite you to do something fun or when a problem will arise and you have to switch gears.
Less is More
Just because you are plotting out the day doesn’t mean you have to tackle a dozen new projects and activities, errands and chores. Less is always more and that also means more time for a slower pace. This kind of mentality allows you to really sink into the few things you do do all day.
Plan in the Slow Stuff
Most of our days are going to be filled with the best summer activities we can dream up. Yes, we’ll go on some trips and a great beach vacation but there’s nothing better than a campfire with s’mores or tossing water balloons. So we’ll schedule in the fun stuff each day that remind us of what an old fashioned slow summer truly feels like. Need ideas? Here are 50 Ways to Savor Slow this Summer.
How do you plan to embrace a slower mindset with your kids this season?