This is a four-part series but it will all be in this one post! Scroll down to find the particular thing you’re worried about for the upcoming summer!

Less Stressful Summer – Part One

SETTING BOUNDARIES

 

Play podcast episode here:

 

Here are some examples that I talk about:

  • Getting scolded for being a party pooper not wanting to be gone from the house all day events or camping
  • Balancing downtime/freetime/playtime/friend time
  • Balancing homeschooling with fun things like beach
  • Over schedule.
  • Planning the day, Not having a routine, Lack of structure
  • Not living up to kid expectations
  • Blowing budget on kids
  • Too many activities to choose from

If you are struggling with setting boundaries. Here is the process I recommend going through:

1. Create A Personal Philosophy

Spend some time in prayer, read your Bible, go to Adoration, and discover what you really value. Is it a slow and peaceful schedule? Do you want to give your kids experiences? Do you like being busy? Do you want a structured day? Are you being honest with yourself about your finances?

2. Outline a Schedule

Based on the philosophy you’ve created, decide what you’re going to spend your time, money, and energy on. 

3. Communicate Boundaries

Communicate your decisions to your family, friends, yourself, or whoever needs to know about what you’ve decided. You don’t need to explain your reasons why but if you feel comfortable doing so, it often helps people understand where you’re coming from. If you need to set strong boundaries with yourself, write yourself a phrase on a sticky note or a letter to read if your resolve weakens. 

 

Less Stressful Summer – Part Two

THINGS THAT ANNOY YOU

 

Play podcast episode here: 

 

Here are some examples that I talk about:

  • Bored kids.
  • Chaotic house. (Messy, noise)
  • Fighting Kids
  • Kids who don’t listen
  • Kids Make messes
  • Don’t want to entertain them all day
  • Sunscreen

If you are struggling with things that annoy you, here are the steps I recommend:

1. Decide if you’re being reasonable or not.

Is it reasonable for you to be annoyed or do you need to adjust your expectations?

2. Outline a Discipline Plan

If you want less of the annoying behavior, create systems to prevent it and a discipline plan with clear consequences. It’s also important to create an escalation plan (i.e. child asks you the same question more than once… gets a 2 minute timeout… if child whines about the timeout… spends 5 minutes in her room… if the child doesn’t go straight to her room… goes to bed 15 minutes early, etc.) 

3. Communicate Boundaries

Communicate your decisions to your family, friends, yourself, or whoever needs to know about what you’ve decided. You don’t need to explain your reasons why but if you feel comfortable doing so, it often helps people understand where you’re coming from. If you need to set strong boundaries with yourself, write yourself a phrase on a sticky note or a letter to read if your resolve weakens. 

 

Less Stressful Summer – Part Three

HARDSHIP & DISCOMFORT

 

Play podcast episode here:

 

Here are some examples that I talk about:

  • Working at home with mentally ill child
  • Husband’s allergies
  • Being a farmer – it’s breakneck do or die
  • Big life transitions
  • Not having AC
  • Having to find childcare
  • Having a newborn
  • Kids too little to do the things I want to do in summer like swimming
  • Being pregnant
  • Sunshine – makes my skin feel like it’s burning
  • Humidity
  • Sand
  • Heat
  • Gardening

If you are struggling with hardship or discomfort, here are the steps I recommend:

1. Troubleshoot/Problem Solve

This is not a step to be rushed! Create some space on your calendar to sit down and simply think about this problem. Ask yourself, “Have I done everything to solve this issue? Am I missing some resources or systems that could help me?” 

2. Acceptance

Once you think you have done everything you can in the way of research and understanding your problem, the next step is to simply accept your current situation. Accept that this is the cross God has given you embrace it. That doesn’t mean you have to stop problem solving but you should not be living in a constant state of guilt, fear, or feeling like you’ve screwed up. 

3. Mercy

Be gentle with yourself. Goodness know God is endlessly gentle with you. His mercy never dries up or goes away. 

4. Offer It Up

 

Less Stressful Summer – Part Four

DEALING WITH FEAR

 

Play podcast episode here:

 

Here are some examples that I talk about:

  • Ticks and Lyme, mosquitos

  • Drowning

  • Sunscreen, red dye, gluten, all the things

  • Spiders, Snakes, other vermin

  • Wearing shorts

If you are struggling with hardship or discomfort, here are the steps I recommend:

1. Deep Work

Set aside some time to really think about this issue. Is this a deep subconscious fear or is this more of an intellectual fear? Are you reacting in a proportionate way to the threat? Do whatever research is necessary for you to fully understand both your fear and potential tools you can help to prevent or mitigate the thing you’re scared of. 

2. Make A Plan

Now that you have done some soul searching and some research, make a plan. Do you need tools? Do you or your kids need training? Do you need counseling? Create a plan for dealing with your fear. 

3. Give It To God

Last, acknowledge that God is the only one who has control. There isn’t anything we can do to fully protect our children. Give your fear over to Him.