It’s tempting to cram our summers or weeks, usually, with as many things as possible, but how do you decide what to prioritise and how to savour summer?
Do you need a slower pace, and a more relaxed morning? Do you need to spend more one to one time, or more time outside, or less with screens around? Do you need to make a structure for your week, or rhythm for your day so that everyone knows what to expect?
There are a few things we can think about when we are deciding how to fill any empty time in our summers, or even just weekends. If you make a summer bucket list– how do you decide what to add to it- and which things to save for another year or day?
What are your fondest memories?
Looking back at joys from summers past- what has really stuck with you? Often the big holidays and trips out ara great but smaller moments are often just as treasured. Last year we didn’t go on holiday at all in the summer, and my husband worked really long hours. I was dreading the summer to some degree, with the lack of structure- but it really was full of lots of little joys. We didn’t do big exciting trips or days out but the things we did do were all really relished by us. We rode bikes, we went to the bookshop cafe near us. We took photos and made a little summer scrapbook (which Phoebe is still asking if we can add to).
Think about your fondest memories from your past summers with little ones, or even your own fondest memories of being a child. Did you have favourite things about the summer, or growing up generally that you want to share with your children now? How can you savour summer together in ways that you already know work for you?
What do your children relish?
Often the small things mean as much to our children as the big ones- simple joys can be just as exciting as big treats. An ice cream at the park can bring just as much joy as a big day trip that could leave them tired and overwhelmed.
As they get older and we get to know more of their personalities- we can think about what their love langayages might be. Do they thrive on quality time, or maybe one to one activities? Do they benefit from lots of cuddles? Making room for slow mornings, play dates or special one to one time to chat might be something you want to do.
What are your priorities and values as a family?
If you’ve already done the big picture pages in the journal then you’ll have some ideas about what things are unique to your family and which things you want to prioritise as your little ones grow up, and in this season. If your priorities are being outdoors, seeing friends and simple pleasures then you won’t want to be planning a big city holiday. You know what your family dynamics and preferences are- work with them and you’ll have a great time even if it’s not the same thing as your friends or peers are doing.
Finally, I know that I need to write this stuff down, and to also have time and space to communicate that to my children. You can grab a bucket list here– but also you could just draw a little outline of a week with pictures to show what’s happening on any given day, so that little ones who can’t read still feel like they know what is going on.
Whatever your summer looks like, enjoy the sun and the time together. Savour this summer, there will be only one this year! Don’t forget your summer bucket list here!