How to Find Your Summer Break Sanity

How to Find Your Summer Break Sanity -- Self-Care

Can summer break be over? It’s kids all day, every day. (Teachers, how do you even deal?) I start each day with an awesome and ambitious list of all the things I plan to accomplish. I put off my shower in hopes I can go for a run. I end up missing my run because getting a two-year-old and twelve-year-old out the door is like wrangling two skittish squirrels into a coffee can. I spend the day chasing my tail, chasing my kids, and chasing it all down with coffee. By the time dinner rolls around, I haven’t showered, exercised, or cleaned a darn thing.

While our kids are taking a break from the harried routine of the school year, we mamas are losing our minds. I’m intent on not only keeping my sanity but also making more time for self-care. I am not doing a great job of setting aside time for me. That is one of the reasons my mind is so cloudy and my fuse is so short. A taxed mama is a frustrated mama.


I’m losing my summer break mind because of my neglect of self-care.


Not two months ago, I wrote about making this a great Pinterest-free summer. I vowed to tell my kids “yes” to all of the reasonable things. Late night Netflix binge? Yes. Sleepover? Yes. Quick trip to the store while the heat index is 110? Sure, why not? Not only do these yeses cost me time, they also wear me out. I also give too many yeses to requests. My planner is full leaving very little space for down time. I am tired and spent. If we want time for self-care, we need to limit our yeses.



When I do find a spare minute, I weigh my to-do list against my desire to pick up a book or take a nap. The fulfilling things I could do usually get a no. I trade fulfilling recreation for checkmarks on the to-do list. If we want to take care of ourselves, we have to say no to the list sometimes so we can say yes to our soul.


Limited Resources

This is a summer for a tight budget. I really wanted to attend She Speaks this year, but traded it for a stay-at-home-mom life. Worthy trade. But I can’t let my limited financial resources keep me from enjoying some me-time this summer. If I go out with friends, I order cheap or eat before I go. Look for ways to get away for free: a walk around a park in the cooler evening, a movie night at a friend’s house, exchange childcare with another mom. Free fun is available if we look for it.


All the Things

I play the martyr so easily. I see all there is to do and take it upon myself to do all the things. My kids are very capable of handling some of my load. My husband can help, too. We can’t do all of the things. We are in families and communities which give us the resources available to share the load. To make space for self-care, we must be willing to delegate and accept help.


self-care in the summer months

Wasted Time

One reason I lack the time or energy for the things I love is because I lazily engage in time-wasters. I tick-tock away the hours one click after the next. Instead of reading that book on my nightstand, I read news feeds. Instead of making that family photo book, I look at other peoples’ photos on Instagram. I dilly-dally until the day is done. When I am intentional with how I spend my time, I find I have more time for myself. We make time for what is most important to us. Make time for self-care by eliminating the time-wasters.


#FridayFive Link Up

How do you embrace self-care? What are your favorite things to do when you have thirty minutes to yourself? Share in the comments or link up your self-care post using the button below. This is a favorite topic of mine, and I can’t wait to read your words!

Friday Five July

Next week will be a very special #FridayFive! I am joining forces with my good friend, Ginger of Our Moments Defined. Join us as we talk about a time God provided.

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Recommended Resources

If you struggle with finding time for self-care, please read Jessica Turner’s The Fringe Hours. You will not regret it. (Read my full review here.)


When you find your Fringe Hours, pick up The Mother Letters by Seth and Amber Haines. It works if you have ten minutes or two hours. It will feed your mother soul.


  1. Loves this! Your an awesome writer.
    It definatley hard to get alone time during the summer. Finding balance cam be really tough.

  2. Such a good list, I need to remind myself of all of those on a daily basis! This got me good, “we have to say no to the list sometimes so we can say yes to our soul.”

  3. The summer is so hot and since we homeschool we just go right throughsummer and take off fall when the weather allows us to be outside more. I also understand trying to find free time for yourself. It is not easy. But this week my youngest turned 2. So right now I am just not even wanting to blink in fear of missing something. They are little for such a short time. I wish we could have them little a few more years. LOL. Great post.

  4. I can see myself so much in your five. This summer has been so busy for us and now we are down to the last week! Here’s to self-care during the school year too! As always, I love your words and #FridayFive!

  5. Oh my word……are you me? I could have write that article. My summer isn’t turning out to be what I thought and I am to blame. I also like to play the martyr as well, but what a lame excuse. I am the one responsible for me, my time and how I use it. I need to make time for refreshing myself so I can pour into my family – who deserves all of me. Not just a worn out mess who loses her cool. We are in the process of getting ready to move, which adds a layer of crazy. Today I will stop my list writing and take time to enjoy the day. There is tomorrow — I often forget that. Your list is spot on!

    • You are so right, Susan! I tell myself I’m serving my family by completing my to-do list, but at the end of the day, I actually cheat them out of a joyful mom.

  6. Thanks for this Kelly! Self-care is sacred, not selfish. We get confused so easily!!

  7. I found myself snippy with my peanut yesterday…I suspect I need to heed your words.

  8. Oh GIRL, don’t you KNOW IT! I am RIGHT THERE WITH YOU! My kids are driving me bonkers and I simply can’t get a thing done. I struggle constantly with ‘me time’ versus ‘mom time’ and the ‘me time’ often loses. And yes- the financial resources are dried up- so I too, choose those walks and movie nights and even a swim in the community pool to decompress when I can.

    And oh those glorious free hours I *sometimes-if-I’m-really-lucky* get? All I want to do is NAP, but that LIST! You’re right- I NEED to restore, replenish, and just BE. Summer = over-stimulation for me.

    Thank you for this! I needed the confirmation and encouragement- desperately! #PerfectTiming

    • I’m comforted to know I am not the only mom struggling with summer chaos. All of the optimism I had at the onset of the summer has faded. I think some self-care will help me enjoy the few weeks we have left.

3 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Homeschooling Moms How-To Guide For Self-Care - Heather Gerwing
  2. Five Inexpensive Ways to Practice Self-Care -
  3. Mommy Burnout: A Real Reality - The Confident Mom

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