Sometimes these busy summer months can consume us mamas so quickly. Are you as busy as I am? Everything from cleaning up the mud that little feet track in through the house to trying to figure out what in the world to do with our kids now that they are home from school everyday can be overwhelming. But in the business of these hot summer months, there are a few things that we women can do to help our families slow down and really enjoy the simplicities that come with everyone being home during the summer season. And to do that we need to go back in time and start to do things the old fashioned way.
1. Family Time in the Evenings “Around the Radio”
Back in the 40’s and 50’s, families used to all gather in the living room in the evenings, turn on the radio and just be together. Kids would put together puzzles on the floor, dad would read the paper and mom would work on her stitching. Nowadays, we are lucky if every person in the family is home together for just one night of the week. Plan a family night; turn on Pandora, turn off all the electronics and just sit together. If you have little kids, play on the floor with them. If your kids are older, get out a game that all of you can play. Or just sit in the quietness and read if that’s your family’s thing. Instead of everyone being in their own room behind closed doors, simply be together. You will be amazed at the interactions that come because of it.
2. Sunday Lunch on Fine China
One of the things that I look forward to every week is Sunday lunch. It’s usually a solid meat and potatoes meal, a pitcher of sweet tea and a killer dessert. And what makes it even more fun is when we eat our meals on our fine china. So often, we have beautiful dishes that sit tucked away in a cupboard and they are never used. Let’s learn to celebrate time around the table as a family again.
3. Wear an apron
Nothing does more for my self esteem as a SAHM than when I feel pretty. And most days my outfit (can you even call it that?) consists of a sports bra, a tank top and a pair of yoga pants. But wearing an old apron with a pretty pattern brightens me up. It keeps me clean while I’m cooking and cleaning. It’s great for wiping runny noses, blotting away tears and playing peek-a-boo. And if you’ve never tried wearing one, you will be amazed what a difference it makes.
4. Homemade Ice Cream
I’m convinced there’s nothing more delicious on a hot summer night than a bowl of homemade ice cream. Head on over to your closest Bed Bath and Beyond and pick yourself up and ice cream churner, find fun recipes that your family wants to try and just go for it. Grab a blanket, find a shady tree in your back yard and enjoy a cold bowl together as a family (don’t forget chocolate sauce!).
5. Serve Your Husband
Even though you have had a long day yourself, chances are your husband has, too. When he gets home from work, meet him at the door with his favorite drink or a glass of water. Ask him how his day was, invite him in to sit in his favorite chair and simply be attentive. Serving our husbands intentionally is so good for our marriages, and it’s just as good for our kids to see us loving our men in this way.
6. Plan a Picnic
Nothing gets my girls more excited than the thought of NOT eating at the table for a meal. And don’t you just love that the Ingalls always went on picnics on Little House on the Prairie? Throw together some sandwiches, make a jug of lemonade and head to the park…. Or your porch… or the living room floor. Simply changing the scenery of your meal can be such a fun way to make ordinary moments with your kids exciting! Even when they’re older.
7. Pray with your Kids
I’m not just talking about praying at meal time here, girl friends. Something that I will always remember about my Grandma was that she was a praying woman. She prayed about everything the moment that a need came up. We’ve gotten so far away from hitting our knees first because we are running around like crazy trying to fix our kid’s lives on our own. Your kids are home for the summer and you have so much more time with them. Ask them about their friends and activities, their hopes and dreams. Ask them what they’re nervous about and who they want to become. Be intentional and ask them the hard questions. Then pray with them about it; pray about it all. Let them know that what’s going on matters to you and that they have a God who delights in listening.
So this summer, get in touch with your old fashioned soul. Try things that “used to be” with your family and watch how it can transform your summer.