Moms, you keep everything together all year. It’s summer. Just give up for a while

I work from home, and I have the privilege of not having to outsource childcare because of that. Has my work suffered because I’ve never had additional help? Of course. Has my parenting suffered? Of course. All year long I manage schedules and professional responsibilities while juggling a school pick-up line, PTA meetings, and sleepovers. All year I feel like I’m failing.

But when summer comes, I embrace the failure.

And it’s something I recommend to everyone: stay-at-home moms, single moms, working moms, working single moms, single stay-at-home moms—you get the picture. We all have different loads and obligations, but we can all aspire to fail just a little more during the summer.

Work-from-Home Moms

Come summer, you are done; you don’t have to pretend that you’re not. What should be a time of sleeping in and general chill becomes the panicked realization that not only will you be managing your usual work-from-home madness, but you’ll be doing it with kids hovering about, asking you for snacks, and mostly being annoying. We never got into the routine of sending our kids to camp because we never had the extra money to do that. So from the time our children were young, they’ve had what we gleefully refer to as “lazy summer.” Here are some tips that will help you embrace total parental summer failure—or as we call it, lazy summer.

  • Put all snacks and food accessories within reach of your kids. Do you have high cabinets that necessitate your child asking for a bowl every time they need one? Are the granola bars in an unreachable part of the pantry? All of this stuff must live in a place where your kids can reach it and help themselves. And if you currently approve all your child’s snack choices before they are allowed to eat, I suggest you stop doing that, too.
  • Stop with the screen limits. Seriously? We all know our kids spend way more time on their screens than we’re willing to admit. Summer is not the time to pretend we’re on top of this restriction. Let it go.
  • Blankets & sprinklers. It’s amazing what a pile of blankets and ra emote control can do for a child in the summer. The same can be said about sprinklers. Let your kids chill in any way they see fit.


No one sympathizes enough with the plight of the stay-at-home mom who has school-aged kids come summer. Now, not only do you have to do all the things to keep a house running smoothly, but your kids are in the mix all day. What should be a relaxing time of year turns into one where you’re doing everything (cooking, coordinating schedules, dealing with your kids) twice as much. But you do deserve a break. Here are some tips:

  • Let your kids be boredYou are not a bad mom if you decide you don’t want to schedule a bunch of extracurriculars for your kid because you don’t want to spend the entire summer shuttling them from one event to another. It’s fine.
  • You’re not the only mom who wasn’t prepared for summer day camp sign-ups. These things fill up quickly and are hard to stay on top of. If you didn’t get your kid into some kind of summertime activity, please see above. Boredom is good for them.
  • The backyard/patio/playroom/etc. is enough. Think about your childhood; was your mom taking you to Bounce or Chuck E. Cheese every week? I would bet quite a bit of money that the answer is no. You’re not a monster for not wanting to spend time at these places, either. Just because it’s summer doesn’t mean you have to turn into your child’s personal cruise director for three months.

Working Moms Who Don’t Work from Home

All day at work you’re dedicating time to your job, then you get home and are expected to dedicate all your time to your kids. What about you? You deserve some time, too. Here are some ways to delightfully “fail” at parenting so you can win at life:

  • The golden hour. When you get home from work, establish a fun little routine that will give you some time to yourself. Maybe it’s throwing a bunch of snacks in a bowl and letting your kids have at it. Maybe it’s allowing your kids some designated screen time as soon as you walk in the door to give you a moment to decompress. You’re not a bad mom because you need a minute when you get home, and you shouldn’t have to wait until you’re exhausted in the middle of the night to get it.
  • Breakfast for dinner. This can be called anything, but in our house, it’s called “breakfast for dinner.” Breakfast for dinner is an easy dinner go-to that my kids don’t fight and my husband or I can make in five minutes. I know my kids will eat scrambled eggs with no arguments, so twice a week they get scrambled eggs, and I avoid a headache. Figure out what your “breakfast for dinner” is.
  • “Ask your Dad, Mom, Susan, Bob…” or whatever the situation is in your house. Honestly, this applies to every type of mom: if there is someone else in your house that should be co-parenting with you, make sure you rely on that person and outsource the things kids ask mom for first.

Something that no one ever tells you before you become a parent: there are no trophies. No one is going to reward you for being perfect all the time, and you don’t need to be perfect all the time. Try centering yourself this summer and “failing” a little more.

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