School’s out. Summer is here. The kids are going to be home with you.

all. summer. long.

Some moms can’t wait for these summer months, and others dread it. Either way, you’ve got to find a way to prioritize self-care during the summer months.

If your kids are school age and attend school, you no longer have a break during the day to do what you need or want to get done. If you are a mom that works from home or a homeschooling mom, your routine is still likely to change in the summer.

beach ball in water

While you probably have been more structured with a daily schedule during the school year, you may want a break from that for the summer months.

Whatever your situation, taking time to care for yourself as a mom during the summer can help you to stay sane and healthy! So let’s look at how you can implement some self-care for yourself during the summer.


1. Create a structure or routine even during the summer months.

For me, it’s easy to allow summer to be completely laid back and unstructured. And I do believe there is value in doing this to an extent.

But a lot of kids, including my own child, thrive on routine. They LIKE having the expectations of what will be happening each day.

So creating a daily routine that you stick to – however loosely – may be helpful for you as a mom. It may allow your kids to be less likely to be saying “I’m bored” or “What are we doing today?” if you have a daily routine.

For lots of ideas on creating a routine for your family, check out my Pinterest board on this topic.

2. Plan day trips.

This is one of the most enjoyable parts of summer for me. I love hitting the road and going exploring during the summer. Being somewhere other than home gives both me and my daughter a change of scenery.

Day trips like hiking or heading to the beach can be good for your physical and mental health. While it might seem like a lot of work to load up the kids into a vehicle and drive somewhere else, you may find that it can really be beneficial in the long run.

Don’t like driving alone? Find a friend who wants to carpool and do a day trip together!

3. Arrange a childcare exchange.

While it can be great to have the kids at home every day, all day, it can also present a challenge for us moms. It can be more difficult to accomplish basic household tasks, and it makes it even harder to give yourself a break.

Try connecting with another mom who might want to do a childcare exchange. Perhaps for one afternoon, you take her kids for a few hours so that she can get a break. Then on a different day, you are able to drop off your kids to her so that you can get a break.

This doesn’t just have to be for summer survival: I did this with a friend year-round when my daughter was pre-school age. It worked out really well for both of us.

4. Make a date with yourself.

There may be times, for sanity’s sake, that you need to plan a date with yourself. If you happen to have an intense kiddo, or you’re an introvert and get overwhelmed with people being around ALL the time, this activity may be absolutely essential.

Esther Littlefield in a room in BostonPerhaps you talk with your husband about taking a Saturday morning and going to do something refreshing or energizing to you. Or maybe you need to actually hire a babysitter for a few hours so that you can do something life-giving.

[bctt tweet= “Summer self-care tip for moms: make a date with yourself!”]

5. Make healthy habits a family activity.

Have you been trying to take care of your physical wellness as a mom?

Perhaps you feel like that will be harder with the kids around. If you can’t force yourself to get up early to exercise, then try exercising with the kids. Get creative, and you may find the kids enjoy it, too!

Likewise, you can include the kids in healthy meal planning and grocery shopping. I will be the first to admit that I don’t love taking my daughter to the grocery store. But I heard another mom suggest recently the value of including your kids in the meal planning and grocery shopping.

If you get the kids involved in the meal planning process, they will not only learn about taking care of their physical wellness, but it may also help hold you accountable to your goals.

Bonus: If they are old enough, start teaching them to do some of the food prep or cooking!

6. Prioritize your spiritual wellness.

Even though it’s summer, I’m still planning to continue my habit of getting up early to do my Bible study and prayer time alone. I know that I need this for my own spiritual health no matter what time of year it is.

Even if you are not involved in a group study, there are lots of options of online Bible studies, devotionals, and apps available to help you stay on track. My friend Jill has a great list of Bible studies you can do over the summer right here.

7. Maintain your marriage.

If you are married, summertime can often become a flurry of family events, heading to the beach, going camping, traveling for vacation, or church activities. Amidst all of this, it’s easy to forget about continuing to invest in your marriage over the summer months.

Scott and Esther by the oceanI would encourage you to make sure you continue to make maintaining a healthy marriage relationship a priority over the summer, even though it may be a busy time for your family.

Take a day at the beginning of the summer to discuss your expectations for the summer as a couple.

Talk about what you’d like to do as a family, as well as what you’d like to do as a couple. Do you have an anniversary you want to celebrate? Put that on the calendar so you make sure it happens. A little bit of planning ahead can go a long way in helping your relational wellness over the summer months.

BONUS: If you want to get a head start on improving your marriage, join the Better Attitude Marriage Challenge – a free 5-day email challenge!

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8. Look into summer camps or community activities.

If your kids are school-age, there are likely options for summer sports, camps, or community activities.

We have yet to utilize this for our family, but this year I’m definitely looking into a summer camp or activity to get my daughter involved in something she would really enjoy. This would give me a break while also helping her to make new friends, develop skills, and have a new experience.

(If you’re located in Maine, check out this awesome list of summer camps from my friend Lauren).

9. Be intentional with your kids.

It’s easy to feel, since the kids are home all day, that you are spending a lot of time with them (because you are).

But one thing that I’m recognizing more and more is that just because we are in the same house together does not mean I am actually being intentional about developing my relationship or connection with my daughter.

What I’ve also realized is that when I’m intentional about playing with her – doing whatever she wants – for a small amount of time (15-30 minutes), it actually frees me up to do other things because she is filled up emotionally.

So play intentionally with your child(ren) for at least part of the day!

Perhaps have part of your daily routine include playtime with you, doing an activity of the kids’ choosing. You may find, in the long run, that this gives you more time for self-care than trying to multitask and be around the kids while doing other things all day long.

10. Make time for friends.

While it may be easier to schedule coffee or lunch dates with friends during the school year, it is still possible to spend time developing your friendships during the summer.

[bctt tweet= “As a mom, having friendships with other women is absolutely essential to your overall wellness.”]

This may mean intentionally planning play dates so that your kids can play while you and your friend catch up. Of course, your conversations may be interrupted approximately 1,000 times, but it’s better than not seeing her at all.

Or, if you want uninterrupted conversation, you may want to plan a girls night out or even a weekend away to stay connected to your friends during the summer months.

You may have noticed that these recommendations are not necessarily self-care tasks. Instead, they are things that I think will help you create an environment and margin in your life for self-care to happen.

The unique things you do to help you maintain your personal, physical, spiritual, and relational wellness are entirely up to you. The key is learning what habits, routines, and actions help you to relax and unwind most effectively.

Hopefully these tips will help you survive–and thrive–this summer, as well as all year long!