The Kids Are Home and I’m Going Insane!

Most of you are a few weeks into summer vacation by now and I suspect more than a handful are ready to start pulling their hair out. Kids are loud. Having them near you all day long when you’re used to having a bit of peace and quiet for at least a few hours is . . . frustrating. And that doesn’t make you a bad mom.

We have the opposite problem here. It’s technically winter in Guatemala, so that means it’s raining. A lot. My normally outdoor boys are indoors. All. Day. Long.

It’s not easy to get things done when you have howling toddlers quite literally climbing the walls, pulling each other’s hair, or older kids who are bored. But, there are a few things you can do that might help.

Little Kids

1. Send them outside. If you have nice weather, there’s no reason for them to be racing around the house, dragging the cat with them. Take your laptop or some paperwork out too if need be and sit near them.

2. Enlist some help. Do your kids have older cousins who would have fun playing with them and keeping them out of your hair? Invite those kids over and pay them in Popsicles!

3. Ask them to look for things. “Go find me three blue flowers.” My sons usually forget what they’re looking for and end up playing on their own in the middle of the search.

Elementary School Kids

1. Send them outside. Hey, it works for all ages! You might want to give them something specific to do, though, so get some Frisbees, water balloons or set up a water slide.

2. Suggest some chores. It’s amazing what kids will find to do if you let them know that they can always clean their room or help you pack orders.

3. Give them away. Summer is the perfect time for playdates and sleepovers. It works well either way, since other kids will help keep yours busy while they’re at your house and you’ll have peace and quiet while they’re at someone else’s house.

Older Kids

1. Enroll them in classes. By the time your children are in middle school, they probably have some pretty serious interests. Why not use summer as a time to fulfill their need to learn new things? Sign them up for quilting class, swim lessons, etc. and work in the parking lot or a nearby coffee shop.

2. Hire them. Chances are you have some work that your kids could handle. Why not hire it out to them instead of a VA?

3. Ask them to make a plan. Why not get your kids to plan out their summer? You can even negotiate with them. They want to hit the water park for a day, you need to work for three days in peace.

And most of all, don’t forget to have FUN with your kids this summer. Which is why, in about an hour, I’m heading to Antigua with my boys to see the fair, eat fried chicken and get lots of photos of them on the playground. We only get them at this stage once, so enjoy it.

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