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How to Maintain Joy During Your Summer Vacation | East Texas Moms Blog

Summer Vaction

Summer Vacation


Fear of missing out sometimes strikes when we least expect it. Even during summer vacation. If your family is like mine, you live comfortably and can afford one or two modest family vacations per year.

And if your social media feed is anything like mine, you may see constant images of other families taking numerous summer vacations that don’t look modest at all.

Enter FOMO.  That sneaky thief that steals your summer joy, leaving you with anxiety and envy because your family can’t afford to do all the things the internet seems to be doing.

Combat the FOMO beast by taking a few steps to recapture the joy in your summer months.

1. Consider what you don’t see.

Social media doesn’t tend to be the place people talk about how long they saved up for their dream vacations or how much debt they may incur to make those idyllic getaways a reality. And sometimes, the beautiful white sand beach in one friend’s cover photo may be a week-long holiday made possible by a grandparent’s family home or timeshare.

2.Get off social media for a time, or at least unfollow the vacation folks in your feed.

Unplugging from social media, even if only for a few days, allows me to focus on my family instead of fixating on other families’ vacation snapshots.

3. Explore your city.

Visit your library to find that hot summer read or check out that movie you missed in theaters last Christmas. Try one of the 1,000 Pinterest recipes you’ve pinned and then forgotten about. Pack a picnic and take it to a park you’ve never visited. Scan your gym’s web page to find a Zumba class for you that will correlate with a hula hoop class for your kids. Bring along your swimsuits and towels and plan to lounge for a while after your classes end.

4. Look for free or cheap camps offered by your city’s Parks and Rec department.

Your local school district’s web page may list summer activities, too. Take a look-see.

5. Consider a babysitting swap.

These long summer days can yield whiny kids and short tempers. Instead of daydreaming about a beach vacation with a nanny, try calling up a friend or two and offering to swap babysitting services for a few hours a week. Then use your alone time to refresh your soul.  Meet your spouse or bestie for lunch, grocery shop in peace, or take a long bath and paint your toenails a new color.

6. Find places where kids eat free.

This will get you out of the house and possibly allow you to try a new restaurant or two while keeping your budget in tact.

7. Get creative with Pinterest.

Try a new pin a day – recipes, books, art, workouts. You may discover you have an undiscovered talent.

8. Write a journal with or for your kids.

An online search will quickly yield numerous templates for journals: 3 things a day that you’re grateful for, a one line a day journal that documents moments your kids made your heart smile, etc. Choose a template – or choose a few, so you don’t get bored – and cultivate gratitude as a discipline. If your kids are old enough, they can journal right alongside you.

9. Make a list of things you want to do, and encourage your kids to do the same.

Last summer, I got my kids to write down what they wanted to do, and I did the same myself. It turned out, my kids were mostly interested in amusement parks, play dates, and video games. And I was mostly interested in napping, reading, and catching up with extended family members.

10. Sneak a peek at your kids while they sleep.

Nothing dispels my anxiety quite like the sight of my children quietly sleeping. They look so peaceful, even in their sometimes awkward sleeping poses, and occasionally when I kiss their heads and whisper my love, they’ll sleepily whisper their love to me.

These moments allow me to see that I’m really not missing out on anything at all.

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7 Responses to How to Maintain Joy During Your Summer Vacation | East Texas Moms Blog

  1. Kelsey Runge
    Kelsey Runge July 3, 2018 at 7:26 am #

    Wonderful words, Querida! I love the last one! It’s so true too…I will go and just watch my kids sleep on the hard days especially!

    Fabulous job!

    • Querida Duncalfe
      Querida Duncalfe July 3, 2018 at 7:29 am #

      Thanks, Kelsey. ❤️

  2. Dana July 3, 2018 at 8:47 am #

    Four kids equals two vacations in the last 17 years of marriage. But we definitely visit free lakes as often as possible and enjoyed a summer pool pass two summers ago.

    I’d like to suggest another way to add joy… volunteer somewhere with the kids on a weekly basis. Gained perspective of the struggles around us, serving and seeing the Lord transform the hearts of your children through it brings unspeakable joy.

    Also, take rest. I get tired and overwhelmed looking at how busy everyone is online and have found great help in learning how to truly rest.

    • queridaduncalfe
      queridaduncalfe July 3, 2018 at 8:55 am #

      Where do you volunteer with your kids? How do you go about doing that?

  3. katherinesmith
    katherinesmith July 3, 2018 at 12:55 pm #

    Thanks for this, Querida! I tend to forget how Facebook only shows a VERY edited version of people’s lives!

  4. Candace July 5, 2018 at 1:15 pm #

    This made me smile 🙂

    Where do kids eat free? Do you think I can put up two ponytails or?? Enjoy that summer, girl!!! You’re definitely right about the things we don’t see. Unplugging is the best solution for that.

    • queridaduncalfe
      queridaduncalfe July 5, 2018 at 1:26 pm #

      I think we have a post about where kids can eat free. I’ll poke around and see if i can find it. I’d try pigtails and see what happens 😉

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