Today, I am so excited to have Ashley from The Littles and Me sharing her secrets to thrive as a mama. Friends, these secrets are so good and exactly what every mama needs to read.
What things come to mind when you think of your favorite childhood summer memories? For me it’s sprinklers, homemade ice cream on the porch and the glorious scent of freshly cut grass. I don’t know what it is about these three things, but they instantly take me back to the carefree days of summer as a kid. Since becoming a mama I often find myself reflecting upon my childhood and looking back to the special memories that my family made together and I often find myself on a mission to enjoy those sweet moments with my own girls. Summer can be such a refreshing and fun time to create special memories, but it can also be really exhausting if we let it. That’s why this summer I’m embracing the slow and simple and focusing on these 5 secrets to thrive as a mama.
1. Make Jesus the Center of the Day.
I don’t know about you, but for me it’s so easy to go through the day without spending time with the Lord. It’s painful to admit that, but it’s the real honest truth! This summer I’ve been praying and asking for the Lord to become the center of our days and I’ve been looking for small opportunities to help shift our focus back to Christ. One of my favorite reminders to keep Jesus the focal point has been these scripture cards that I have displayed in our kitchen. I chose a handful of verses and typed them out. Then, I laminated the printed verses, punched a hole in the top corner, and added a Binder Ring Clip to keep them together. I love the visual reminder and the gospel truths that I see each and every day.
Here’s a few other ideas on how to make Jesus the center of your day:
- Read scripture aloud
- Memorize scripture together as a family
- Listen to worship music (We are currently loving Hillsong and Seeds Family Worship)
- Point out and talk about the beauty of nature and all the things God created while you are out and about
2. Play Outside.
It sounds so simple, but goodness sometimes I need the reminder to stop what we’re doing and just go outside. I honestly believe that the gift of playing outside was made for mamas. It’s amazing what a little fresh air can do. So when in doubt, go out! One of our favorite ways to play this summer has been pulling out the water table, slide, and small pool in our backyard. So simple, but a total mood changer.
Other outdoor play ideas:
- Go to a new park
- Pretend you are pirates and go on a nature treasure hunt
- Draw a chalk road and city and drive your cars around
- Make an obstacle course
- Blow Bubbles
- Run through the sprinklers
3. Move Your Body for 30 Minutes.
Plain and simple. Working out makes you happy. I need to plaster that little truth all over my house, because sometimes it’s haaaard to convince myself to start. I have found that it helps to find something you love to do that moves your body at the same time. It doesn’t have to be a traditional workout video. Think outside the box and just get moving. In fact, one of my favorite ways to knock out two birds with one stone is go for a walk outside. You get the benefit of moving your body and some fresh air all at the same time. Now that’s what I call a double win!
PS: I’m fully aware that I am in need of some new running shoes that don’t have holes. Ha!
Some of my favorite ways to get moving:
- Turn on some music and have a dance party
- Play tag with your kids
- Challenge your kids to race you from one side of your yard to the other
- Walking or running while pushing the stroller
- Family Bike Ride
4. Make Time for Creativity.
One of the things that fills up my mama heart is to be creative and that’s definitely something I want to pass down to my girls. This summer we created an art box with some of our favorite supplies and it’s been such a fun reminder to get crafty. We keep it downstairs so we have easy access to create together. It’s really helped me be able to say, “YES!” more often when I’m asked if we can paint or draw since it’s right there all ready to go.
Other ideas for getting creative:
- Crayon Resist Art (Draw a picture with a crayon and then paint with watercolors to reveal your picture)
- Play Doh
- Draw outside with chalk
- Paint seashells or rocks
- Make a collage with items you find on a nature hunt
5. Look for Small Ways to Make the Ordinary Special.
It doesn’t have to be big, fancy, or expensive to be memorable for your kids. One of my favorite ways to thrive as a mama is by looking for small ways to make each day special. One way I’ve done this is by surprising my girls with a special treat, some leftover birthday napkins (our favorites are from Target!) and a pile of our favorite books when they wake up from afternoon rest time. It’s always such a joy to see the excitement on their faces when we get to do something a little out of the ordinary. Find the things that make your kids light up and look for ways to surprise and delight them this summer.
Easy ways to add some fun to your day:
- Read books outside
- Pickup Donuts & head to the park
- Eating a picnic lunch in your living room
- Child’s Choice. Ask your kiddo what their favorite thing to do is and then do it together
- Build a blanket fort in your living room
- Surprise! Mix it up and have breakfast for lunch
- Walk to a local coffee shop for a fun drink
There you have it! 5 secrets to thrive as a mama this summer (or really in any season). Happy summer, friends!
Ashley is the wife of her entrepreneur husband, Philip, and mama to two sweet girls. She’s also the arts and crafts lover, blocks builder, everyday celebrator, and mama encourager behind The Littles and Me—where she shares kids activities, simple ideas for family fun and encouragement for mamas. She believes in celebrating everyday moments, the power of play and spreading freshly squeezed joy along the way!
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