Summer is meant to be a stress-free season…the kids are out of school, vacations are looming, and the weather is sinfully perfect. However, as moms we know that life never truly slows down. Our responsibilities as moms, to our families and ourselves are only intensified during the summer, and if you are working an out-of-the-home job as well, your stress-level may be skyrocketing. Fear not, busy mommas, Skinny Mom is here with 7 helpful tips to make the working mom’s summer as smooth as possible!

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1. Plan your meals:
Creating a meal plan for each week will be so beneficial to a busy mom’s schedule. Not having to worry about family dinner every day will allow you to focus on work! Planning dinner ahead of time is a great idea because it will allow your family to start dinner even if you aren’t home…it doesn’t take a chef to put a prepared casserole in the oven! Check out Skinny Mom’s Recipe Index for skinny, easy-to-make recipes. Also, Skinny Mom is now offering a menu planning membership with your breakfasts, snacks, lunches and dinners planned for you for an entire month! Check out the details and purchasing options here.

2. Team work: Working together with your spouse is key to a stress-free summer! Knowing who is doing what and when is absolutely essential, whether it’s picking the kids up from the babysitter’s or running to the grocery, communication and schedule alignment between you and your other half will alleviate so much summer stress!

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3. Get the kids going: Getting your kids out of the house and involved in summer activities will relieve your stress about where they are and what they’re doing and give them an active summer. For older kids, a summer sport is a great idea, and for younger kids, a daily summer camp is always fun! Most day camps work around the schedule of working parents and start and end when the work day does, so how perfect is that?

4. Simplify: If you find yourself stressing this summer, step back and simplify. There’s nothing wrong with easier meals or not having as many desserts lying around the house. No one should expect a five-course meal every night! If you’re feeling the stress of your summer responsibilities, taking a breather may be exactly what you need!

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5. Slim down dependency:
For moms with older kids who are allowed to stay home alone this summer, a great way to relieve some of your stress and get them to be more independent is by helping them devise their own meals. Take their requests prior to grocery shopping for when they will be home and will have to prepare their own lunch or breakfast, and buy easily prepared meals that they can whip up without you! They’ll feel accomplished and it’s one less meal for you to worry about preparing! Summer chores and other household responsibilities  for kids old enough to help will also help alleviate much unnecessary stress!

6. Consistent sleep: During stressful times, having a consistent sleep schedule is more important than ever. Getting enough sleep allows you to be successful during the day, and as moms, we need as much energy as possible! Stressing about all your responsibilities won’t do you any good this summer, but making sure you get enough sleep each night definitely will!

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7. Give your mind a vacation:
Regardless of how busy we are, it IS summer! Remember to take some time for yourself and relax a little! Make sure through all the hustle and bustle you’re still finding time to spend with your family, which is the most important thing! Try something new and fun, take a vacation, or just spend time together, it really doesn’t matter what you do as long as you do it! Life is only worth the stress if you take the time to live it.