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Nine Totally Useful Tips on How to Entertain “the “Kids” (aka YOU) This Summer

I know what you’re thinking. “Oh, snap! It’s summer! What on earth am I gonna do with my tiny humans for two whole months!?” You are undoubtedly going to be inundated with fun things to do around Nashville with your bored kids this summer. But what about YOU? What about YOUR summer? This year, I’ve come to an important decision: I’m taking a break from trying to make everything magical for my kids. I’ve decided it’s time to stop worrying what to do with the little people in my life. For me, it’s time to slather those munchkins with SPF 50, kick them outdoors, and give myself a magical summer. I think you should join me. After all, you are raising the next generation of humans, mamas. You deserve a summer break too.

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To this effect, I’ve put together some totally useful tips on how to keep them out of your hair—so you can put your feet up.

Fun in the sprinkler!

Set up a lawn chair, and grab a good book. Get some lemonade and cups (don’t forget to put some bourbon in yours!), and put the sprinkler on in your backyard. Kids run and splash while you read. Tell the kids they aren’t allowed to go in until they’re dry. Then don’t bring any towels with you, and they’ll be forced to run around outside until the water on their skin evaporates. By the time you go in, they’ll be exhausted—and you can keep reading on the couch while they nap.

Fun at the ice cream shop!

Jeni’s Ice Cream in East Nashville is connected to Ugly Mugs—and both are connected to a nice, big courtyard. Get the kids some ice cream, get yourself an iced latte, and set them loose in the courtyard to run off the sugar (while you sip and stare at your phone).

Fun at the splash pad!

Trade with a friend bringing all your kiddos to one of the many splash pads in Nashville. Bring a book, and sit on a towel in the shade. Get your feet wet when you get hot. When it’s not your turn to be sans kids, go to Target by yourself and walk around in the air conditioning with an iced tea.

Fun with the TV!

At least one day a week, let your kids veg out for awhile. It’s summer vacation after all, and you can even find some educational programming on Netflix if you’re feeling guilty (which you shouldn’t be). While they watch Doc McStuffins, you can watch Broad City in the other room.

Fun at the pool!

Lucky you if your kids have passed the swim test at the YMCA. If so, bring your book and enjoy lounging around. If not, sit in the shallow end while they play with their friends in waterwings. Word to the wise: those 10 minute swim breaks are for you, mama. Bring a banana for your kids to munch while they sit on the lounge chair—and you go take a dip in the deep end. Repeat every hour.

Fun at the lake!

Did you know that you and some friends can rent a pontoon boat with a slide off the back? Did you know that kids are required to wear life jackets? Did you also know that you can remove the bag from a box of wine and bring it with you on the boat? Finally, did you know that kids think cheese, crackers, and grapes is a dinnertime treat? I believe I’ve made my point.

Fun at the beach!

Thanks to the Army Corps of Engineers, Nashville has its own little man-made beach. Take your kids, take some sand toys, take some beer, lie down on a blanket. Put on headphones, and watch them play in the sand and cool off in the lake.

Fun at a friend’s house!

Get together with some other desperate mom friends, open a bottle of wine, and let all the kids trash their nice, air-conditioned house while you sit at the kitchen table and gab. You can help clean up before you leave if you’re feeling generous—or just promise your own house as the indoor jungle gym next week.

Fun with water pistols and water balloons!

Invite some neighborhood kids over, and let them all go insane on each other outside with water weapons of all sorts—while you stay inside, cool and dry, doing whatever you love to do.

In all seriousness mamas, your kiddos are going to have a blast this summer regardless—as long as you give them a little bit of freedom and a whole lot of cold treats. So don’t worry about them, and don’t forget (in between dragging them to the pool and the lake and the ice cream shop) to treat yourself too. Happy summer. I’ll be the mom ignoring her kids as much as possible and lying on a beach chair with a floppy hat and a good read. If you run into me, I’ll happily share my cocktail with you. (It’ll be safely hidden inside my water bottle)!

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