If you’re like many mothers, the summer holidays can feel like anything but a holiday. Changes in schedules and established childcare options can lead to additional care responsibilities, compressed working hours, and increased mental load associated with changes in logistics, additional meals and snacks, extra entertainment demands, and if you’re ‘lucky’ organising a family holiday to boot. It’s no wonder, therefore, that many mothers find that that their own self-care practices fall by the wayside during the summer.

So, what can you do in the face of these additional features on your already stacked to do list?

Look for opportunities for micro-moments of self-care. 

This might look like some, or all, of the following:


Do some counter press-ups, squats or lunges while waiting to the kettle to boil, your tea to brew, or while you brush your teeth. Take a moment to do some stretches, or even some slow, deep breathing while your kids are in the bath


For each tea or coffee you make or buy, make sure you also fill your water glass or bottle to encourage more hydration throughout the day. If you find yourself chopping up fruit or veggies for the kids but don’t have any yourself, try to get in the habit of making yourself a healthy snack plate at the same time (maybe this is just me, but I used to convince myself that I was eating plenty of fruit and veg because I was preparing it, but in reality it was only to serve to my kids and I wasn’t having any of it – I used to do the same thing with water. I’d fill glasses and decide that I was well hydrated, despite later finding several glasses of untouched water at strategic points throughout the house!)


Take a few moments to close your eyes and focus on your breath for ten or twelve inhales and exhales. Can you breathe in as slowly and as deeply as possible? Can you try to make your exhales longer than each inhale? This simple practice helps to tell your nervous system that there is no rush or threat, and can help you to feel relaxed. Can you try this after dropping your child(ren) to their childcare, or before you start your work? During your lunch hour? At the end of the working day, before re-joining family life/responsibilities?

The changes in routine can make summer days more tiring. As tempting as it can be to stay up completing other tasks beyond your natural bedtime, experiment with winding down, reducing screen use in the run up, and prioritising some quiet time before bed. Try this for a week or so and notice what happens with your energy levels. You might find you’re better able to complete essential tasks more quickly if better rested, and you might also realise that some tasks are less urgent and can be delayed until a more regular routine is established again.


Do the summer holidays mean more time spent with your children? This can both be a great joy and also an additional challenge. Organising days with friends who have children be a great way to meet your own social needs as well as enjoying fun time with your own kids. Can you meet up for a picnic or a woodland walk? Such activities are lots of fun as a family unit, but can also provide a great opportunity for you to enjoy some additional adult company.

It’s so easy in the midst of the hustle and bustle of the summer holidays for our own needs to fall to the bottom of the list. This is even more likely when our usual chosen ways to meet these needs mean time on our own or away from the home, and when this is harder to achieve. Finding a few ways to squeeze some nourishing practices in for ourselves can ensure that we have the energy and desire to last the whole of the summer holidays.

What have you found works to ensure you meet your own needs amongst the added demands of the summer holidays? I’d love to hear what you would add to this list.  You can book a free discovery call with me to plan your best summer.

This article was written by Tricia King, Matrescence Coach with Careering Into Motherhood. Tricia works with mothers who want to explore their shifting identities and feel fulfilled and confident in all aspects of life. You can contact Tricia via her profile page or at her website www.triciaking.co.uk.


Photo by Angelo Pantazis on Unsplash