Parents, here are 6 ways to deal with the dog days of summer

This post is sponsored by The Breastfeeding Shop.

It’s the middle of summer. You’re ready for a break. But vacation’s already over (or there’s no vacation this year). . . and it’s not time for school to start again.

It can be bleak.

Add in a deployment, training, or other separation and. . . it can be really bleak.

What’s a military mom or dad to do?

Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered.

1. Head to the library

On- or off-base, the library has a ton of options for a family dying from the heat. Hey, at the very least, there’s air conditioning! While it varies by location, you might see different groups available for free or nominal fees for children and adults. Some libraries provide crafting opportunities, makers groups, STEM clubs, and language lessons. Even if your library does not have more exotic offering, they most likely will have a reading challenge for your children (and maybe you, too), toddler reading time, and other reading- and learning-centric activities.

The MWR and DoD also have a special reading program for military kids. You can learn more here.

2. Grab your towels

If you’re on a Navy base, head to the beach. The base’s beach, that is. Not only is it a lot less full than public beaches, but you won’t have to pay for parking. (Score!) If you’re not near a beach, check out the base pool. Your base might have a lake or other rec areas that you can also enjoy. Keep a beach go-bag read at all times so you’re ready to head out the door once the kids are all in their swimsuits.

3. Pay attention to the time

Stay cooler by scheduling your indoor time during the hottest part of the day. Enjoy outdoor activities during the early morning or later in the evening. Taking a walk in the evening is the perfect time to teach young kids about the signalling of retreat. (And, let’s be honest: If you tucker the kids out early in the day, a nap during the hottest part of the day will let you get some work done peacefully.)

4. Have a party

Sometimes the best way to deal with tough times is to shake it up. Instead of going out to the nearest froyo place, have a sundae-making party at home. Head to the commissary and pick up a few cartons of ice cream along with toppings like fruit, sprinkles, sauces, whipped cream, and candies. If you need to get out, take a trip to your favorite frozen yogurt place or ice cream shop. . . and don’t forget to ask if they have a military discount.

5. Turn on some tunes

Add some music to your day. Challenge the kids to clean up their room by the time one of their favorite songs is over. Have an impromptu dance party in the kitchen. Try cooking a different dish and accompany it with a new song.  Or pair a cultural food with a song, and then talk about that particular culture with your kids. Crank up the oldies in the car and sing along. Have the kids (if they’re old enough) to create the soundtrack for the summer. . . and then play it while you’re making memories.

6. Create a goal for the week

Sometimes the goal feels like just keeping food in the fridge. . . but if you want to break through some of the boredom that the middle of summer brings, try adding a weekly fun goal. With the kids, decide on a reasonable activity or that you all can work towards or look forward to during the week. It might be trying a new recipe together, watching a movie on Netflix together, or going for a walk every day.

The Breastfeeding Shop provides name-brand, high-quality breast pumps and breastfeeding supplies. Catering to the military community, the Breastfeeding Shop’s quick and easy service ensures that TRICARE beneficiaries can receive breast pumps and supplies at no-cost to them.

By J.G. Noll