Mom of 6 shares tips for staying organized this summer and lessening the mental load—on everyone

It’s officially summer, and for many that means soaking in the sunshine and relaxing with a chilled beverage in hand. For parents, it means scrambling to figure out childcare for the next couple months and counting down the days until school starts again. Of course, we would love to have fun in the sun with our kiddos (and we do what we can!), but let’s face it: summer break is stressful.

But maybe all we need is a little organization? A self-proclaimed disorganized mother of six by the name of Sharon Johnson ( on Instagram) recently published a reel sharing six ways she and her family “are trying to stay a little bit more organized and have a little more fun this summer.”

The first tip, which she admitted is “hell” for the first few days, is not allowing any media or tech for the first week. “I find if the kids can be really bored the first week, the rest of the summer goes so much better,” she explains.

Next, Johnson keeps a giant calendar with dry erase markers hanging on the wall, so everyone in the family has easy access to the daily itinerary. 

Her third tip: Plan a rotating schedule for every meal, every day of the week. Johnson gave the example that they do smoothies for breakfast on Mondays, eggs on Tuesdays, and baked goods on Wednesday. “We always know what’s going to be on the menu, and the shopping list is relatively always the same,” she says.

The next one might be a little controversial. Johnson admits they don’t do a summer bucket list. Instead, she writes what all the kids want to do on the top of the calendar and when they schedule it, she erases it. If it’s not on the calendar, it doesn’t happen.

Then, she suggests planning a rotating list of activities. For their family, “Monday is movie day, Tuesday is library and water day, Wednesday park day with friends, Thursday we do an art project or craft together and Fridays we go on a hike,” Johnson explains. “This kind of loose schedule gives us a plan but enough leeway that we can change it up so we don’t get bored.”

Lastly, Johnson assigns her children a list of things they need to do each day before playing with friends. This includes two set chores and an additional project that can change depending on what needs to get done around the house.

The mama ends her reel with an important message. “Why do we do summer this way?” she asks. “Because it lessens the mental load on everyone, especially me. And if Mom’s happy during summer break, everyone’s happy during summer break.” Johnson addressed this in a lighthearted way, but the reality is mothers so often carry the mental load for their families, and it’s exhausting. Any way we can teach our children about the mental load while simultaneously lessening our own is definitely a win.

Here’s to an organized summer!

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