The Pathological Planner’s Guide to Spontaneous Summer Fun

The Pathological Planner’s Guide to Spontaneous Summer Fun


I’m a planner. Some might even call my planning habits “pathological.” Those some would be right on the money. When summer comes around, I want to just go with the flow, but in doing so my anxiety spins out of control and our entire family rhythm unravels…


I take a chill pill and follow my Pathological Planner’s Guide to Spontaneous Summer Fun!

Gimme a…


Beach days!





Lake swimming!

Pool parties!

What does that spell?? S-U-M-M-E-R!!! (Yaaaaaaayyyyyyy!!!)

There are many reasons why summer is by far the fan favorite of all the seasons, and one big reason goes back to when we were in school and summer meant fun in the  sun and freedom.

Much-needed breaks are time for RELAXATION.

Those of us with kids in school (or who are educators, like me!) still live each year on the school calendar, and summer means a huge change in daily business. I used to be the person who let all organization and routine fly out the window the moment a break from school began. (“I schedule every moment of every day between bells – why would I continue to schedule myself of vacation?”)

I had myself believing that I could maximize my fun and relaxation by flying by the seat of my pants and taking every moment as it came. The moment a friend decided that they wanted to go shopping or to the beach, I dropped everything (translation – I turned off Netflix and got up from the couch) and went!

Because I’m not one for doing things half-ass, for me that meant also letting go of regularly cleaning my house and other responsibilities.

When I didn’t have any kids, this wasn’t so big of a deal – I could just spend a couple of hours cleaning my house when it got too bad, and then go back to my laisez-faire ways.

After my son was born I continued to treat breaks the same way, but I found myself feeling super anxious and scattered. The walls seemed to be closing in around me, and when we went anywhere I took forever to get out the door because I was packing all the essentials we would need for (fill in the blank with your favorite summer activity.)

Light bulb!

It took a bit longer than it should have, but when I finally came around and accepted the fact that I no longer had the luxury of shirking responsibility when a break from school came, the most surprising thing happened…

My breaks became more enjoyable and a whole lot more relaxing.

If I keep up with my usual meal-planning and cleaning routine that I have during the school year, all of the things I need to take care of (clean, cook, shop for essentials) aren’t nagging away and stealing my attention from relaxing and enjoying my family.

Now, with just the right amount of preparation, I can be as spontaneous as I want! Well, as spontaneous as having two children under 4 will allow…

(I know, duh, right?! What can I say? I’m a kind of dumb smart girl…)

Wake up in the morning and decide it’s a beach day? Let’s go!

Making sandwiches for lunch and a picnic at the park sounds nice? Sweet!

Last-minute invitation to a friend’s house for some afternoon swimming? Jump in the car!

All I need to do is make sure that I have my summer go-bag packed and stocked at all times and we are always ready for summer fun!

Get my free Summer Go-Bag Checklist and take all of the guess-work about what you need to pack.

Marie, creator of A Working Balance, is a mom of two and full-time teacher. While her first passion, her career in teaching, started long before children came into the picture, Marie’s dream was always to become a mom. A Working Balance is a place where she shares tips and lessons learned from her adventures as a working mom, as well as stories and the occasional epiphany gathered along the way. Through A Working Balance, Marie aims to help working moms find solutions to problems, to be inspired in both small and large ways, and to feel a little less alone in this thing we call Motherhood.

Follow Marie on Instagram @aworkingbalance,, and

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