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10 Summer Bummers and Babble's Cure-Alls

summer sunIf you and the fam find yourselves feeling too sweaty, sticky, bug-bitten, cranky and anxious to truly let loose, you’re not alone. We’ve tackled the ten most common summer bummers so you can frolic before the sun sets on the summer.

 —Emily Frost

1. Vacation Envy 

So your family’s not going to the Greek Isles or Tuscany this summer. But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t dine al fresco, picnic, sip wine with lunch, and run around naked. Furthermore, forget jet-setting, take an old fashioned road trip or go camping!

2. Body Image Woes

If you’re feeling self-conscious as you sport revealing bathing suits and barbecue ensembles, throw down your US Weekly and take a look at what real women and real postpartum moms look like. And if that doesn’t revive you, think about the message you could be sending the little girls around you: that hating your body is normal and grown-up. Or, make like Margaret Cho and really strip down. 

3. Family Vacation Stress

“If you lower your expectations, especially when you travel with your kids, you’re all going to have a good time.” Christine Mellor, author of The Three-Martini Family Vacation  

There’s the expense, the hauling and lugging of gear, the flying, finding child-safe play areas, tantrums…pretty soon, as the saying goes, ‘you need a vacation from your vacation.’ But never fear, we’ve got survival guides galore: Find a playground anywhere, 25 Family Travel Tips, Toddler Vacation Tipstaking babies on a planekid-friendly airlines, a guide to flying with kids, free playdates in SF and NYC, and finally, how to survive Disneyland.

4. Daycamp Anxiety 

It’s hard to be new at camp! How to send your kids off with a smile.

5. It’s Too Darn Hot!

Sip some refreshing drinks, make a big vat of delicious, cool, healthy gazpacho, and throw your fresh veggies on the grill. Once you’re revived, keep a spray bottle full of cold water handy and take your children on a nature adventure. And if all else fails, there’s always the cool dark matinee (in your very own basement) showing one of these ten excellent kids movies.   

6. Bug bites 

Mosquitoes be gone. 

7. The Never-Ending Afternoon 

Here are not five, not ten, but fifty low-tech activities for you to try. Not up for the challenge? Don’t fret over their cries of “I’m bored;” left alone, with no screens to turn to, kids will fight boredom with imagination.  

 8. Sunburns 

Ouch! Aloe will soothe the pain, but won’t fix the sun’s damage or ease our parental guilt. Don’t make these three most common mistakes when it comes to protecting your kids from the sun. And, we’ve found the best sundresses, sunscreens, sun hats, and sunglasses.

9. Preschool/School/Transition Tension

It may be more than a month away, but the transition from long, sunny days of watching the clouds drift by to the brisk, regimented school year has you up at night. Rather than letting yourself stew, research your concerns with our comprehensive Back to School Issue. Or relax with some great tunes and bang on the bongos together.    

10. Sugar Attack

You’re not alone if you, like these NYC parents, have been plagued by the ice cream truck’s persistent circling and the ensuing energy surge and crash it leaves in its wake. If your kids just aren’t going for your homemade fruit pops, and you’ve indulged in the real deal, give yourself a break— your leniency is helping them learn the art of moderation. Check out this guide for setting realistic junk food limits. 

Sunset photo courtesy of Steve Jurvetson. 

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