This post was sponsored by Amazon, all opinions, experiences and life hacks are my own. 
Summer Survival Hacks For Moms
Ok, let’s talk about Summer, shall we? 
Summer for a mom is long. Looooooong. So long that I was a bit shocked when I counted up all of the weeks our pre-school was closed for Summer break. And while we do have a ton of fun things planned, there are also going to be days (ok, fine, probably more like weeks) where we just don’t have anything major on the books. And those are the days that I might be just the tiniest bit afraid of. 
So what’s a mom to do to maintain her sanity and survival during the dog days of Summer?
Hack it, outsource it and simplify it. Anything in my life that can be handed off to another adult, maintained in a system other than my own brain or handled by the sound of my voice is a win for me.
And the secret to all of that hacking, outsourcing and simplifying? 
Amazon Alexa Skills.
Here’s the thing: if I need help around here, to say, remember that we’re out of diapers, I can just say “Alexa, make my life easier” and all of my Skills will be available to me. I’ll just ask the QuickList skill to add diapers to my list and I’ll be all set before the next blow out. With Alexa’s Skills in mind, I’m about to dominate your Summer, one Skill hack at a time. 
Summer Survival Hacks For Moms
1. Keep Things Calm 
We’re working hard around here to master the art of sharing our snacks, the feelings of disappointment that come when we cannot watch Trolls more than once a day and the rage incited when our sister touches our dinos, but occasionally, our emotions get the best of us. Cue the Calm Now skill, built for just for kids with the idea to walk them through techniques to calm their feelings in positive ways. It really is the cutest skill and I can undoubtably use the backup in the summer when we’re all together oh so much. Methods include counting to 10, guided deep breathing and shaking your legs like you’ve got ants in your pants. It’s playful while being respectful of big feelings and we dig it around here. 
2. Clock It 
Occasionally, we make it past the point of no return in the actions/emotions department and we need a time out. I was using our stove timer but we were having a bit of an issue with getting up to see the time, thus starting the process all over again. Sigh. Thankfully, I got my hands on the Time Out skill and let it do the time out management work for me. You can set a time out for as long as ten minutes and Time Out skill will share a reminder every minute to remain quiet. Once the time out is up, Time Out will let your kiddo know and will commend them for completing their time. 
3. Never run out of wine.
Summer Survival Hacks For Moms
This should be a no brainer but after a long summer day of splash pads and wet swim diapers, no one wants to reach into their fridge and realize they’re out of cheap Chardonnay. If I’m down to my last bottle, you can be sure I’ll be shouting at Buttery to set up a delivery of my favorite red blend, stat. 
And because we all know the Mom World cannot go ’round with out caffeine, you best believe my voice can be heard telling Alexa to “start my Starbucks order” with every crack of dawn/unsanctioned three year old wake up. 
4. Cook outside, always.
Summer Survival Hacks For Moms
I am all for any form of consuming meals that does not require me to use pots, pans or my stove, so I vote for all meals to be grilled at all times during the Summer. Bonus points that my husband prefers to be the one manning the coals, giving me a chance to kick back and relax (jokes! I’ll be inside, changing diapers). We grill anything and everything from pineapple to zucchini, chicken sausages to ribs and we do our best to eat it outside, too. No dishes, no kitchen to hose down, that’s a Summer win in my book. And just in case you have a stickler-for-the-rules style chef like mine, you can always ask Alexa to open the Meat Thermometer Skill and check the correct cooking temperature of any meat that hits the grill.
5. Nag someone other than me.
Summer Survival Hacks For Moms
This might be my fave hack of all, and I’m just going to leave it right here for you mamas:
You can ask Alexa to nag some (ahem, Husband) to do something (cough, take out the trash, cough).
The Start Nagging Me skill can be set to remind you of any task for any interval of time. By setting that bad boy, I don’t have to deal with feeling ignored or repeating myself endlessly, I just let Alexa continue to nag until the task is done. Need I say more?
6. Have a back up plan
When all else fails, have a back up plan. We all need that one thing that we keep hidden away until things are desperate – like your offspring might tie you to a chair and no one will find you until your husband gets home from a businesses trip desperate. Enter the Play Time Ideas skill. Built for preschool to school age children, you can ask (beg) Play Time Ideas to spout out imaginative, unique play starters in an instant. Ah, here that? It’s the sound of my kids wearing themselves until nap time.  
Happy Summer Solstice, mamas!