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Summer Strategies: Mastering Your Kids’ Free Time Without Losing Your Mind

Episode #839

Summer is here, and it’s time to make it the best one yet for your marriage and family life!

In this episode, we dive deep into the challenges and opportunities that come with the summer season, especially if you have kids at home. I’ll share practical strategies to help you manage the chaos, reconnect with your wife, and ensure that everyone in the household feels seen and heard.

We’ll discuss the importance of planning ahead, setting clear expectations, and creating a balanced schedule that allows for both family fun and intimate moments with your spouse. Learn how to navigate the tricky dynamics of kids’ constant demands and your wife’s potential overwhelm, which can often lead to a lack of intimacy.

Join us as we share insights from my own experiences and from other successful men who have found ways to maintain a thriving marriage during the busy summer months. Whether it’s scheduling date nights, planning family vacations, or just finding time for a quiet moment together, we’ve got you covered.

Don’t let the summer slip by in a haze of stress and missed opportunities. Tune in now and make this season one of growth, connection, and unforgettable memories with your loved ones. As always, take massive action and start making a difference today!

Listen now and transform your summer into the best one yet for your marriage!

Hungry for more?

Head over to our BONUS page for special access to some of the deeper tactics and techniques we’ve developed at The Powerful Man.

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Doug Holt  0:00  

If you have kids at your house, they’re still living under your roof. And especially if you and your wife are disconnected, this can become more of a troublesome time period for a lot of couples. And what happens for a lot of women, is they feel overwhelmed, it can really drain them. And also, it can prevent her from feeling the desire for intimacy. Now, we don’t want that right as guys, we all want intimacy. In fact, if your wife wants intimacy, what she really wanted could come true. Gentlemen, if you do this, regardless, of whether you have kids or not, even if just you and your wife, this summer could be the best summer of your life, this summer could be the summer that you bring your marriage back.

What’s up guys, summertime is here, and the kids are free. If you have kids at your house, they’re still living under your roof. Well, you want to know how to manage your time, so you don’t lose your mind. And this is a problem that happens to a lot of families. And especially if you and your wife are disconnected, this can become more of a troublesome time period for a lot of couples. And so in this episode, what I want to talk about are some strategies, some strategies that I’ve learned for myself, as well as other men and husbands that I look up to, on how to manage your children. So you don’t go crazy, you can have some balance, but also you can have some intimacy with your wife. So one of the issues that comes up for a lot of couples is when summertime comes if your wife especially is a stay-at-home mom, she is now inundated with responsibilities of taking care of the kids. Now, if you’ve had the kids for a long weekend, yourself, you know how this can be. Especially if you have little ones you’re in the throes of it. Right. They’re constantly asking for something, Mommy, can I get a snack Daddy, can I do this, so and so hit me, or whatever goes on in your home, it seems endless. And it’s a constant barrage of requests or bids for attention. And don’t get me wrong. It’s great, right? Having kids is amazing. But it’s also a lot of work. And what happens for a lot of women is they feel overwhelmed. And when they feel overwhelmed, they’re constantly having kids hanging on them. 

That’s how women describe it often. My kids are always hanging on me, they’re always asking for something from me, well, your wife tends to go into our masculine at this time, she tends to become overwhelmed. And when she’s in this energy in this state, it can really drain her. And also it can prevent her from feeling the desire for intimacy. Now, we don’t want that right as guys, we all want intimacy. In fact, your wife wants intimacy. But if she’s overwhelmed, if the kids are going wild, if there’s no real structure put in place, it can really, really dampen a marriage in a relationship cause fights between you and your kids, but also disconnect between you and your wife. So what we want to do is get ahead of this guys, we want to get really far ahead of this, we can make a plan so that we can actually get that ideal summer that we’ve always wanted. So I’ve got a few notes here that I took down, that could really go through this and help you avoid the common pitfalls and struggles. Now, the first thing to do, just like in business is create a plan, right? We know summers coming, right? So create a plan. So what I did in this situation ahead of time is I sat down with my wife, and said, Hey, what do we want our summer to look like? What do we want this summer to be? Now we have obligations, I have events that I’m running. I’ve got her for events here at the TPM Ranch that we’re running in the month of July alone. 

So there’s a lot of obligations to come through. Now, granted, I love what I do. So I’m very blessed to be able to do that. And the same time, it takes me away from my family or adds extra stress on my wife because I’m not there as often to help out. So what we did is we just described it, we went for a walk, and we just kind of dreamed and I got her in this playful energy. So what would it be like? It was just the ideal summer? What would it come up with? Unlike a guy, my wife talked about the emotion of the summer, and what would it feel like for her to have a great summer. And so of course, I collected her berries. And what I mean by that, if you’re not familiar with it, is I listened, I listened to encourage her to talk more. And as she talked more, she started to get more and more detailed, and more and more creative. And as she got more and more creative, she started to get a little excited, right, she started to realize that what she really wanted could come true. Now during this conversation, she also got stressed and seemed a little sad. And the reason being is she also part of her during the conversation, but we’re not going to be able to get there. She started talking about what she didn’t want. And so I paused her and said, Hey babe, let’s just keep this on the positive. Let’s focus on what we want, rather than what we don’t want so that we can steer the ship in that direction. And she was all in for it. And as we discussed it, we started to put together a plan right? Okay, we want to want to feel free. We want to have free time for the kids to play for us to play, we want intimacy, we want to be able to have sex on a regular basis and not worry about the kids rushing into our room, or banging on the door. Right? We want the kids to have some structured things that they’re doing summer camp times with friends, we want family vacations, we want to go on vacations just by ourselves as a family camping and such. But we also want to include our extended family and some of these vacations. And of course, as I mentioned, I have some obligations trips that are coming up, and I’m really excited about them. And those are going my wife wants to do a few things, too. 

So suddenly, in this conversation, we realize, Wow, we have a very full schedule for the summer. And we know what we want it to feel like why not my wife wants to feel like and of course, I’m on board with that. Right? All the things that she said sounded great. Now, as the provider for my family, I have obligations with work and I get to do the right things that I get to schedule in. And so I want to talk about expectations with that. So when like this said, Hey, babe, I love what we’re talking about here. As you know, I also have to work I get that the kids are at a school and you guys have things you want to do. I’m not always going to be able to make all of these events, right? I’m not going to be able to do all of these things. How can we make this work together? My expectation is that I will work normal, quote, working hours that I typically do. Now, to be fair, guys, I have a modified schedule, that more than more than most men do. I run my own schedule, which is very nice. But I had this conversation, you get to have this with your wife and set those expectations. What are the expectations here? As another example, my wife wants to go back for three weeks to visit my in-laws, and her parents, fantastic to look, why don’t we do this? Why don’t I go back for one week, and you and the kids go back for three, I’ll meet you in the middle of it. Right. So we’re separated for a week because I have a rule that I’m not away from my family for more than two weeks, we’re separated for a week I come in, and we do a family trip on only our immediate family for three days. And the remaining four days, we visit your extended family. And she loved the idea, right? 

She loved the idea because we got to do an adventure with our family, we got to see her family get included and she got to extend her time with her family, she’s really close for that entire three weeks, which typically wouldn’t be possible, because again, I have a rule unless I come back for those three weeks that I’m not gonna be away from my family for more than two. So that worked out perfectly. And then, right when I get back, I’m going with a client to Hawaii, which I’m excited about. It’s gonna be a fun trip. At the same time, she will now possibly be alone. So I said, Look, why don’t you just extend your trip, we’ll extend it out. And you can see more family and friends. And it’ll work out with our schedules. And I’ll adjust the time when I get back. So within those ley lines, now she’s getting more of what she wants, I’m getting what I want, and the kids are happy. And we also start to say, Okay, well, how can you and I, my wife and I have How can we have some more time, some intimacy time, but not just physical intimacy, although that’s clearly important, but also the ability to connect the ability to do our own thing. So we start putting strategies in place, okay, we’re gonna have a date night, these nights, let’s schedule out the babysitter, right, our babysitter currently is a high school student. And so we wanted to make sure that she was available, she’s gonna have camps, she’s gonna have family vacations. So I took the lead on that I took the lead and contact her and said, hey, look, we want to do our daily date night or semi-weekly date nights. And there’s also a couple of other days, we don’t have someday dates, that we’re doing things. And we started to schedule those and put those in the schedule. And again, our schedule is now looking extremely full. But we also want to have some free time with the kids. And so we started scheduling when that free time would be. 

Now for me, I have a big teenager inside me. So scheduling, sometimes I have a story that’s very restricting. But in cases like this, cases like this, where there can be so much overwhelm, or so much chaos. If there’s no structure, the structure actually gives you the freedom I’ve found over the years. And so we can provide this for our kids camps, which kids at watch camp, what’s going on, and also scheduled her on her family vacations, right? And it started to become evident that maybe we couldn’t do as much camping as we thought we could, as a family. So we started looking at the calendar and look at what’s going on. We said how could we do this? said, Well, geez, our son’s going to a wilderness camp. Let’s just camp at the Wilderness Camp right outside of the National Forest. And our son can stay we can camp and we can drop them off at the summer camp. And then we can have just some alone time we’ll find something for our daughter to do. And then we have that alone time. And we did it that way as well. We also started scheduling playdates for our kids. And we started working with other couples like hey, you take the kids, right? This, you know, this day, we’ll take your kids the other day. And then now you can have some intimate moments, if you will, with your partner, whatever that looks like for you. Now I get it with your kids are older, so a little bit different. Or we can still schedule these things out, schedule the trips out. And a key thing here when your kids are older in my experience is enrolling in rolling them into this idea. What do I mean by that? Well, do the same thing I do with my wife sit down with them and ask them what they want out of their summer. And you guys are all good salesmen. So you can lead them down the path to make them feel like it’s their idea, right? And lead them down the path of hey, what would you like summer to be like how much? You know, what about family times what’s the most you want out of this, you can start structuring what your whole family wants.

You’re also really setting expectations, right? And so within any relationship, the two biggest problems, the two biggest things that divide people are 14 communication, poor communication, and unmet expectations. Now, a lot of families have these covert contracts where they have agreements that nobody’s agreed to, right, they make assumptions, but they don’t talk about it. And so therefore, the kids can feel forced that they have to go to grandma’s house, versus being persuaded or feeling like they’re included in the decision. Or they might feel forced to have to do something that’s going on, or there’s a presumption that the kids are going to be out playing in the yard, or they’re going to be out on the weekends, or the family is going to get together for dinner every night, whatever it is if it’s not talked about, it can actually cause a lot of problems, especially with teenagers. But this goes with adults, too. So you really want to sit down and plan this out. First I would recommend doing it with your wife will first do it with yourself. So you have a clear plan. And the reason I do this is now I can direct my wife’s vision and have it aligned with mine, right? Because if I don’t know what my vision is, then we’re kind of all over the place. It’s kind of it’s very much like if my wife were to ask me, Hey, where do you want to go out to dinner? And if I replied to her, I don’t care. Where do you want to go? And she goes, I don’t care. Well, now we’re in this, this mismatch. It’s a horrible thing. So you as the man want to become the leader in this conversation and the leader in the decision-making, obviously, including your wife, and ideally, including your kids. And then one thing that I’ve seen a lot of couples do is, is leveraging community resources. Depending on where you live, there are a lot of community outreach programs and things like that that can happen during the summer, could be Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Soccer Camps, football camps, whatever it may be, look at those community resources, see what’s going on opportunities for your kids to volunteer internships, if you have older kids getting involved in internship is a great way to give the kids experience, provide them with a work ethic, expand their network, and get them out of the house. Right? 

Those are four things that you can get right away with giving a kid an internship. And so it my son being seven years old, he’s my oldest, right, I will still put them in a work environment. So I want to teach them that worth work ethic. I think worth work ethic is something that is fundamental to a successful life. And I want my kids to get that at an early age. And then also, I think it’s important, if possible, to realize that this time is going to come and go right with children. And we all hear this all the time. And my kids are really young. And I still hear this every time we do The Alpha Reset, here at the TPM Ranch, which is our flagship transformational experience, a lot of times the men get the opportunity to meet my family, right, I only introduce my family, to people that I really respect and love. And usually, the men on the other side of this experience come out of it. And if you’ve been to one, you understand what I’m saying, they’ll get the opportunity to meet my kids. And it’s great. And certainly, it’s a blessing for me to share my family, with so many great men. But they always say to me, man that comes and goes so quickly. And so I’m not dumb. I’m not the smartest guy in the world, but I’m not dumb. So I take that in, right? That’s obviously that’s, that’s the truth. You hear it all the time, what’s gonna be the truth for you, too? So what I want to do for the summer is make sure that I don’t inundate myself with work volume during this precious time when the kids are free. And I’m able to take time away from work and spend time with my family. You know, a lot of times when I’m talking to men, I’m like, guys are working really hard. And I get it right I’ve done I’ve done it, where you’re in the grind, right? You’re you’re working 6080 hours a week. Plus, you’re really pushing yourself because you want to get to that other end, you want to get to retirement, you want to get to a payout, you want to get to an exit, whatever it might be for you. Whenever I ask the guys, Hey, why are you doing this, it almost always comes down to they’re doing this for their family. Right? But don’t do this for a future thing for your family by sacrificing today. Don’t do that cuz you’re gonna miss out on these key opportunities. The key really is spending time with your family. And taking advantage of it now you still want to prepare for the exit or whatever else you’re doing. totally get it. The key here is planning and making sure you have some balance. So you’re not on a camping trip always on your phone. 

You’re not at the events, always, you know checking the Slack or the internet or whatever else it is and checking in with your team. I see dads doing that all the time at sporting events or things I go to with my kids. And it’s sad because you see a kid at baseball who’s up to bat and he looks in the stands for his father in his father’s on his phone. As I’m looking at the kid. You just see the sadness. I was at an event recently. It was a father-son event at my kids’ school. And I sat down at the table with them and I’m having a snack. And the girl to my left, no one showed up for her, and she was crying. And so I brought her in and you know, kind of did it. But I felt very sad for her. And I’m sure there was a valid excuse or reason. But I also know sometimes we can make those excuses up in our mind saying, Ah, it’s not that important, or there always be another time. Take this time today, take this time today, in the summer, to be a season that you really get a chance to do stuff. Another thing that happens is competing for time and resources. What do I mean by that? Well, your wife may want to go to events, you may want to go to events, your wife may work in, you may work. So who gets the opportunity to do things who gets the opportunity, or who’s whose parents, whose grandparents do go visit, things like this can be competing, and this is why it’s so important guys, to plan ahead. Now I realize Summer is here. But take this opportunity right after you listen to this schedule a time to go for your walk, go for a walk, have a glass of wine, sit down with your wife, and have this conversation about summer. Because when it starts to be an issue with competing for resources are time, you’re just going to fight unless you guys can come to a good compromise and an understanding. And all this really means is to use what we call The Hidden Motives Technique. We have a whole just mini-course on The Hidden Motives Technique. Of course, if you’ve been through our flagship program, The Activation Method for relationships, you know all about The Hidden Motives Technique, we’ve done a bunch of podcasts on it as well.

I’ll put a link below if you want that shortcut if you want that short course, to get so you can master The Hidden Motives Technique. But allow your wife to feel really seen heard and validated. You know, and once she feels seen, heard, and validated around her issues, odds are she’s going to be much more receptive to your ideas, your thoughts. And if you want to see your parents, and she wants to see her parents have a finite amount of time. You want to be in a cooperative state. Because if you’re not, you’re just going to end up fighting and bickering. And one of you is going to feel as if you got screwed over. And that’s a horrible feeling. And a lot of guys do this. They just give in because they’re tired of fighting. And that that goes right into the hole. Nice Guy dear mode, right? Defending excusing, explaining, reacting, dear. All right, that’s the acronym. I don’t want you to do that. I want you to be a WOLF wise, open, loving, and fierce. But that involves you planning that involves you using The Hidden Motives Technique that involves you doing these things. So your wife feels great. This is your partner, this is the woman you chose to live the rest of your life with, with a woman you chose to have children with. Right? You want her to be happy. You want to be happy, but you don’t need to sacrifice yourself in order for that to happen. Right? That’s what I’m trying to tell you. Do you make sacrifices so to speak? Or do you make compromises? Yeah, it’s a relationship, of course. But that doesn’t mean you have to give in doesn’t mean she has to give in. But you guys want to have an understanding, right? And it could look something like, Hey, it’s really important to me that we go see my parents this summer, my dad’s at he’s got cancer. And we’ll see your parents next summer. We’ll see them at Christmas. 

So you can come up with some ways of working that out, right? Does that work for everybody involved? Or maybe Hey, why don’t we have all the families come and we’ll throw a big party at our place. There are all kinds of ways to get through there. But it has to be involved. You have to create an environment, of synergy of an environment of collaborations where I’m looking for where you and your partner, you and your wife they’re discussing, like how do we get the best out of the summer? That goes back to the first conversation. Right? That walk I went on with my wife, I had a plan of what I wanted somewhere to be. And now I want to hear hers. I wanted to know what she wanted to do. And how could we bring these two plans together to create something amazing, and then we turn around and we sell that plan, so to speak to our kids and make it make them feel as if my kids are still really young, but make them feel as if they’re involved in the planning, right? Hey, wouldn’t it be cool if we went to see your grandma, Papa? And what if I flew back there too, and we did a vacation in Cape Cod, and you get the idea? And now the kids are pumped, they’re excited, you know, and that there’s little things that they want to do Dad, I want you to be there the whole time or, or whatever. But then we were able to have a conversation around it. And I use The Hidden Motives Technique with them. Right? You know, Hey, Dad, we want you to be with us the whole time. Like I want to be there the whole time, too. I know can feel as if you know, we’re not always together, but we’re going to be doing prepping so we can afford this vacation. And we can be able to do all these other things that we want to do together. And this is what we’re going to do when we are together. And I’m not going to be working and I can get them excited, right? That’s what I’m trying to do, to show you can get them really excited about the possibilities of coming together. And really, you know,

I guess what it boils down to is, is really understanding what it is you want. And I would really guys, really make sure that you’re booking in time for intimacy with you and your wife. especially if you’re gonna have kids around the house all the time, right? It’s just harder to have sex, or even be intimate and get close, it’s just more difficult. It’s more challenging, right? You gotta be quieter, you know, kids are banging on the door, whatever it may be. So schedule those times so that you can have them. But also, if your wife is the one, that’s the primary caregiver taking care of the kids the most, you want to create an environment for her to step away, right? And what I mean by that is, for her to slip back into her femininity, an environment where she can go take a bath for an hour by herself, before you try to be intimate, or an environment where the house gets cleaned up by the kids, you cleaning, lady’s cleaning people, whatever. And so she doesn’t have to worry about it. So women will often talk about this diffused awareness. And what basically what they’re saying is, when they walk into their house, or they’re in their house, the entire house is talking to them. The dirty dishes over there, though the laundry that’s not being done, the paint on the wall, the kids this the schedules, the bills have been paid whatever it is, it’s always talking to them and puts them in a masculine state because they get into a do mode, which has them slip out of their femininity, right? So you want them to be in a femininity because you as a masculine man, now have polarization, right? You need that polarity in your, in your marriage from intimacy, especially. This is also why guys, so many men and women have the best sex ever when they’re on vacation. 

Well, why? Well, the woman, her environment is not talking to her, she’s able to calm her her mind. her nervous system is what a lot of women will talk about. My nervous system is just calm and allows me to be wild and free in her feminine state flowy as guys, well, we’re ready, right? Where I occasion we’re having a good time. And maybe we have less work on our plate, right? We didn’t bring the work with us or not as much anyway, right? And so sex and intimacy happen a lot more. Well, how can we create that environment at home? Right, I work really hard, not hard. But I work very deliberately, on creating that vacation hotel lifestyle in my house. So my wife can slip into that, you know, sometimes I’ll go home, go, Hey, babe, I got the kids, you go in the room read for a little bit, I’m going to be in there about 30 minutes. And she knows what I mean. And she loves it. She’s like, thank you so much. I’ll take care of the kids, put on a show for them. Give them an activity connected with somebody else. And then I’ll make sure the kids know, Hey, Mom and Dad are having our own time together. You guys got what you need. Don’t bother us, right, unless it’s an emergency, unless one’s head has fallen off or something. And now my wife, I come into the room. She’s relaxed, she’s calm. She knows I’m loving and caring for her because she knows that I saw something where I saw that she was working harder, overwhelmed, and what she’s able to slip into that femininity, and my wife would say her man shows up, and then we can be intimate together. 

Now, wherever you are in your marriage, intimacy may not be sexual right now, right? You guys may be in a dry spell. But still, you can provide this and your intimacy could be talking, it could be having a conversation, could be playing a board game, it could be laughing at old memories. But do something be the CFO, the chief fun officer. And part of being the CFO is planning ahead. And it’s planning for these contingencies. Right? Again, I have little kids so I know if I put a show on for them. They’re gonna be knocking on the door to change the show. They’re gonna be knocking on the door for snacks, all of these things. So I prep ahead here, your snacks, here’s what you’re able to have. Here’s what you can’t touch. have anything else you want? I’m putting on this show. I am not changing it. This is the only show you guys get. You know, you have two episodes or 45 minutes each. Mom and Dad will be back after that. And again, your older kids, you get the idea. You can do something different, but a key The first is planning talking about what it is you want, planning it out. And then setting expectations. Gentlemen, if you do this regardless if you have kids or not, even if just you and your wife, this summer could be the best summer of your life. This summer can be the summer that you bring your marriage back. We’re starting a new Activation Method for relationships for the summer. If you’re interested in finding out more again, click the link below. Make this summer the time the summer that you rekindle your marriage, you rekindle that intimacy in your life, and you actually have a friggin great time with your kids. A great time with your partner. And more importantly, gentlemen, you have a great time with yourself. As always, I always say in the moment of insight take massive action. Go have that conversation today. Make it fun, and I’ll see you next time on the TPM show.