I don’t have to be a mom to know the dedication it takes to raise children.  Everyday I watch my sister, Beth, and sister-in-law, Gina, raise their own kids in ways that astound me.  In fact, just this weekend, I got a glimpse of both their hard work paying off.

Stylish Mom First, my niece, Beth, who is my sister-in-law’s daughter, had her prom last week.  I met this little girl when she was just eight years old.  Now she is 18, stunning, smart and heading off to Barnard in the fall.  Over the years I watched my sister-in-law pour every ounce of herself into raising this amazing young lady.

stylish mom Next, if I wasn’t proud already, yesterday, I got a text from my sister with this photo of my youngest niece,  seven year old Avery, who, with the exception of in-between trims, has been growing her hair long for four years.  While her older brother, Evan, was getting his hair cut, she made the quick decision to cut off her hair to donate to Pantene’s Beautiful Length’s Charity that makes real-hair wigs for cancer patients.  Yup, she just chopped it off and decided all on her own to do it.

So, yes, raising children who are smart, thoughtful, generous, kind and considerate takes effort, and for those of you moms out there who do it everyday, I applaud you.  I know it isn’t easy.

Now that summertime has arrived I also know it often gets even harder to raise kids.  I know this because of the moms I am friends with on Facebook.  Every summer I can practically set my watch to how it goes down in my Facebook feed.  In June, all my mom friends post updates about how excited they are to have their kids out of school, that they can’t wait to do fun things and spend time with their children.  By July, the tones of their status updates change slightly.  The excitement starts to wane, their kids are clearly getting under their skin and they are tired of having to be like Julie, the cruise director from The Love Boat.  By August, all their Facebook status updates indicate that they’re done.  They love their kids but can’t wait to get them back in school and are praying for Labor Day to get their sanity back.

That said, I thought I’d make it a little easier for you this summer by giving you some stylish mom tips on how to make it through the summer with style.  I might not be able to help you make your umpteenth sand castle, cut the crusts off sandwiches, or come up with creative ideas when you kids are hanging around, complaining that they are bored, but I can at least help you figure out how to be able to bend, run, get dirty, be active and sweat with a sense of style in tact.

Stylish Mom Outfits for Summertime with the Kids

stylish mom A summer maxi dress is great for moms of active young kids who require that you to squat, play, pick up your kidlets and run around. The last thing you want to worry about is showing off too much, nor do you have the time to make sure you legs are perfectly bronzed or shaved.  I chose this style from Lucky Brand and accessorized it with a pair of comfortable sandals from Sofft, a bag, large enough to carry kid-things around, from Steve Madden and used durable jewerly, a navy bracelet from Pandora and simple silver earrings from Lord & Taylor.

The other benefit of this outfit is it works with the kids but can also look great when you are kid-free.

Outfit #2

mom style Little kids are rarely fashion critics.  Teenagers are another story, but little kids can really care less about what you wear.  Even if you don’t love the way you look in shorts, when it is blazing hot at the park, you won’t care either.  However, wearing shorts does not mean that you have to subject yourself to an unstylish outfit just because of them.  Choose a pair of shorts that are well fitting and versatile.  An olive pair, like these from J. Crew, not only have a nice clean fit, but are in a color where you can easily just rotate the tops you wear.  In this look, I paired a fun high-low tank from LOFT and used super easy slip on metallic sneakers from Superga (because who wants to give up time for lacing?) and finished the look with a simple pair of turquoise stud earrings from Stella & Dot and colorful, yet roomy, bag from Desigual.

Outfit #3

stylish mom Okay, even I will admit, rompers aren’t for everyone.  However, they do have their pros that may outweigh the cons.  Hear me out.  While dresses are easy, they can be hard to maneuver in if you are really active with your kids.  Shorts are a good alternative, but rompers are more of an insta-outfit, with no shirt thinking required.  If you are now considering them as a stylish mom option, check out this style from Lucky Brand that I styled with a pair of comfortable white slides from Dr. Scholl’s, a roomy printed tote from Boden and earrings from Robert Lee Morris.

Outfit #4

stylish mom If a romper won’t work, shorts are out of the question and a dress just seems too precious to wear with the kids, try a skort, like this athletic style from Kohls, that gives you the look of a skirt and the comfort of a pair of shorts.  I created this stylish mom look pairing the skort with a split neck tee from The Gap, a pair of black, comfortable sandals from Pikolinos, a printed and durable tote from LeSportsac and yellow rubber studs from Marc by Marc Jacobs.

Outfit #5

stylish mom Maybe short summer dresses are your answer to being a stylish mom with the kids.  After all, they are cool and easy.  If the one reason you have been avoiding them has to do with not being able to get as much movement as you would like, you have to check out my post about Jockey’s Skimmies Slipshorts which are like a Godsend for active mothers.

In this look, I chose this easy to wear, striped dress from Modcloth that even has sleeves!  I styled it with a pair of navy FitFlops, faux leather shopper tote from Nordstrom, and coral hoop earrings from Max & Chloe.

Any mom of grown up children will tell you that raising children goes by in a flash.  Soon enough, these summer months with your children will be all but memories, so cherish them, even when it gets tedious.  Being a stylish mom certainly won’t make or break whether you are a good mother but it will surely make the journey of doing so feel a lot better for you.