Summer is upon us my friends, and if you’re anything like me (mother, slightly anal), you’ll appreciate the small amount of panic that has set in as I prepare for 10 weeks of children at home. With me. All. The. Time. Don’t get me wrong. I love the thought of not having to strong-arm my kids into doing homework every night, the idea of not using my scant knowledge of chemistry to determine out how to keep the Trix yogurt cold without ice packs (which they’ll surely throw away with their retainers), and the notion that I will no longer be schlepping my precious little angels to 700 different after-school activities in various parts of the state.
I cherish all of that, for about five days. Like childbirth, I soon forget the pain and anguish of the academic year and am ready to do it all again by mid-June. And I’ve learned that it doesn’t really matter what kind of mom you are in terms of your job status. When I stayed at home, all summer meant was an increased risk of drowning, sunburn, bee stings and Kool-Aid carpet stains. It didn’t change my day-to-day schedule, except for a few older kids hanging around. I looked forward to Aug. 10 with my kids’ anticipation of Christmas. “Please Santa, bring me a big yellow school bus!”
As a teacher, of course, I can’t wait for classes to be over. A hundred and eighty days with teenagers is enough to send any normal person to professional help. My sanity and patience levels desperately need a nice long break from over- exposure to Axe body spray and girl drama. But come summer, I’m simply trading one taxing environment for another. Would I rather spend the day teaching algebra to bored juniors or wrangling technology-addicted kiddos outside? Hmmm. I’d rather just enjoy a cocktail.
It’s not much better for moms who work year-long either. They have to pull some pretty fine logistical magic out their wazoos if they want to ensure their school-age heirs don’t spend the entire summer watching Little House reruns and playing Skyrim. “In how many camps can you enroll three kids if the age groups don’t align, the nanny can’t be here until 9, and Suzy has to be in Cheer III with her bestie?” Sweet mercy, these moms are miracle workers! You go, ladies!
My point is, summer is sometimes more stressful then the day-to-day grind of the school year. Sure your bedtime schedule is more relaxed, but having to create your own routine and structure to ensure the safety and harmony of your family is challenging in its own right. Good luck to us all! Peace out.