Ah, summer. Right after school got out, a friend told me “I hate summer. I can’t wait until it’s over.” I protested, “Summer is supposed to be fun!”
“Not for working moms,” she said.
Now I know how she feels. These half-day summer camps and constantly changing schedules are running me ragged! This week one daughter has to be at the high school at 8:45 a.m. and the other needs to be at Harker School at 9 a.m. Before that one kid was at theater camp in San Jose while the other was at summer school at Fisher. Pick up the Fisher child at noon; feed and try to have things planned to entertain her, then pick up the other one at 3 p.m. Run home to change and slather on sunscreen, then back out again for swim lessons at 4:10 p.m. Home by 5 p.m.
In between are all the regular tasks of managing a household ... and, oh yeah, did I mention my “day job?” Since my days are so busy, I’m staying up later at night to get my work done. To top it off, our family’s summer vacation mindset means that little things like chores are not really high on the priority list, so the house is messier, the dog hungrier, and the plants thirstier. Just a few more things for Mom to manage. And I don’t even work full time! I don’t know how people do it.
Others I know do not seem to be having these issues. One mom is spending the summer in Paris with her daughter. (No, I’m not jealous at all.) Another dad told me he and his kids went to Cabo, then Disneyland, then he’s spending quality dad-daughter time at the state fair somewhere in the Midwest. Deep-fried Twinkies, here they come! Obviously, these parents do not have to work … except I know they do, so they must just be way better planners than I am.
Now, I’m not complaining. I realize that I am lucky. Too many families go hungry in the summer, when there are no free school lunches to keep their children’s stomachs full. Many parents cannot afford enriching summer activities like soccer, tennis and dance camps; instead, they are forced to leave their kids unattended while they go to work. Still, I have to admit this summer has been more stressful than I remember in the past.
Are you a super planner, a lucky bum, or stressed and frazzled? Do you love summer or hate it? Do you have some tips for making it a not-so-bummer summer?