Here’s the setup. So, my kids have officially been off school since Wednesday at 11:45 AM for summer break. Camp doesn’t start until Monday at 9am. I just got back from a business trip last night at 7pm. I have to manage exactly one full day of camp-free fun for a 9- and 7-year old. I am TERRIFIED!!! And I have a conference call at 10.
Teachers how do you do it for 9 months?
I can commit to my readers that there will be a crazy amount of “surviving summer” blogs in the next 12 weeks. For any parent, summers are HARD when you have school-age kids. Without the structure of school, you spend an enormous amount of time planning, philosophizing and freaking out. For a mom that works from home full-time, the urgency of occupying your children becomes the Holy Grail of parental coordination.
Teachers, what do you do to occupy kids for seven hours straight, five days a week?
Ok! So I’ve spent countless DAYS of my life figuring out weekly camp schedules since January (there’s even a spreadsheet), fought my way off wait lists, paid a ridiculous amount of money for camps, and somehow managed to convince myself that driving 1500 miles to Texas with mom and 3 kids while my husband stays behind to work for a week is a great idea. Oh yeah, but I still need a sitter b/c the kids want to be home sometimes too. Cool.
Oh crap! Just realized that I forget to plan for August. Mmmmmm… So we will just wing three weeks. Starting to panic. Breathe! Breathe! Is it too early for wine?
Seriously, teachers, HOW do you do it?
I’m calm. I’ll deal with August in six weeks. My sitter will love the extra hours, right? So let’s focus on today. We’ll do library, maybe the pool. I’ve coordinated a chess play date, which the kids are super pysched about. (internal dialogue: I really need to learn chess so my 7-year old stops beating me in 3 moves). Sam’s Club trip for munchies.
I may have to play “hooky” from work today, but I’ve been traveling for seven out of nine straight business days. That’s why I work at home, right? Oh man, I forgot about the conference call. You know what, the mute button is magical! I can do that at the library or pool…
Wow, my day sounds exhausting occupying kids.
Teachers, are you exhausted very day??
So, I’ve got the plan down for today. But, now I’m thinking of execution. There will be whining. There will be fighting. Fairly sure there will be crying. I will likely scream at some point. My kids can’t stand next to each other half the time without fighting. And, they never like to run errands. I still have to drop the 3-year old off at daycare before we do anything. Plus, we have to clean up the house before the playdate. UGH. This is going to be a long day.
Teachers, I can’t make two kids behave. How do you manage 20?
You know what. We’ll survive. All of us! And it will be fun and wonderful. Even with the chaos.
But I can certainly tell you. While planning ONE day of summer fun, I have an even more profound respect for my kids’ teachers. They give us nine months of peace while also managing to make our children smarter, kinder and better. All while working crazy hours for little pay.
They are amazing. They are extraordinary. They are special!
The least that we can do is say is:
Thank God for Teachers! Enjoy your summers!
And, I can’t wait to send my kids back to you in August…