So we are in the last three weeks of Summer Break in our house. I admit that I’ve been done with Spring Break since July 11th, but the kids have hit that critical point where they are done too. Bored out of their minds, tired of summer camp, too hot, and lonely for friends who have family vacations or different camps.
In most houses, I think Summer Break always starts the same… Something like this for kids:
While parents might feel a little more like this:
Then, you get into the first few weeks and the kids are in heaven, living in the glow of no school, summer camp and swimming:
While you are running around at 10 at night, just trying to catch up.
As a kid, summer break always seemed so wonderful. There were long stretches of boredom, but between camps, the pool, the library, and the vacation my family always managed to sneak in, they were full of good memories.
Today, working full-time from home, sneaking in business trips, coordinating sitters, and the chaos that having three kids with no real schedule leads to, I feel like I am failing miserably. You add the Facebook dynamic, where every other family seems to be doing amazing things, holding themselves together in perfect world, having fun together with each others kids. I feel like the worst mom in the history of the world.
The truth is that I know that Facebook shows the best moments while masking the worst. I know that my kids will not be forever traumatized because I lost my cool and screamed a few times. I also know they can deal with a bad camp once in a while and deal with being bored.
But, I will admit that I had an idyllic vision in my head in June of sneaking in 1/2-day Fridays to take the kids to the beach or pool, heading into Chicago to go to the museum. Being able to do what I envision other moms get to do so that my kids got the best of me at the same time as the best of summer. None of that happened, and now I feel guilty. I know it is ridiculous! I know it is unreasonable. But, that damn mom guilt shows up in the most silly ways.
The good news is that we are in the home stretch! We’ve survived a two-week family vacation (with a 2,600 mile drive), seven weeks of summer camp with various rates of enthusiasm, and coordinating the schedules of three different sitters. We are in our last week of camp, and then have two weeks and two days until school survives. Time to have a little fun, get a little bored, go for a swim, and get ready for the next stage in this marathon of child-rearing and working parenting.
Good luck in your home stretch of Summer Break 2016! You got this!