During my 4-year-old’s last week of Pre-K, I started getting excited for summer break. Loose schedules, fun adventures. But then I snapped back to reality: I have a job.
Don’t get me wrong, I love working and I love my job! I also know being a stay-at-home parent is tough work – goodness knows when my husband was out of town last weekend my patience had run out by the time he got home Sunday afternoon.
But, boy, summer with kids is hard when you have to go to work. Maybe it hit me because this is the first year I’ve had a kid in a school with a traditional school year (until now they’ve both been in year-round daycare).
I’m lucky that my little one is still in daycare and the older one can attend the summer program at her school so I didn’t have to worry about finding different camps and shuttling them all around town. Plus, my husband goes to work a little later than I do. So at first, I thought, well, summer will be easier because there’s no set start time at school. He can take both kids, and I can get to work earlier and it will take off some of the pressure.
Except, just as we have for the two summers prior, we signed the girls up for swim lessons four nights a week. It wasn’t too hard before, but now my husband works more nights outside our home and we have two schools to pick-up from. Pressure.
The nights my husband and I are both off work are a scramble. The nights he works are crazy – before work or the night before I pack lunches, a pre-swim snack and the swim bag, make sure backpacks have all necessities, remember water day at daycare and dress-up days for the summer program, then go to work, two pick-ups, three wardrobe changes (a parent still has to go in the pool for our 2-year-old’s lessons), quick dinner, quick baths, then bedtime. Not much time for anything else unless I let the girls stay up way too late.
Besides the hectic schedules, I feel like I’m missing out. We’re taking a week-long family vacation mid-summer, which I know we’re lucky to be able to do, but it doesn’t leave me much wiggle room with my PTO and weekends seem to pass in the blink of an eye. I’d love to play hooky and go to a mid-week movie or an event or the waterslides, or even chaperone a field trip, but it’s not in the cards right now.
I realize these are true #firstworldproblems and we really have a lot to be thankful for. But for the moment, allow me some time to pout. There ain’t no cure for the working mom’s summertime blues.