The Mom Who Works in the Summer
During the school year they don’t really notice that I work full time. Our school routine hums along nicely and no one is usually home during the day. They have after school activities, practices, homework etc., and don’t perceive my absence (despite a complex system of babysitters and carpools).
Summer is an entirely different animal. Eventually one of my daughters asks the burning question, “Why can’t you be one of those working mommies who doesn’t work in the summer?”
I sigh and pull on a smile. It only took two weeks of summer for her to finally ask.
Instead of unloading my summer woes, I take the opportunity to teach about choices and provide a glimpse into why this is the right choice for our family. I tell her that it’s okay to love your job and love your family. Every family looks different—some mommies work in the summer and some mommies don’t. But all mommies work very hard to be the best mommy they can be. Then she smiles and walks away momentarily satisfied with my answer.
I made my career choice with no regrets but it doesn’t mean that parts of summer aren’t flat out hard.
Summer can feel like a mixed bag. The days might be lazy, magical, and fun for my kids but the reality is that all their summer fun requires some intense advanced planning. Some days I wonder why your brain can’t burn calories when it’s working overtime. The mental side of summer is really what wears me out the most. Coordinating. Planning. Camps. Pick ups. Drop offs. Car Seats. Clothing. Gear etc. Every day can and does look different. At night, I pretty much collapse into bed relieved that we made it through the day with everyone intact, fed and accounted for.
The paradox is learning how to go with the flow yet staying organized all while knowing that even your “best laid plans” can change in an instant. I have a deep bench of help and support that makes the operational side of summer run smoothly, and I am beyond grateful.
But being a summer working mom has taught me how to soak in the moments that I do have.
Summer can be a lovely break from the regular routine of early bedtimes, homework and fast paced schedules. As a family, we maximize the weekend time, evenings or any small getaway we have. We do movie nights, build forts, play games, go for snow cone runs or swim in the evening. Our summers might look a little different than others, but I hope my kids look back and remember summers as magical. Soon they will be driving themselves, hanging out with friends, sleeping till noon and may not even I realize I went to work at all.
Like anything, it’s a season and it can be a magical one too—even for me. So cheers to the moms working in the summer because in reality it’s every single one of us.