The Love/Hate Relationship with Summer

summer_kids_swimmingSummer vacation is just around the corner and while I’m looking forward to slower mornings and less structure, there’s a part of me that is starting to panic.  With year round schooling we have had several mini breaks throughout the year so it shouldn’t be a big deal, right? Well, no – but it is anyway.

Summer break is longer and for some reason there are higher expectations to fill it with a variety of fun and educational activities.  All of those activities take planning and guidance and endless driving around the city.

It’s not that I mind, I like the activities as much as my kids, and sometimes more.  What’s making me sweat is that unless I make a conscious daily effort, the chances of me making some real progress on my book during summer break, are slim.

I don’t like extra effort when I can avoid it.  It’s a personality flaw that one day I’ll get under control.  I always look for the easiest way to get from start to finish.  If the laundry needs folding, I’ll often wait until the kids are at school so I can listen to my favorite podcasts undisturbed while I work.  I could just as easily do it while they are scrambling around me, but why?

It’s the same with writing, although the need for focus is greater, where I wait until the kids are at school and the youngest is sleeping before I even bother to start. If it weren’t for my deadlines I would do the same for blogging.  I write this as my middle child is arguing with me about the fact that she has to get dressed before she can go outside.  Distracting? Heck yeah.  I might be strange and a bit lazy but I do have standards.

All this means is that it’s time to do some serious plotting and planning on the best and hopefully most economical way for everyone, myself included, to have a phenomenal summer.





Enter the Summer

bubble summerThis week marks the end of structured days of kids in school and the beginning of summer vacation.  For kids, this is a magical time of freedom, discovery, and lots of play.  For parents, this time comes with mixed emotions. There is no longer the pressure of the morning school rush and all its battles, but there are also whole long days of nothing on the calendar.

For me, I’m looking forward to the change.  There are so many fun things I want to do with my kids that were too complicated to manage during school.  Now is the time for swimming lessons, day camps, play dates, sleepovers, summer crafts, and lots of outside play.

At the same time I’m terrified.  I need structure.  The thought of having whole days with nothing on the calendar is very daunting.  My first instinct is to go a little crazy and create a mommy school where my kids can grow their minds and hone their skills.  There would be field trips where we would have in-depth discussions about science and art.  I would become super mom plus, and drive myself crazy planning and creating activities.

Then I realize, I also have a toddler who will make most of these plans really difficult.  Having one-on-one time with older children to focus on their needs is super important.  Doing it while wrestling a curious toddler is an exercise in patience.  Planning outings and activities is harder when nap schedules need to be considered.

This summer can’t all be about the kids either.  I have goals as well.  I would love to make some real headway on the current draft of my book.  To do so requires hours of work at the computer, undisturbed when possible.  There will be less of those with the kids home, yet I feel there should be more now that I don’t have to drive the taxi to school and back.  This might just be the summer that the kids learn that mommy needs time to work on her projects as well.

I wish I could say I have a brilliant plan about how this is all going to work.  With only a few days left I better start making one or the summer is going to slip away before we even get started!

To all those parents out there, good luck! May this summer vacation be the best one yet.