My colleague Terre and I have a great friendship and can banter about our similarities and differences in a fun way that allows us to be ourselves. I value our friendship. I must say when I read her last couple postings on how moms should “relax this summer”, well, I thought that was great….if you’re Terre:) I wrote the following and she encouraged me to post it asap. What if you’re working and you don’t necessarily have that same level of flexibility? Let’s get a few things straight. Every Mother is a Working Mother. I get that. We have cute journals that say just that: ”Every Mother is a Working Mother” (as suggested by a Mommy at the Southern Women’s Show one year). In fact, I understood that so well that I initially chose to work outside the home for a couple days of …..rest! Being with a little baby all day is hard. I ate my words so many times the first year regarding “What do moms do all day?” Well, a lot I discovered. Later, it became a financial necessity to work and the reasons most moms work outside the home are both personal and multiple in nature . Point is, this article addresses the specific potential difficulties that may occur whenever a major “Schedule Buster” occurs for moms who are employed outside the home a substantial amount of time each week.
The main “schedule buster” lately has been, ah yes….heavenly summer vacation. Did your company not get the memo that you are a Mom and should be released from all work responsibility for 2-3 months? Yea, mine either. Let me be perfectly honest though-the thought of sitting around the pool for several months swatting bugs and worrying about activating my teen years of sun worship to the point of malignant melanoma-well, it’s not very attractive I must say. I may be in the minority but I know I am not alone. I seek air-conditioning. I hate ticks. I detest ruining a great hair blow-out. My daughter, however, loves to be outside. I can handle a few days here and there of sweating, tick checks, freckling, and so forth but eventually my misery becomes obvious. In addition, I can’t just quit working for several months. Like many mothers, that’s just not an option. So, oh…around February it all began with a strategy. Camp Planning 101. All of the Summer Camps in our area converge upon a mall in the center of everywhere and show their bells and whistles, giving out brochures, signing kids up on the spot, and one even bringing a baby Marmasot or something resembling an adorable infant monkey from their Science camp in a nearby state. This was by far the most popular table! Planning for summer in February-yes, that’s Motherhood in 2012 if you are juggling a career with family.
After a couple hours of information overload at Camp Day at the Mall, I feel I can survive the summer, keep my job, and have a reasonably happy child who gets to meet lots of new people, spread her wings, stay outside lots of the time, and come home to a tired but happy mom after a day at the air-conditioned office. I can also contribute to paying our bills-a basic non-negotiable. At our house, we are much more lax on bedtime in the summer, have slacked a tad on reading although she is really enjoying reading her own selections of late, and we enjoy spontaneous playdates with neighbors in the evenings. Do I sometimes wish I could cancel everything and just catch butterflies? Sure, but just for a few minutes. I simply function better on a schedule-period. Summer stresses me out so I consciously add my own “stress busters” : I ask for help. I keep up my normal routines as much as possible. I schedule fun activities we can do as Mother/daughter even if it’s not an entire day. We don’t spend as much time together as other moms who are at home but one thing I do not have time for this summer is Mommy Guilt. Whatever your Summer reality, whether working at the office or working at the pool as a Mom, embrace your situation and enjoy the time you have with your child. It’s all very fleeting and soon enough, we will all be back on the school schedule. I hope everyone can plan a brief vacation, even a weekend, away with their families. We’re planning a trek to an amusement park combined with a water park soon. I can handle being sweaty and then drenched for one weekend. I asked for this motherhood job a few years ago and it’s one job you have for life:) Enjoy your role, roll with the punches, get messy sometimes, and know that our kids will remember that you truly had fun with them. Every situation is different. Make the best of yours. No Mommy Wars for us here at No Mommy’s Perfect. What a time-waster. Motherhood is NOT a competitive sport. We are all in this together:)
How does Summer break impact your schedule or routine? What are your favorite Summer activities?