I Miss Summer Break

Posted Aug 7 2013, 4:26 pm in , , , , , , ,

Image via Dave R. Farmer Flikr WANA Commons

Image via Dave R. Farmer Flikr WANA Commons

Yes, I know it’s technically still summer, but this year has been too busy for me to enjoy it. I’m also very aware that for most people, summer is simply another season that doesn’t necessarily mean much. But for me, summer has always been the time to kick back and relax. I’ve always had summers off. I went from being a student to being a teacher to being an at-home mom. Summer is supposed to be play time.

Part of me can recognize that I’ve often done some work over the summer (besides playing chauffeur to my kids). Years ago, I always volunteered to teach summer school. Excellent pay and short days. Plus, back then, I was working on getting my Masters degrees, so I was in school over the summer. But there was always lazing around time.

Then I had kids.

Just kidding. I’ve always enjoyed summer with my kids. We usually go to the beach once a week all summer long. We go to the arcade and museums and lots of other things. Sure, part of me misses them being in school all day because I miss my routine and schedule, but we have fun.

But not so much this year. The weather, while it’s been gorgeous here in Chicago, has been much cooler than normal and we’ve had a ton of rain on Fridays, which is our usual beach day. I’ve been teaching all summer one night a week, which is something I managed not to do last year. The chance came up, so I grabbed it (I like the money), but the prep time and grading cuts into play time. Of course, I still have my regular part time job and my writing. I’m lucky that I have the ability to work my schedule around my kids (except teaching) and I love that. I really don’t know how you people who have year-round jobs do it. I would HATE to have to punch a clock five days a week year round.

While this all probably sounds like a woe-is-me speech (and yes, maybe I am a little whiney today), I look at my youngest and think she’s getting cheated out of a great summer. My older kids are at the age where they don’t want to go out to the museums and stuff. Shorty reads and plays on her various electronic devices and social media. Eeyore is off working with my husband so he can buy airsoft weapons and video games. But Trouble isn’t ready to just hang out at home all the time.

image via Lynn Kelley Flikr WANA Commons

image via Lynn Kelley Flikr WANA Commons

Earlier this week, I read a post over at the Yummy Mommy Club that really nailed it. We stay at home to be there for our kids, but the work from home stuff still takes over and adds to the mommy guilt.

We have fewer than three weeks until school starts. I wonder how much I can cram into these weeks so she won’t feel like she’s had a totally bummer summer.*

And taking a step back and doing some more relaxing things might be good for me as well. It will give me a chance to recharge and think about the third O’Leary book for which my word count is behind (shh…don’t tell my editor). I think I’ll go plan some fun stuff. If I can do a couple of things a week, maybe the summer won’t feel like such a flop.

What do you do to keep work and play in balance?

*totally taken from Judy Moody’s Not Bummer Summer

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