Working Mom Summer

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May 31st rolled around this year in much the same way it always does in our house, with excitement and celebration. The last day of school was here, and everyone was elated—everyone except mom, and this working mom in particular. Starting the Monday after school lets out, I am not only juggling work and meetings, but now my schedule is packed with summer camp drop-offs, babysitter schedules, playdates, and endless guilt for all the things I should be doing with my kids to enjoy these fleeting summer days.

Summer Soccer Camp with buddies!
Summer Soccer Camp with buddies!

Summer Schedules

Let’s start with the schedule. This year, it happened earlier than ever. I started planning summer camps in November. Yes, before I took my first bite of turkey I was thinking about how my 8-year-old was going to spend the third week of June the following year. This was far too early, much like Target and Walmart putting out Halloween items in July.

Balancing the schedule to ensure he has plenty of basketball, golf, and soccer, but also some fun in between, is enough to make me dizzy. Making group requests so he can be with a friend and mom can share carpool duties is a full-time job. I know one working mom this year who got so lost in the summer planning that she thought she had signed up for a camp, only to realize she talked about it so much that she had forgotten it completely. (Her kiddo was super happy, as you can imagine.)

Summer Nanny and Playdates

If you don’t go the full-time summer camp route or are like me and like to sprinkle in several throughout the two months of endless heat, you also have to worry about playdates or activities. I am thankful to have the world’s most laid-back summer nanny. She is always up for a playdate, which makes it easier for her, but it is often more complicated for me. Who is coming over, who is dropping them off, picking them up, what time? Do we have snacks? (if you have boys, you know this is critical.) Can we go to the pool? The list goes on and on.

Happy (summer) camper!
Happy (summer) camper!

Summer Guilt

Finally, the guilt. This is a big one for me. I was talking with my friends at one point recently, and some who don’t work were discussing the activities they have planned for summer and shared their concerns about too many camps and burnout, and I can feel the guilt piling up. They know how hard I work and are only sharing their experience without passing judgment on me. However, it doesn’t make it any easier on my conscious. Summer camp and babysitters are our reality, and I am trying to come to terms with it all.

I want to throw caution to the wind, take a day off, and be the fun summer mom, but that’s just not reality. Most of the summer, we are in survival mode (who am I kidding, most of the year, we are in survival mode.) I need the summer camps, playdates, and a nanny to keep the trains running on time.

Celebrating little summer victories!
Celebrating little summer victories!

Working through it

There is some good news, though. We are taking a summer family vacation here in a couple of weeks, and I am hopeful I can jump in and be that fun summer mom. But for the most part, it’s not in the cards for me throughout June and July. My oldest child seems unphased and sadly, most of the time I think he would rather spend time with our babysitter anyway, but I know it affects me.

I picked my son up early from camp today, and he looked at me wanting to stay. Shocked I said, ok buddy we can stay. I wandered back to the sidelines, watched him for a bit, and smiled. Sure, I am not with him every minute this summer and I never will be, but I think he understands how hard I work to put together something special this summer. My summer schedule will never look like your stereotypical TV mom, and slowly, I am starting to learn that’s ok. For now, I will watch from the sidelines and try and treasure those little moments we can share all year long.

1 COMMENT

  1. This is a beautiful perspective, Lauren! I feel similarly guilty and envious of moms who work in the home, especially during the summer months, because I just want to be outside enjoying the sunshine with my kids every day. That isn’t our reality right now, and I’m coming to terms with that. It was funny to me too that you said your son wanted to stay at camp a little longer because my daughter often asks me to pick her up with “the half day kids” because she usually stays all day. Well when I went to pick her up early last week, she was upset because they didn’t have their popsicle treat yet haha! Solidarity!

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