Summer. Popsicles. Days at the beach. Running through sprinklers. Afternoon barbeques on the porch. Catching lightning bugs after dinner. These are all of the things most people look forward to about June, July and August. What about me? I’m scared of this summer. Terrified, in fact.
Most of my mom friends have distinct schedules – be it staying at home or working. They pretty much rock them. One of the best and worst parts about being a “teacher mom” is that I feel like my “mommying” schedule goes from 0 to 60 overnight. (Want to know about my working mom schedule? See my welcome post here). This is the first summer in my mommy-dom that one (or both!) of the kids haven’t been in childcare for at least part of the week. Given our recent move and desire to cut costs, I’m “taking one for the team” and keeping them both ‘at home’.
Of course, there are plenty of things I’m excited about – like getting to know my boys better, having them spend more time together and exploring our new town as a trio. I’m also nervous about the extreme shift, for everyone involved. How will they react? Will they be bored with me? Will I sing enough songs? How can I keep two boys of different ages engaged and interested in our activities? What can we do all day long? I set off optimistically with a lengthy to-do list for our summer of fun in hand, only later to be reminded that I need to be much more flexible and go with the punches, because stuff happens.
Cue summer day #1 (prime example). I was ready to conquer this summer thing. The little boys and I went for a nice morning hike around a local state park. The weather was perfect – shady, slight breeze. We saw frogs, ducks, a blue jay stealing a bee’s nest, and a few dogs swimming. A blissful morning followed by a reasonably healthy lunch. (Should I still make packed lunches in the morning? Might be easier? Something to revisit.) Baby took a decent, although slightly early, nap. Four year old fell asleep on the couch. (Very unusual but I’ll take the hour!). When everyone was up and functioning and the sun was shining, we packed our bags and headed for a swim at the lake with Daddy. Afterwards, we decided to head to the mall for dinner and a quick carousel ride. We indulged in chicken nuggets, fries and milkshakes that we haven’t had access to since living down south.
Then came the carousel ride. After waiting in the ticket line for what felt like an hour, we climbed to the second story and chose two dashing white stallions. As the operator was ensuring that everyone was buckled in, our oldest leaned his head against the cold brass of the carousel and puked. Then again. Oh no. The rest is kind of a blur. Well, except for me apologizing to the attendant, who responded by sarcastically saying “Gee, thanks, lady.” After making it home uneventfully, the whole family spent the next 36 hours battling a vicious stomach bug. A beautiful few days spent curled up on the couch napping, doing load after load of laundry, and taking an excursion to the pharmacy for more Gatorade and Pedialyte. Not digging summer so much…
So, here it is. We’ve put in our summer sickness. All of us. And, I’m done with it. It was a butt kicking few days at home after I tried to begin summer with a bang. I’m a scheduler by nature, who had envisioned that as being the best way to conquer the summer as a stay-at-home mom. Now I’ve resorted to the fact that we can wake up, see what the day has in store for us and decide which (if any) adventures we’d like to have.
Do you have any suggestions for the teacher to summer mommy transition?
I’d love to hear them!