Is summer stressing you out?
Do you stress about what to do with kids while you are working? You’re not alone!!!!
It’s April. Mid April. And the buzz in the air at school is “what are we all doing with our kids” during the 10-week long hiatus from school mid-June to end of August. So, I will just say it.
I hate summer.
I mean, I love summer – beach days, lax bedtimes, slower overall pace – but losing the predictable school schedule is hard to swallow. When the kids say they don’t want to go to school, I tell them they have to. That I will get arrested if I don’t send them. They don’t have a choice. But, over the summer they know that’s not true. My son hates camp. He thinks it’s a place I send him because I can’t (or don’t) want him home. He’s not buying the “it’s great to try new things”, “it’s great to meet new people”, “you’ll be bored to tears if you stay home” rhetoric from me. The fact remains that I am not a cruise director. I am trying to build a business – and I still need quiet time at home to get something – anything done during the day, and a few weeks of camp are non-negotiable.
To my son, camp is stupid.
Their songs are dumb, their arts and crafts pointless. He hates to swim at camp because they don’t give him enough time to properly dry off and change. He says camp rules are dumb (even if the rules keep kids safe like keeping kids to a small area when they go down to the beach). He doesn’t like the staff. Why? Because he feels they’re not equipped to deal with the influx of kids they don’t know, can’t handle, discipline and/or entertain them.
Trying to find a camp that captures kids interests, their maybe future interests, something that fits the family budget, something that’s close to home or work, that works with a siblings camp schedule and that their friends are attending is a totally daunting task. Maybe a sports camp? Maybe something engaging their mind like a robotics camp or coding? Oh wait, coding camp is a grand a week. A GRAND A WEEK? Never mind. Don’t even bring it to the table as an option…
Thinking and planning for summer really should require an advanced degree.
I have post-it notes around the house with the weeks of summer and proposed camps and family vacations and penciled in weeks I want the grandparents to take the kids (even if they don’t know it yet). It seems we need excel spreadsheets outlining times, locations, costs, pick-up schedules – the works just to cope and not lose it!
And before you ask, yes, we’ve tried so many camps. Zoo camp, outdoor wilderness camp, camps at museums – children’s museum, science museum, natural history museum. Theater camps, Y camps and the list goes on. And every year, the creativity to find new camps increases as they will no longer attend a camp they attended the year before (see reasons above). For me, I would have died and gone to heaven to go to zoo camp, or surf camp or theater arts camp. Instead, I was shuttled off on a mini-bus to a camp where I was drenched in sweat all summer outside making god’s-eyes and lanyard crafts while making tickle trains and braiding friends hair. At the same camp. Year in and year out. No choice whatsoever.
A few years ago, I was working full time and needed pre-care and after-care at a reasonable weekly rate and something close to my work. The Y – bingo! After a day or two of camp, both kids hated it. So my Darlings wouldn’t have to be miserable for one minute longer than they had to, I would rush out of work like a bat out of hell to get them. One pick up afternoon, while I was pulling my SUV into the closest parking space – WHACK! I smacked my car into the car in the next space on the way in. No one saw me and I actually thought about pretending it didn’t happen and drive to another space (who does that?) but of course I didn’t, but that’s another whole story in itself! Anyway, turned out to be a very expensive camp!!!
So fast-forward to summer 2016.
My post-it notes in full gear. My mind calculating to figure out the best course of action to enrich my kid’s minds while providing them a summer they’ll never forget, while also reducing my “crazy” as much as possible. All the while realizing that they’ll be fine, no matter what we choose (or they choose) to do.
So, listen up kids – I’m done feeling guilty that I am happily dropping you off in the care of another while you’re miserable. I am done apologizing to you that I have (want) to work. I hope you see that you have all these amazing choices because I have scoured the Internet and spent hours discussing schedules with other moms and basically, making sure of it! When you are older, I hope you realize the opportunity to go to that “stupid” camp was actually a privilege and a great experience. And if you choose to go into therapy from your horrible upbringing (ha ha) that you realize you’ll likely need it for reasons other than a few weeks of camp every summer.
***Comment below and let me know how you are going to juggle work and your kids for the summer!
ABOUT ME: I am the crazy mom trying to raise kids, hold down the household and build a business! In between pick-ups and drop-offs, I am busy helping mompreneurs and itty-bitty businesses get attention through online marketing, social media, sales and PR strategy.