Where's Mom's Summer Vacation?

by Leslie Morgan Steiner

 

Mid-August is when every mom I run into shakes her head and says sadly, “Wow, I can’t believe summer is going by so fast.”

 

I smile. But I feel like muttering under my breath “Not fast enough.”

 

Don’t get me wrong. I love summer. The sun, the swimming, the barefeet, the fresh fruits and veggies, the fireflies in the backyard at night.

 

Here’s what I don’t like: Bugging kids to put on sunscreen. Putting moisturizer on their sunburned faces when they refuse to put on sunscreen. Nagging them to do their summer reading for school. Driving to three different day camps twice a day. Fixing endless lunches. Emptying the same lunches, half eaten and half rotten, at the end of every day. Bugging them to go to sleep when they argue – surprisingly vociferously – that they don’t have school in the morning. Hanging up the wet towels strewn across the living room. Cutting the delicious watermelon. Cleaning up after the delicious watermelon has been eaten.

 

Yet by all measures, we’ve had one of the best summers ever. I’m lucky as hell to be able to enjoy so much fun with my children. This is the kind of casual summer I used to dream about when I was working fulltime and all summer meant was taking a wool sweater to my over-airconditioned office and being 1000% certain the camps I picked for my kids had aftercare programs until 6 pm.

 

This summer, a Spanish friend’s son has lived with us for eight weeks. I’ve taken the kids to amusement parks and water parks. Horseback riding. Ice-skating (indoors). To baseball games, basketball tournaments, and tennis matches. We go out for ice cream a few nights each week. I slipped in culture too: Tours of the Capitol, The White House, Mount Vernon. I taught my eight year old her multiplication tables, how to type, and how to braid.

 

But giving kids a great summer means I’ve been Super Summer Mom. Which doesn’t leave much time to be me.

WhereParentsTalk
08.31.10

Great post! I agree, being a mom in summertime seems to be a lot more work then during the school year! It often seems we are over booking our kids so much in the summer to keep them busy that we end up even busier then when it was just their normal school routine.

www.whereparentstalk.com

WhereParentsTalk
08.31.10

Great post! I agree, being a mom in summertime seems to be a lot more work then during the school year! It often seems we are over booking our kids so much in the summer to keep them busy that we end up even busier then when it was just their normal school routine.

www.whereparentstalk.com

MamaKaren
08.17.10

I understand completely. We take a family vacation each year (staying in the same condo building as my parents, sister and BIL, but in another unit). It's always a great week, but I spend so much time having to plan and prepare and keep tabs that I don't really get a vacation. I need some time to just...be.

leslie morgan s...
08.11.10

Leslie Morgan Steiner

Thank you all for not calling me a whiny "overprivileged" mom. I love summer, love my family...but it helps to know that others get frustrated too!

marissa839
08.11.10

What a great article! With 2 little ones and a wonderful husband, I am so lucky to be able to stay home and do all those things. But there are many times when I miss work and miss me. My working friends think I am crazy. We are a summer family - we love everything about it. But I get secretly giddy thinking of what September will bring.

gemdeluxe
08.10.10

I had 7 nights alone (including a full weekend) when my husband took the kids to his in-laws. Although I had to work at my office job, it was an amazing vacation! I did miss them all, but I enjoyed every minutes of being alone in the morning, evening, during the night, casually running errands after work, etc.

4squarewalls
08.10.10

This is a fantastic post. I can't think of many moms that wouldn't agree completely. Thank you for voicing it "outloud"!

Kate
www.4squarewalls.com