It never fails: During the week I will go pick up lunch somewhere or get on social media and see moms with their kids, enjoying summer. I start feeling down on myself because my kids are at camp and I am stuck behind a desk. Are those kids having a better summer than mine?
I work 40-50 hrs a week. Throw in gymnastics practice and renovating a house and I am one tired mama. My husband works, as well, so not much changes between winter and summer around our place. Not much in terms of lazy summer can be found in our house.
Growing up my mom stayed home and our summers were spent reading, playing outside, riding bikes with neighbors and swimming. I loved being able to take it easy for a few months. (The flip side of that was that I had to do twice as many chores as during the school year and my mom never let us sleep late.) I would love for my kids to have relaxing, fun family summers like I had growing up. But my mom didn’t work. And if I went on some sort of vacation, it was with my grandparents. I work so my kids can get a nice vacation since family vacations were not something we did growing up. I work so we can keep saving. I work so we can build something amazing for ourselves in the future. I sacrifice now so we will have more later.
I know the importance of being young and being bored. Being bored forces you to use your imagination. No set schedules, nowhere to be … just a kid with nothing to do. During the summer we still get up at 5:30. We still run around trying to get everyone dressed. We still have to plan dinner way ahead of time. The only difference is the kids go to camp and not school. I think the positive in this is that we have to stick with a routine. I don’t know about your kids but mine THRIVE on routine. Their bedtimes even stay the same. I see this as working in our favor when school time comes back around. Nothing to change, just the clothes they wear. They have zero time for boredom during 5:30 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. M-F.
It does sadden me to know that I miss out on different things with my kids during the summer. A few weeks ago Red Stick Moms Blog hosted a fantastic event at Lil Bambinos which I had to miss because of work. That happens all too often. There are so many camps my kids would love to attend but most end before my workday ends so they can’t go. It’s a sacrifice that I have to make. They are none the wiser, though, and have no idea what they are missing.
Please do not feel bad for my kiddos. The camp that they attend during the summer keeps them very busy. Water days, field trips, visitors, hands-on activities, etc. They come home pooped most days so I know they are getting a full days worth of action. They aren’t missing out on very much. The only thing that makes my heart hurt a little is that I am not with them to enjoy it alongside them.
I don’t know if my kids have it worse or better than the kids who are experiencing staying home all day during the summer. I do know that they complain about being bored pretty often during the weekends and evenings, so I think they are going to be just fine.