I began a new job this past year, which allows me to have similar time off as my kids. While in many ways this seemed like a great idea, if I’m being really honest here – I’m scared for summer (and I know I’m not alone). After spending the winter break with my kids, I’m starting to wonder how I’ll survive the summer. My brain is already spinning trying to think about how to keep the arguing, the yelling, and the climbing up the walls under control. Eek!
I love being a mom, but I never dreamed of being a stay-at-home mom.
I know myself enough to know that I need variety and adult conversation. I spent far too long in college to not put that work to use, and I thrive when I feel I’m contributing in a variety of places (I’ve never held less than 3 jobs at a time). I know parenting is my legacy, and how I nurture my kids will ultimately be the greatest gift I leave to the world, but you can thank my dad for my work ethic. Summer is going to be a long time with limited interactions with adults and exponentially more questions to answer. I’m tired just thinking about it now.
I’m also scared for summer because having three kids (we were surprised with twins) means I am always outnumbered, significantly. No matter if it’s an argument about what we’re going to do for the day, which television show to watch, what food to make for lunch, dinner, or even a snack, the list goes on. It also means my options for leaving the house are still somewhat limited, as, no, twins don’t frolic through life holding hands. My kids run in opposite directions and still need some help, and my boy twin would likely go home with anyone. Feeling stuck, trapped, and limited to the confines of my house and yard are daunting when the sun is out and all I want to do is sit poolside. But the pool scares me, too (a topic for another day I suppose).
Despite wanting to explore and adventure, I’m also scared for summer because my growing to-do list around the house and yard will come weighing on me like an albatross around my neck. I give my hubs a lot of credit as he helps so much, but with me not leaving the home to work, I’m going to feel the need to do more. And considering some days can take me 30+ minutes to finish the dishes as I have to keep stopping to break up wrestling matches or clean spilled water cups, I have no idea how I’ll be able to tackle the projects that never seem to end.
I’m scared for summer because of the never-ending expectations to keep my kids busy, sign up for all the camps, enrich their lives with activities and crafts and playdates. And for the first time in my ENTIRE LIFE, I won’t have a work schedule to follow – or use as an excuse – and I’m terrified. But – maybe just maybe – I’ll get up the nerve to throw my kids in the car and take a trip.
I know I shouldn’t complain, as I know I’m lucky to have this flexibility, but I’m mostly scared for summer as I’m the parent that my kids seem to let go with. I feel I always see their worst. They’re loud, they’re wild, they whine, they act out. And I know, research says this is normal, but it’s exhausting. I am blessed with friends and family that love on my kids, and can generally handle taking one of them, but that still leaves me outnumbered. While it’s amazing for whichever of my kiddos gets to leave, but that means the other two feel left out, and I’m still left with the job of entertainment director, sous chef and boxing match judge.
The countdown is on. Summer will be here before you know it and here’s hoping this summer will be one to remember.