From “Me” to “We”: The Transition to Summer Break

Although I have been anxiously awaiting the end of the school year so that I can have a break from the schedules and the commitments and the whatnots, summer break requires me to make one very big adjustment: getting my work done with the kids at home.

summerbreak

During the school year, I have a few hours of the day at least (my youngest is in preschool) that are nice and quiet and I can take care of house work or blog work or whatever work I choose. I can go to the gym and not worry about child care or go to the grocery store and not worry about tantrums or fits or fights.

With the start of summer break, all of that changes.

I have to “direct activities” and “have everyone go potty before we go to the store” and “feed them lunch”. It’s a big jump from my normal “having a quiet and complete thought” and “accidentally forgetting to feed myself” days. And it’s not easy for me to just suddenly lose that quiet time and have my normal schedule completely upended. I mean, we don’t even have any eggs in the house right now. NO EGGS. Up is down and down is up, people. I cannot bring myself to go to the grocery store on this first Monday of summer break with my children… And so we had toast and cereal for breakfast this morning like the carb addicts we used to be. UGH.

Egg shortages aside, it can be a rough transition for us stay-at-home-parents who treasure quiet, peaceful moments. I just want you to know you are not alone. I love my girls and am quite glad to have them home all day, but this is only our second official day of summer break with both girls at home and I am struggling. I’ve decided I need to reward myself on some days to get me through, so today I let myself sleep in while they started a movie and crunched their cheerios in my just-vacummed living room.

The sleeping was nice, but I know the way to make this work for me is to stick to my normal waking schedule. I know that to get through this summer with time for me and with the mindfulness required to keep them from watching TV 24/7, I have to keep my 6AM alarm. As a non-morning person, it hurts me to admit that. But I know the chaos will hurt me more, so I relent.

Today will be an easy day until we have to get ready for a *gulp* dance recital rehearsal. Tomorrow will be a bit more scheduled as will Wednesday. I make no promises for Thursday. By next week, I’m sure we’ll be all settled in to what will be our normal summer routine, whatever that might become. At least until the next week when my oldest has a day camp… What was I thinking?

Happy summer, y’all. Leave me some summer tips if you’ve got them!

Comments

  1. Well, here’s life from a different perspective……try homeschooling 🙂 Then you will be used to having people in the house 24/7 and you will relish your own bath time. Get locks on all the doors and use them! You will learn to go to the store very early on Saturday mornings, because your husband is there with the kids. You will learn to think, talk, eat, sit down, write, and everything else – in short snippets, because someone always needs mom for something.

    Also as a homeschooling mom, you learn that even in the summer – chores, routines, schedules, quiet times and video game time -are a must!

    And, in the end, if you are like me…..your 15 year old son will go off to camp in Alabama for a week and by the 2nd day you will whine that the house is too quiet! Yes, that’s what homeschooling does for you! Makes you like having your kids around 🙂

    (have a great June and I’ll see you in July!) 🙂

    • What an amazingly different perspective! I love hearing about your homeschool experiences. That would be a very different world for me. Still haven’t ruled it out, but in this season of my life it’s been nice to have small breaks to figure out what I should be focusing on, aside from the obvious. I’m very excited to see you in July!

  2. Kristin says:

    Yes, love them so but it’s a lot of together time! I agree about the 6am wake–up. And some activities, but not too many. My daughter does a week of sleep away camp in MN, that’s special. I also like reading time, where we all get a book and lounge on the porch. BTW, around here, some kids go to sleepaway camp for 4-6 weeks. That’s too much quiet for me!

    • Four to six weeks! Oh, my! That would be too long. I can’t wait until my four year-old is a reader and we can have family reading time.

  3. Tracy Fletcher says:

    I agree with Armando. The kids need a J-O-B! Ha! What a great perspective you have on this subject. I was going through the same feelings once summer hits. We have have good days and very very bad days with fighting, arguing and messing up the house. I Have come to realize a mess is a mess and I’m blessed to be able to stay home and be with my kids ALL summer long..emphasizing LONG..i also miss my ME time but will find it again. I don’t always comment on your blog but love reading it!

    • Thanks, Tracy! Yes, summer feels soooo loooong right now. But just the other day my girls were away from me for only three hours and I missed them so much. I’m so glad I can hang out with them, even when the days feel long.