My kids don't start school again until after Labor Day, and I already have the back-to-school blues. As a mother who works from home, I get much less accomplished during the Summer months. Deadlines are barely met. My kids fight hourly, which means I spend an ample amount of my time serving as a referee. And they eat an obscene amount of junk food. Did my kids start driving me crazy on the second day of Summer? Yes, but still, I don't want the summertime madness to end. The freedom that this time of year gives me is something I'm really not ready to give up yet.
School and all its activities is coming soon. Between homework, soccer, dance, and graduate school for me, our unstructured free time together is limited.
I adore the fact that the kids are home and on no particular schedule in the Summer. Our mornings are relaxed and stress-free. We move at our own pace. My son plays Legos on his bedroom floor while my daughter colours at the kitchen table. Usually ("usually" being the key word there), the kids let me sip (OK, inhale) my coffee on the couch while catching up on work. I don't have to shove breakfast down their throats and throw clothes on their bodies while in a huge hurry, either. There's no clock to beat or school bus to catch. The fact that my kids and I don't have to rush out the door, oftentimes without our teeth brushed, is glorious.
And the rest of our days can be spent however we want, too. At ages 6 and 4, I know that my children have plenty of years ahead of them for camps and organised activities, so for now, it's all about lounging around our home. They play in the yard, swim in the neighbour's pool, and catch fireflies. They spend their Summer days getting dirty outside and their Summer nights keeping cool in the air-conditioning. They love it, and so do I.
Because we have a low-key schedule during the week, we've been able to go exploring on the weekends. If we were overscheduled, I know that I'd feel too stressed to plan little getaways and day trips, but nope, we're making the most out of every single weekend we have (think lakes and campfires and s'mores). It's a joy to watch my kids at this age because I know that this freedom won't last forever — quite possibly not even another Summer. School and all its activities is coming soon. Between homework, soccer, dance, and graduate school for me, our unstructured free time together is limited.
So, despite the fact that my kids drive me crazy sometimes, I'm soaking it all in — the bickering, the staying up too late, the eating too much junk food — because I know that the older they get, the busier their schedules will become and the less time they'll want to spend with good ol' mom. For these last few weeks of Summer, I'll be relishing our freedom. After all, it could be the last one like it.