Embracing Summer Schedule Changes: A Break from the Chaos
When my sister-in-law first asked if I’d take the kids out of summer camp for the day so they could see their cousin in a play and have an overnight, I said no. Kindly of course. Summer camp is expensive and I truly hate to waste money. Plus, we were in a groove with our family’s summer schedule and routine.
Despite my “unfortunately that won’t work” response, my sister-in-law continued to ask and finally I caved. A few days before I caved, however, my husband and I had decided to ask the kids. I, of course, was convinced there was no way they would choose to miss a Friday at camp. They had already picked out their outfits for the Hawaiian theme day and of course Fridays are penny candy days. My husband was convinced they would choose to spend the night with their cousins. So when I asked my kids, I was shocked at how their minds worked. First question was around whether or not there would be candy at the play (after all they were giving up penny candy Fridays) and second, my daughter logically pointed out that since they both won the costume contest the week before, there was no way they’d win it two weeks in a row. Decision made. Before I even had a chance to tell my sister-in-law, my daughter was excitedly texting her auntie to tell her they’d be there.
Mom’s Night to Herself
With the kids headed to their cousins’ for the evening, my husband away on business and too short of notice to really plan a night out with friends, I actually set off on my own night “out” as a childless and husbandless woman. After I dropped the kids off, I headed off to do a couple errands before hitting the local nail salon for a relaxing pedicure. While sitting there, I picked up a 700 page book I started months ago but had stopped around page 400 because life took over. I dreamt of having a nice glass of wine and a few pieces of cheese for dinner – just like the dinners I ate before we had kids. However, as I was leaving, the Italian restaurant next door was begging for me as a customer so I ended up getting take out.
I came home, let out and fed the dog, changed into comfy clothes and threw in the one of many loads of laundry I had lined up for laundry day. I picked my book back up. By 7:15 I realized how eerily quiet my house was. I could actually hear the washing machine and my dog licking her paws. On a normal night I’d be running around like a crazy person cooking dinner, feeding the family, bathing the kids, closing the bedroom shades, laying out their clothes and packing bags for the next day. The big debate between TV before bed or reading stories to a 7 year old and 4 year old who can’t agree on mutual stories would also be well under way. But it wasn’t. Instead it was incredibly quiet and all of my to-do’s were done much faster than ever before.
My husband came home late that night and the next morning we laughed a bit at how quiet it was. There was no fighting over who got to sit at the head of the table, what snacks we’d pack in their bag and certainly no one was barking orders at us. We actually talked, uninterrupted. It was nice. The break was really nice, but equally nice was picking my kids up after work despite their being cranky and tired. The hugs were great, their stories hysterical and the chaos back to the way I like it (well, most of the time).
Let’s hope this summer you too get a small break from the chaos. After all, that’s what summer is all about. A change in routine.
- E-family news: Making the Most of the Morning Routine with Your Child
- How do working parents find ways to make summer time feel like summer?
- Read more posts about summer and posts about working mothers from the Family Room bloggers