Does anyone else feel like summer just zipped by? But at the same time feel a sense of relief that school is back in session today?
I have a love/hate relationship with summer break. Before this year of working from home I worked in a traditionally scheduled school system in Utah for 7 years. (Before that, I was a stay at home mom with 4 little kids.) We started at the end of August and then finished at the beginning of June. Then I had ALL SUMMER OFF. (Well, not exactly, but close enough.) I had about 6-7 weeks off to enjoy the summer without feeling the effects of no paycheck, as my pay was spread evenly over the year. I was able to spend part of everyday at the pool:
or out in my huge fenced-in backyard soaking in the sunshine:
I could take the kids to the movies, go shopping, sleep in, all without anything to worry about outside of the home (laundry, dishes, normal housework chores) and to be completely honest I had a cleaning lady come every other week, so really I didn’t need to worry about much.
As an adult I was able to keep experiencing the wonder and joy of the summer from a child’s perspective. No work, all play. No school, no homework. Staying up late, and sleeping in. Laying by the pool or in the sun all day while reading books; heaven. It was AWESOME. But as kids can tell you, by the end of the summer the endless hours of nothing can wear on the parents. Grown ups need kids to go back to school so that the schedule can get back on track. Grown ups need that night-time to decompress after the kids are in bed. Grown ups need kids to go to bed at a reasonable time so that there is not a fight in the morning when it is time to get up for school. And to be honest, kids need the structure that school helps provide, even though they don’t always admit it. And even though I was enjoying my summer as a kid again for 7 years, I still needed that summer to come to an end in August. I needed to go back to bedtime, homework, schedules, work, and have that quiet time after the kids went to bed. And I needed to go back to work so that I could have adult conversations again.
Now that I am a WFHM I need the summer to come to an end more than ever. Working from home this summer has been so hard. My summer has been full of prayers. Not the kind of prayers that my mom would like me saying but legitimate, needed prayers all the same.
My Summer Prayers:
- I prayed every morning the my kids would sleep in – even just a little – so that I could get one more thing done before someone started asking to be entertained.
- I would lay in bed and pray that there was milk and fruit left so that in the morning when they came into my office asking for breakfast I could say that there was food in the kitchen.
- On the mornings that I slept in I prayed that someone walked the dog so that I wouldn’t have a surprise waiting for me.
- I prayed for patience. Every. Single. Day.
- I prayed for five minutes in the bathroom without hearing someone scream for MOM!!!!
- When I heard the front door open in the afternoon I prayed that nobody would ask for a sleepover.
- I prayed that the girl’s friends would call back so they would have someone (that wasn’t me) to occupy their time.
- I prayed for sunshine so that we could swim.
- I prayed for rain so that we could have a quiet rainy day inside.
- I prayed for my sanity.
- I prayed for their future teacher’s sanity.
- I prayed that the days would speed up so we could leave on vacation.
- I prayed for the days to slow down so that we wouldn’t have to go home.
I LOVE being with my kids. I couldn’t always say that. Judge away, I am who I am. For a long time when I had little kids I thought that I shouldn’t have been a mom, like I was the worst mom in the world. I felt like the ‘compassion for my children gene’ had passed me by. I had buckets full of compassion for other kids, but if I heard my kid cry I would roll my eyes and feel irritated. As they got older it got better. They are old enough now that when everyone is in a good mood we can have really great days together, lots of family fun even. Our vacations this year were all great. No fighting, no drama, little to no yelling (my bad), and because of that we were able to do some fun things.
But I also LOVE when school starts in the fall. We all need our space and we all need time away from each other. We need to be back on schedules with bedtime and dinnertime. We ALL need that quiet nighttime to decompress and become renewed for the day ahead. I like to look forward to them coming home and telling me about their day. Sitting down to do homework, or have dinner and having the girls chatter on about their day is nice. Their brothers might not think so, but it is nice. Tucking them in when they are all clean from a shower, knowing that they are going to fall fast asleep after being busy all day is perfect.
So here’s to another year. Being way too busy. Sitting in carpool. Picking up and dropping off. Volleyball games, and cross country meets. Ballet and soccer practice.
My Back To School Prayer:
May the kids get up on time so that I don’t have to drive them. May the bread be plentiful so that the lunches can be made. May the snow not trap us. May the teachers be more patient and understanding with the kids than I am. May the rain leave the electricity alone so that the alarms go off. May the bus drivers drive cautiously so my kids get home safely. And may all the moms out there finally get five minutes alone to use the bathroom. Amen.