Working Mom of Littles :: Why I Hate Summer Break!

Working Mom of Littles :: Why I Hate Summer Break!

Summertime is a time of relaxing. A time for vacations. A time for sleeping in. A time for going to bed as late as you want. A time when you do not need to rush. A time for swimming all day and night.

Not in my house!

When my children’s schools begin the countdown to summer: end of year parties, celebrations, dress down days – everyone is ecstatic. Not me. I play along, but deep down I am an anxious wreck about the changing schedule, the need for childcare all day / every day and the stress of making sure the days are covered so that I can work and attend zoom calls all day. Camp schedules and off days are not conducive to working parents. My husband and I both have full time jobs (my husband owns his own business which is even more time consuming than my 8 – 5.)

I don’t have summers off. I don’t get extra vacation time. I don’t get anything special or different because summer is the same as winter, spring and fall for my job and in our house. Trust me, I wish I could have some downtime with my babies in the summer, it is just not feasible. When they have downtime, I am still working. Please know this is not a pity party, I am just trying to make other working mommas feel that they have support and are not alone in dreading the summer era. I, for one, used to feel guilty about dreading summertime, but I have met several other moms who feel the EXACT same way!

Monday through Friday, I wake up at 5:30 am and we are out the door by 7:45 am. My daughter is dropped off first to her regular school (which has summer camp, thank goodness) and then drop off my son at his golf camp (location changes each week). Both of my kids have the best time at camp. Their camps are full days with meals, drinks, etc. Once work and camp are done, I am able to spend some time with my family. Since camp is actually a little longer than a regular school day, I do let them stay up a little longer during the weeknights. When I tell you the time, I am sure I can guess what your face looks like! Yes, my kids do go to bed pretty early as it is (but, now for summer, it is 7:15 for my 2 year old and 8:30 for my 7 year old).

Hate is a strong word.

But in this case, it may be an understatement. There is definitely slight jealousy of moms who have summers off, moms who are stay at home, and moms who take their kids on vacation for weeks at a time. However, I know that my overstimulated brain needs my adult time through my job. So being a little jealous for a few months is okay. I know what I can and cannot handle and I think for me, having some adult time whether it be fun or work, is healthy for me and my family.

If this can help even one person, it is worth it. Here are my tips for working moms with kids who are in or need to be in camp:

  1. Plan ahead. Don’t wait until the last minute to look for camps for your children. Trust me. They usually begin registration in early Spring and I can promise you from my own experience, some of them have waitlists after day 1 go live!
  2. Set up all items needed the night before. Make lunches (if not provided). Put out the clothes, uniform or tee shirt for camp. Label drinks and put them in the refrigerator.
  3. Do not schedule too many activities in the summer. Summer camp is exhausting. Your kiddos are not sitting at a desk most of the day like they are in school. They come home much more tired than usual. I am okay with some tablet time, video games and couch surfing after camp. A little rest never hurt anybody.
  4. Never hesitate to ask your boss for an hour or two here or there away from your desk so you can spend a little extra time with the family when they are home.
  5. Chaos is inevitable. No matter how hard you plan. Embrace it. House is messy? Leave it be until the weekend!
  6. Do take a vacation or two. We go to the beach AT LEAST twice a summer. This is our time to really take a break together. No stress of work, no stress of morning traffic and honestly, no stress of stress.

Remember, for working moms it is not summer break, it is summer. That is all. A new season, but the same ol’ $#!t.

Erika Lockhart
My name is Erika Lockhart and I am married to my husband, Chris. We have two children - Zane (7) and Finnley (2). We also have one 4 – legged child - Nelson a mixed breed rescue and a tarantula named Twitch. I was born and raised in Harvey, LA but now live in Metairie. I am a full time employee for a healthcare consulting company where I lead the Primary Care Provider engagement efforts from my home office here in NOLA. My husband is the owner and director of Clockwork Performance - A strength and performance gym in Kenner, LA. Odd facts about me - I love watching Judge Judy, I want to be on jury duty as much as possible, I have an obsession with mayonnaise and my dream job is to be a private investigator!


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