Childrearing

This Mom Doesn’t Want The Summer To End

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This Mom Doesn t Want The Summer to End iStock 000064975843 Small 640x425 jpg

Most moms I know are counting down to the start of the new school year. I even know a group of moms who are planning a celebratory happy hour for the first day of school.

Not me.

I actually prefer the lazy summer months when things slow down even if it means extra dishes in the sink, extra kids running around the house and extra screen time for my daughter. I’ll take the slower pace of summer over the hectic, project-cluttered, homework-focused, sports-driven school year.

Summer, in my mind, is not just time off for my kid but also time off for me as a stressed out mom. In the summer, I don’t have to nag my daughter to do her homework or go to bed a reasonable time. I don’t have to schedule my weekends around my daughter’s basketball or lacrosse games and, during the week, I don’t have worry about getting dinner on the table by 5 pm so she can get to practice.

In the summer everyone gets to sleep in a little bit later in the morning so staying up an extra hour to watch a movie or go to a baseball game isn’t going to ruin the week like it would during the school year. And, even though my daughter goes to camp most weeks, it doesn’t start until 9:30 a.m. (unlike middle school which begins at 7:30 a.m.) so mornings are a bit more relaxed for all of us but especially for me. Before we even leave for camp, I can usually take a 40-minute walk, shower, eat breakfast and have that first cup of coffee.

During the summer, parenting doesn’t feel like a constant battle.

Granted, I am lucky because I have really good kid. But even though she is an honors student, she is not always motivated to do her homework or work on her school projects without my constant nudging and the occasional threat that there will be no screen time or time with friends until she finishes her homework or project.

This is how a typical conversation about homework will go.

Me: “Do you have any homework?”
My daughter: “Yeah, but it’s easy and it’s due Friday.”
Me: “Maybe you should at least start it today because you have lacrosse practice tomorrow.”

My daughter: “I have three days. I’ll start it tomorrow before practice.”

And for the next three nights, I will nag her to do her homework until it’s actually completed, and along the way my daughter will discover that the assignment is more complicated than she expected and requires more work than she realized. I hate hearing myself ask about homework night after night, and if I’m honest about it, I just want her to finish it so I don’t have think about it anymore.

My daughter also isn’t always interested in putting in the time to practice sports or her music on her own regardless of whether it is playing the drums, hitting lacrosse balls against the wall or running that daily mile her coach wants her to run without me reminding her about her commitment to her band mates, team mates and coach/band teacher, not to mention how important these activities are for her college application.

During the school year, I get tired of being the one who constantly nags, nudges, and cajoles, and occasionally finds themselves yelling because a science project is due the next morning and I only found out about it at 6 pm the night before and now I need to run out and get supplies while my daughter is at basketball practice so that when she gets home from practice she can create a 3-D diagram of an erupting volcano.

That would never happen over the summer. In the summer, the only question I hear myself asking her repeatedly is, “Did you put on sunblock?”

(Photo: iStock)

 

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