Today kind of feels like the first day of summer for our family. Summer school is finally done for Zach. Evie and Caleb are done with day care for a while. For the first time ever, my kids actually get to know what it feels like to have a summer off and get to stay home. The idea of putting all three kids in full time day care for the summer nearly gave me a heart attack, so my awesome sister agreed to keep the kids for the rest of the summer. My in-laws are coming up to cover about a week and a half while my sister has other obligations, so that only leaves about a week at the end of the summer for us to figure out.
I’m not even sure when this became such a big deal to me. I mean, sure, it saves me some money in day care costs, but it isn’t just that. I’m genuinely excited that my kids get to be at home. They can sleep in, watch tv, play, and just enjoy being kids – all of the things I wish I could go back and do again. The only hard part is that I don’t get to be there to enjoy it with them. I find myself wishing, yet again, that I would have followed my own plan and continued to pursue becoming a school guidance counselor (I could never be a teacher!) so that I could have summers off too. I didn’t realize what I was giving up when I let my life change course.
I shouldn’t let myself do it, but I keep finding myself daydreaming about the things I could do with the kids if only I were home with them during the week. We can only cram so much into a weekend and I feel like they deserve so much more than I can give. Plus, splitting my time between 3 kids is way harder than splitting it between 2, especially when 1 of the 3 demands my attention the majority of the time. I feel like the older kids are really missing out right now and it just plain sucks.
In order to combat my feelings of inadequacy, we came up with a summer bucket list of sorts of all the fun family activities we want to do…that I now have to also cram into the already full weekends. Instead of taking the time to clean my house, do laundry, and grocery shop on the weekends, I’m taking time out to be with my kids and do something fun with them. I need it just as much as they do. So if you come to my house and can’t walk through the living room? I’m sorry. We’re going to be too busy applying sunscreen, playing in the water, going camping, picnicking, having water balloon fights, and hanging out at the lake to clean it up.