When running a summer household with a kid, it’s tougher to “get stuff done” throughout the week than it is during the school year. Maybe that’s not such a bad shift.
Since my husband and I are self-employed and don’t have family in town to help out, the school year schedule offers good, focused work time for both of us. While our son is exposed to lots of other kids and different social settings, we spend our time rehearsing, teaching, or doing very focused work sessions. There is an urgency and a shape to our daytime work.
And then summer comes around. And while there are summer camp opportunities, they are not cheap. And we have a pretty hefty babysitting budget already with evening gigs. Plus, many of those programs end pretty early for all the hassle and expense.
So we’ve tried to be clever about finding fun, nourishing activities throughout the week. Often one parent will be on, while the other will be working. But sometimes we all do the fun thing together. And this is, actually, a nice break for everyone.
Sure, it’d be nice to have a little more leisure time during the school year, and a bit more structure and focus during part of the summer.
And sure, a creative mindset goes a long way: why not seek more spontaneous fun during the school year and create a routine for the summer… But no matter how you slice it, the school year facilitates more work-time for parents. And no school for 3 months leads to, well, less of it.
So, the to-do list for summer is to fit work around a few simple joys:
- Listen to good music, read great books, go to museums!
- Color, garden, cook, and make beautiful things where there was nothing there before. Anything can be art, anything can be beautiful, anything can be savored.
- Head out into the woods, or walk along the ocean, or just touch trees and jump off of any rocks we pass.
- Muck about in the backyard, and get muddy.