Monday, June 22, 2009

A Patchwork Summer

Summer is a bitch for working parents. There, I said it.

Tomorrow, at 1:50, school ends. And that's when the scramble begins. I’m doing my best to keep it low key and fun for the kids, but I’ve also made a commitment to a client to work through the summer. So I need childcare.

Here’s what I’ve patched together:

  • three days at Park and Recreation camp
  • a week of family vacation at the coast
  • a few more weeks at Park and Recreation camp
  • another week at the coast
  • another week at Park and Recreation camp
  • two weeks at sports camp for Thing One and two weeks back at daycare for Thing Two
  • ten days with me

For this, I have changed my schedule so that I end at 3 p.m. I’m taking a total of 18 days off from work and spending 20—yes 20!—days with my in-laws.

Got that?

Actually, I’m looking forward to it (well, most of it anyway). I’m really excited to pick the kids up from camp at three o’clock and head to the lake for relaxing afternoons of swimming and dinner picnics (PB&J and popsicles, anyone?)

Summers and the school schedule are part of the reason that I quit the corporate gig and went freelance. But what would I do if I were still stuck with an office job? What if I only got two weeks' vacation?

I'd probably do what all the other working parents out there are doing. Some are sending the kids away to the grandparents for a good chunk of the summer. Others are hiring a nanny. Many are putting their kids in all-day YMCA camps. All are taking lots and lots of days off to cover the gaps.

Summer, the time of year that kids dream about, is the stuff of nightmares for working parents.

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