A conversation with my mother earlier today got me to admit something I’ve been mentally skirting: Being a WAHM during the summer can be really, really hard.
I’ve been trying to come from a place of gratitude, trying to focus on all that is good and wonderful. I have the right problems, after all — more than enough work (dare I say too much?), four healthy, active kids, a household buzzing with friends and family. A full and lucky life.
Which is why I start to feel torn in a thousand pieces when school lets out. What do I do with the 16-year-old who, try as he might, cannot find a summer job and is too old for camp? How do I manage to work with constant interruptions? (Mom, can you drive me to my friend’s? Mom, got money for the ice cream truck? Mom, there’s nothing in this house to eat!) How can I possibly clock the same hours I did when they were all guaranteed to be gone for at least six hours a day?
Part of my reluctance to admit that summer is hard is that it used to be so much harder. When those four little ones were all under 8, or even under 12, my life was not my own. The fact that I can work full-time at all, especially from home, is such a relief to me in light of how their needs have evolved that I feel guilty to admit it’s still not ideal.
No, they don’t need their noses wiped anymore (thank God). They don’t need me to watch them play outside, or make their lunch. But there is always someone needing my attention, and the topics they bring to me are often beyond a 5-minute answer or a 10-minute fix. Little kids need your hands; big kids need your brains.
So excuse the short rant. There’s really no time for indulgences — I’m on deadline.