A few years ago, when I’d sit outside to watch my kids ride their bikes after school, I’d see the mom down the street from me drive by. She’d drive by again. Ten minutes later, she’d drive by again. In the course of an hour or two, I’d see her car go by many times. In summer months, her car never seemed to stop coming around the corner. I’d look up from my reading. She’d always smile and wave.
I think I know what she was smiling about. Not a neighborly smile, but a knowing smile. An “enjoy that chair and carefree afternoon” smile because your time is coming. With four kids, she was always picking them up from different schools, then taking someone to soccer or who-knows-what.
Now things have changed. Some of her kids are driving themselves to school and practices. Now I don’t need to sit and watch as my kids play outside after school. But I’ve moved on to something else.
All summer I’ve been dropping off my kids and picking them up. Basketball, gymnastics, Harry Potter, and horseback riding camps. Friends’ houses. Sewing classes. Their social schedules are wearing me out. Between these times, I manage to find an hour or two here and there to meet deadlines and make phone calls for work I actually have. I try in vain to get some writing in because my creative juices can only be bottled up for so long before they expire. Reading blogs and keeping up has gone to the wayside. When I’m on the computer, even for real work, my family says, “Mommy’s on her blog again,” but they use an annoying nasally tone and roll their eyes like being creative, having a hobby, and staying connected aren’t productive. Pshht.
I’m tired of my van. I’m tired of going back and forth. I’m tired of jerks riding my tail and others not moving over when I’m trying to merge. I’m damn near ready to cuss someone out for that. I’m not cut out for speeding around town trying to make it to the next activity or timing one kid’s play dates with another’s camp times. There’s always some lag time for me and I end up sitting (in my van) or going to the store for the third time in a week.
My kids have had an awesome summer. They’ve experienced some great new things and kept in touch with friends. I’m worn out. And I’m scared to look down the street and see what’s ahead.
50 responses to “If This Summer Is Any Indication of My Future…”
Being a good mom is exhausting. It’s a 24/7 job till our little ones fly the nest. I know exactly how you feel & live cause I live that way too. I dream of having an afternoon to myself to write or rest or do anything for Me. 🙂
I think my problem is that I try to do little bits of everything each day–a little work, a little fun, some cleaning. But that way it feels like I get nothing done! I have learned to pack up what I can and do it in the car when I know I’ll have downtime.
Yes, I know. I get too tired and I know there’s more coming. This year one of mine starts middle school and I’m dreading it. I know what I have to do, but it’s waking me up at night. By the way, I loved your description at the beginning of this post.
I have one more year until my oldest starts middle school. I know it will only get worse. But I guess I should get used to it. I’ve heard I should volunteer to drive anytime my kids and their friends need to go somewhere, that you overhear a lot about the goings-on that they don’t talk about with you.
I teach middle school so, yes, drive them. I hear everything the parents don’t and it’s disturbing sometimes. But, be careful to pick the battles.
I think that will be the hardest part, picking the battles and just listening. Right now my kids tell me a lot. I know that will change, but I certainly don’t want to blow it when they do come to me because I should have just freaked out quietly inside and not let them know.
I know. I do the “freak out inside” a lot. You have to be a rock to them and nudge them here and there.
I’m going to have to practice this year I guess. Why don’t parents get mentors and orientation at each stage??
Oh, yes. I remember the days of simple neighborhood gatherings. Enjoy. Someday you may miss the Taxi Days.
What I do love about the Taxi Days, the kids tell a lot when they’re in the car. You learn a lot about their lives because there’s not much to do but talk. That is a good thing. 🙂
I totally get this. And I only have one child!
She’s an active child though!
Luckily I’m not quite there yet, but this has been the busiest summer of my life as a mom.
Ditto on that. I look forward to summer as our time to just be and have nowhere to be. I’ve had to be up and ready and out the door before 9 nearly every day this summer. For the next two weeks, I’m not making any plans until noon!
Singing to the choir…
Yep, the chauffering gets tedious. My oldest is just learning how to drive now, so that will hopefully help out down the road. Thank goodness for smart phones. They allow me to get some work done while I’m waiting for one of them to finish their activity!
I need to get one of those phones.
What? You’ve survived this long without one? 😉
I know. I’m afraid I’ll never put it down. When my son starts middle school. That’s how long I’m holding out.
I have a friend with three kids who lives fairly close to the school they attend. I was shocked to see the mileage on her car because it’s almost as much as I rack up with a 60 mile commute! She wasn’t joking when she said she feels like she lives in her car.
Well, I have to say I wouldn’t want a 60-mile commute! Maybe I should stop complaining then.
Ha! There’s just no winning for us moms. You’re either exhausted and looking for a little down time from the chauffeuring or you’re like me, feeling guilty because my husband and I work full time and I can’t get my kids to any of these fun things. Hope you get a couple of good, quiet weeks in before the chaos of school begins!
What summer options do kids have in your area? It’s interesting to hear what others do because summer is always tricky with childcare. Around here kids whose parents work full-time still do all the summer camps my kids do. They have the option to do morning and afternoon sessions and usually a lunch option (though I will say it would be my entire salary for the summer!). Since I work from home (tricky as that is getting), I usually try to get them in just a few camps each summer and they stay home the rest. This summer the kids happened to have camps on different weeks, hence all the craziness!
Last summer I enrolled them in a week day camp at the county rec center where there would be crafts, games and swimming. They hated it and by middle of week they BOTH had hand foot and mouth disease, strep throat, two spider bites, and one ended up w/ an ear infection. It was more hassle than it was worth, LOL, and now they’re reluctant to go anywhere else. This summer they’re also at home w/ my mother-in-law who is a recluse and doesn’t go anywhere or drive. So I know they’re bored.The one week horse camp my daughter wanted is in Park City and takes about 40 minutes to get there so that would have been a nightmare! I hope next year to get more time off to arrange fun camps I can take them to. But you’re right about the cost! I’d need two jobs for full time camp! At least the good ones…
Oh good grief. That sounds miserable! Summer camp shouldn’t be filled with sickness. One reason I usually don’t do many camps is because of cost. This year I did an extra one and then my daughter got one as a birthday present. Next year I’m not sure what we’ll do. It just can’t be this busy!
Ah yes, the snide-tone, eyeball-roll about the blog. Don’t let the turkeys get you down! (even if said turkeys are your own, adorable kids).
You’re driving your kids to Harry Potter???? What, they can’t ride their brooms?
They had to learn to drive them first at camp of course. They did come home with these really adorable brooms that they decorated and I was really happy that my 10-year-old was not too old for that yet.
That makes the summer go by even faster doesn’t?
Yes, but I actually like having my kids home for the summer!
Parenthood. Oh the joys!
yep.. that’s me driving next to you. this has been a crazy schleppy summer. not that i’m complaining. 🙂
Apparently we’ve had the same summer. I’m so tired of driving my kids back and forth, I don’t mind when they want to stay home from some class or practice (unheard of for me)! We need to move somewhere where they can walk to everything without me. Any ideas? Wonderful topic and post!
Is there such a place anymore? Even my kids’ friends don’t live nearby.
Is the school year easier? I know of friend of mine considers himself a chauffeur. It sounds like you are too. Do they tip?
It would be nice if they tip. No, they fight when they get out of the car! But yes, the school year is easier. We don’t have many activities during the school year usually.
Ain’t that the truth!
Well, the school year is not far from away – hope you can sweat it out.
I was just saying to my own mom how exhausted I am today. Like all this summer’s endless running around has FINALLY caught up to me. We’ve all had a blast, but I am secretly happy school is starting up in 2 weeks. I get to this point every year. I’m thrilled to be home with the kids, yet relieved when it’s over at the same time. Motherhood is all about mixed emotions.
Yes, mixed emotions. I’m ready for a rainy day with nothing to do but wear my pj’s and watch movies. I can’t believe I haven’t done that all summer. Shouldn’t that be done at least once?
Hahaha, this one made me chuckle…we have three teens with jobs and three “little’s” as we call them…so the teens still need rides to work, friends, etc. while the littles are free to play with friends in the “hood” and come with us on summer adventures…never a dull moment…ever… 😉
As a young woman you dream of having kids, when they finally arrive… OMG!! There is no job so daunting but yet “rewarding as being a Mum.
I’m afraid of what the road ahead will bring, too. Right now mine are 6 and 5. So they still need to be watched, but not someone to be on top of them. But we already have swim, karate, Spanish. I’m a person that needs “down time”. Working full time, being a wife and mother doesn’t allow for too much of that. So, I feel you. I totally feel you.
I need downtime too. One day of crazy in a week is enough for me, then I’m done!
My kids are little, 5 and 2, but my daughter’s activities are already giving me a glimpse of what my future holds. I like us being home or doing what we want and am not really looking forward to being in my car all the time. Thank goodness for technology though, while waiting for them, I can read or write in the car!
I often bring a book but I’ve found this summer I’ve always had my other child with me so downtime in the car got a little tricky. We went to the library a lot!
I’ve been looking forward to the kids starting school in August since MARCH of this year. I’ve not stopped yet; I want summer to be OVER already.
Aren’t you going to be their teacher this year? I guess that means things will finally settle down for you, get into a routine. You’ve had a lot going on with the house, but what an adventure you took!
Only for one. And he’s my most responsible when it comes to work assignments! Very self-regulating, that kid. I will probably get to work with him quite a bit on math, which is his weakness.
But the other three will continue in public ed. They’re the ones that keep me really crazy (girl drama times two, autistic boy and his quirks). They won’t come on board with the home program for at least another year.
As for the house, the “adventure” is turning into a nightmare. A water remediation expert is meeting us there in the morning to assess water damage — the GC is reluctant to claim responsibility. Oh boy. Crossing my fingers that no legal battle ensues over who’s going to pay the $1-$2,000 bill.
Oh, drama all around! Hope you get it resolved. Glad you are only sticking one toe in the water and easing yourself in with one child. 😉
Hehe. One toe indeed. I feel as if I’m up to my nose. You KNOW I’ll be blogging about that feat! There are many of my followers who are waiting to know how it all went. And, oh, what a story I have to tell. Cheers, Karen!
I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE this blog post. I try to explain this to my husband who works long hours because it always seems as if I get nothing done during the day. We are a blended family. I have an eight yr old son named Ayden. He has three sons. Nine year old twin boys Azariah and Issiah, and a seven year old (soon to be eight) son Judah. Our family has gone through such changes in the past three years. I went from being a single independent mother of one with a career to a stay at home Mom of four. He went from a relationship (doing most of the parenting and working himself) to working full time and never seeing the kids.
I ended up in a rut this past year. I was having major depression but I couldn’t figure out why. I realize now it’s because I lost all sense of my identity. People looked at me as JUST a Mom. Like “Oh, you just stay home with your kids?” I couldn’t take that. So I tried to find something of my own. Which I did. http://Www.Kimlynblog.com I am actually starting my own photography business but it’s so tough. My boys are all in football which runs five nights a week for two hours a night and also games are on sundays. I’m not used to being a taxi and a maid and not having any time for me. Weird really. I battle myself too because I of course want my children to have an amazing childhood and future but I think we all need something to call our own.
So I am right there with you. Afraid of what the future might hold for my boys and what that means for me! I wish you all the best in your journey and I am excited to read more about it! God Bless.