It’s summer break!
…Or at least that’s the word on the street. “Summer” implies a certain temperature range which this soggy gray July is failing to reach, while “break” seems to indicate time off, and oh my goodness gracious. I can remember times of my life in which I must have been busier, surely, but my here-and-now has a competitive streak and refuses to concede the Most Likely to Drop Own Skull While Juggling Schedule award to any former time period.
This is the first summer that I’ve worked in addition to having the girls home from school, and I’m basically feeling like Mr. Bean on both fronts. My children have to call “Mommy!” in a steady crescendo for an average of four minutes before I hear them because I’m too busy making lesson plans or translating, and my bosses have to accommodate babysitter dashes and my awkwardly-sized schedule openings. Ideally, I just wouldn’t work over the summer, but our family has some big adjustments coming up, and every chance to bolster our bank account eases a bit of stress.
As with 95% of the things I worry over, the Mr. Bean routine probably shouldn’t register as a big deal. After all, most of the other moms I know also work. However, they also tend to have nannies (or willing grandmas) and housecleaners (or extra-willing grandmas), and summer camps siphon off their children’s excess energy quite nicely. Here is where I start to feel [rightfully] ashamed of my first-world problems, because my outlook keeps boiling down to Waaaa, I want a nanny! Waaaa, I want a housecleaner! Waaaa, I want an investor to cover my children’s summer camp expenses for life so I don’t have to keep agonizing over their lack of organized fun! Good grief.
What I really want is to feel sure that I’m meeting my family’s needs in the right way, and please tell—Does any mother ever feel truly, completely certain that she has found the right balance between parenthood, finances, and good old-fashioned sanity? If so, I could use her secret before parenting or working morale drops any lower around here.