This summer will be the first summer that I’ll be writing under contract with my elementary school kids at home with me. Sound like a recipe for disaster? I hope not! Like most things, I’m trying to approach the situation with humor and an open mind. So I thought I’d write a post about it and see if there are any ways of dealing with this situation that I may have missed. Here are five possible approaches to my problem:
Cinderella’s Step-Mom Approach
Looking around my house, I see plenty of chores that haven’t been tended to. My fingers practically twitch with the desire to write a twenty page, two-hundred-hours-to-complete to do list for my wee ones. They can either pretend to be working amongst cockroaches, rats, pigeons, and flies (a la Amy Adams in Enchanted) or they can take the more traditional approach and imagine their work buddies are mice, birds, squirrels, and chipmunks. In fact, I’m sure we have some dresses and dusting wands around here somewhere…
The Parent Trap (a.k.a. Ship Them Off to Camp) Approach
If you have young girls, you’ve likely seen (many times over!) 1998’s The Parent Trap. (In fact, if you are of a certain age, you’ve probably also seen its predecessor, the 1961 version). In the more recent version, young and adorable Lindsay Lohan plays the twins, who are shipped off to summer camp by their divorced parents. I’m here to admit that, even if you are still married and there are two parents in the house to help manage the summer schedule, the thought of a summer resident camp is mighty appealing! (That said, I compromised on this approach and chose a few awesome sounding day camps for them to attend).
The White Flag (i.e. Enlist Grandma’s Help) Approach
Do you have family that lives close by? Luckily for me, my mother-in-law lives only 2 states and a 2 1/2 hour drive away. When mulling over my summer options, I quickly decided this was the perfect distance for my kids to travel in order to try out staying away from home for a week (in a loving, safe, sugar-laden 😉 environment). My in-laws have a pool and my MIL loves to bake. Plus their neighborhood has an ice cream truck that drives around their streets at night whereas ours does not. *I* still get excited when I hear the ice cream bell. So how can I deny them the chance to eat a week’s worth of Sponge Bob, Shrek, and Scooby Doo popsicles?
If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Join ‘Em Approach
Writers need inspiration! We need new experiences, new places, new people in order to be at our creative best! When I look around at the myriad fun options available over a summer to families everywhere, I am determined to join in. If anyone reading this is a regular reader, you know that I need to supplement my writing with other activities to keep it fresh. Stale, regurgitated, monotonous, robotic drivel is what I would produce if I couldn’t get out of my house and into the woods. Or if I couldn’t go to a museum, amusement park, bowling alley, movie theater… take a road trip, go boating or bike riding, fly to the beach, hit the bookstore or library… Take a vacation, visit family and friends.
The Suck It Up and Stop Bellyaching Approach
No one twisted my arm and told me I had to be a writer. (And many writers are holding down full-time jobs in addition to their writing careers). Same goes for being a mom. Having kids makes getting things done ten times harder than it was without. But you know what? I wouldn’t have it any other way. I am a writer and a mother because, even though it’s a lot of work — I LOVE IT!!!
How about you? Will you have young kids at home this summer? How do you make it work? Are any of these approaches your favored way of coping? Or do you have another option to recommend? What are YOUR plans for the summer? 😀
- 8 Summer Activity Ideas for Kids (bostonmamas.com)