Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Summer Vacations and Mom Guilt

Y'all will probably never hear a stay at home mom say this again, so mark your calendars now...

I wish school was not starting soon. I'm not ready for summer vacation to be over.

I can't believe I'm saying it myself. I'm pretty sure this is the last sign of my sanity being gone.

This year is different. My kids have been shorted over a month of summer vacation, and the Mom Guilt has majorly set in with me. We all know Mom Guilt, right? It's that guilt that we mothers have over the stupidest things that we either can't control or wouldn't have done differently if we had the chance anyway. I'm jumping ahead of myself, though. Let me back this up a second to answer a question I know some of you have: How did my kids get shorted over a month of summer vacation? Let's try a flow(ish) chart to explain:

Kids started school year in South Carolina: School year is August 15th-May 15th
Mid-year we moved to Virginia: School year is after Labor Day-June 15th

My kids' 2011-2012 school year: August 15th-June 15th
(One extra month of school already.)

Here's the kicker:

Moved to Arizona 1st week of my kids' summer vacation: School year starts August 2nd...

Yeah, you read that right... August 2nd... as in, 2 weeks from now... when my kids have only been on summer vacation for a little over a month now.

They've already been to school a month longer than most kids, and now their summer vacation has been cut in half.

The Mom Guilt is running wild. Some of my Mom Guilt is warranted, and some of it is that useless crap we moms carry around for no reason- the stuff we can't control, can't change, can't do a damn thing about... except worry about it, of course, and give ourselves another reason to feel guilty about something.

Like my Mom Guilt #1 about this situation: My kids' summer vacation has been cut in half, when
they've already attended school for an extra month, at a time when my kids have seriously needed a break. Can I change how the school years in the different states fell? Nope. Can I get back the extra month of school my kids attended? Nope, I'm actually thankful for that. Can I do anything about my kids' summer vacation being cut in half? Short of keeping them out of school and committing truancy (and don't think I haven't thought about it), nope. Overpowering that particular Mom Guilt is...

Mom Guilt #2: Moving my kids around so much in the last year that something like this ended up happening. That Mom Guilt has lingered long before the realization of the extra month of school or the shortened summer vacation happened. I've felt major guilt for how many times the kids and I have moved in the last few years, how much bouncing around we did in 2011, how many schools they have attended. The end result though, of Hubby and I getting back together and reuniting our family once again, washes most of that Mom Guilt away... most of it. I'm not sure if there's anything that ever fully washes Mom Guilt away...

Wait a second. Crafty business idea: Mom Guilt Soap. Hmmm.... don't steal the idea. That would be mean, and this stuff is time stamped you know... proof that I came up with it first. Off my tangent and back to reality...

Mom Guilt #3: Not accomplishing our summer to do list. I'm not talking so much of the summer outings or vacation doings- I'd say moving cross country is eventful enough. I was planning on doing school-like things with the kids this summer to help with the summer slide (as they call it)- the kids getting out of the school routine and letting their brains turn to mush during the summer. I wanted to fill each day with worksheets and hands-on learning experiments and lessons and craft time and reading books off of the recommended summer reading list and getting them prepared for their next grade in school. Instead, a week into the family summer reading program we started, I found out the kids only have 2 weeks until school starts. That puts a damper on having enough time left in the summer vacation to both enjoy it and make it a fun learning experience. Considering their vacation was cut in half, I want them to make the most of the next 2 weeks they actually do have.

Mom Guilt #4: Not researching enough to know that schools started here on August 2nd, so we could make the most of the shortened vacation. Mom Guilt rears it's ugly head in so many ways, even over-thinking ways like this one. I'm a stalker researcher. I research everything... except when Arizona schools start their school year, apparently. One of the most important things I needed to know to make this summer amazing, and I didn't bother to google it until I started seeing ads for school supply sales and wondered, 'Hmmm, maybe I should check and see when school starts.' I dropped the ball on this one.

The thought has actually crossed my mind to keep the kids out of school for 2 extra weeks and claim moving as the reason why. But, then they'd be the kids starting a new school, in a new state, 2 weeks later than everyone else. My kids have been those kids too much in recent years. I won't do it to them again.

For a very brief moment, I contemplated homeschooling the kids until we move on base in October. That way, they could get their extra few weeks of summer vacation, while starting school at the same time. Yes, we'd still be making them the kids who enter a school in the middle of a school year, but they'd get their full vacations like kids should. Time to be kids, to enjoy the summer, before early bedtimes and alarm clock awakenings and tests and homework.

We have yet to tell the kids they start school in just about 2 weeks. We know it will absolutely crush them, and I want them to enjoy their summer as much as possible. We still have some details to work out about which school they will even be attending this year, as we have one more home move ahead of us in October.   Fingers crossed we will be figuring them out today.

I'm never quite sure what to do about Mom Guilt when it sets in during a situation. Sometimes it's best to just leave it be and hope it dies. Other times, my kids have gotten showered with gifts or out of the blue trips to their favorite ice cream place. Yes, many times I can buy away my Mom Guilt. Considering we're currently broke due to the move, that's not an option for me right now, which sucks.

I guess I'll just keep calm, break the news to the kids, and try to fill the last 2 weeks of their vacation with fun things they want to do, swimming in the pool, watching kid movies, playing games, and eating junk food.

And look at the situation in a more positive light. Yes, the kids went to school a month longer than other kids. Yes, their summer vacation has been cut in half. But yes, we are together, as a family, for really the first time in 4 years... I think that's worth it all... yes, even the Mom Guilt.

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  1. I love your blog and outspokenness so I nominated you to the Versatile Blogger Award.

    Go to my post and read what to do. Its fun and just gets us "out there" more.

    1. Thanks! I love these types of awards. They make me smile. =)

  2. Hi there!

    New follower here from the Vintage Boomer who nominated you for The Versatile Award. Looking forward to following your future posts.



  3. Well....with such a short break, at least you don't have to worry about the mushy brains :)

    That sucks bad though!!! They'll just be the smartest kids in their classes!!!