Slowing Down Summer

posted by Andrea | 06/6/2013

slowing down summer

Since Dave is a teacher, we naturally follow a traditional 2-semester school schedule… and boy do we look forward to summer!

Not that he doesn’t love his job (he does, believe me). It’s just that after 9.5 months of working all day, coaching all afternoon, grading all night, lesson planning all weekend, and still trying to fit in every special school event, music concert, sporting event, art showcase, graduation open house, etc. etc. we’re both ready for some down time!

And you all thought I was busy!

Today is Dave’s LAST day of school for the year. Graduation was Tuesday night, the staff party was last night, and by the time we go to bed tonight, he’ll most likely be finished grading all his exams.

He’s ready for an 11-week break (no, it’s really not 3 months like everyone says) and I’m ready for him to have a break. I’m still planning to continue on with my normal work duties and Dave will be teaching a couple online classes — but just having him around more will be a huge help. HUGE!!

 .

Summer is always such a crazy time of year for us (I’m sure many of you can relate).

Since we live on a school schedule, and since Dave doesn’t have the ability to take personal days or vacation days throughout the year, summer is really the only time of year we can work on house projects, it’s the only time of year we can go on vacation (besides spring break — but then everything is so crowded), and it’s the only time of year we can do anything as a family during the day.

However, it’s also the only time of year we can really relax. 

So all summer, we feel a constant pull between:

work on house /yard projects or just relax

pack and prepare for a vacation or just relax

plan visits with Nora to museums, parks, play groups, zoos, etc. or just relax

prepare for the upcoming school year or just relax

 

Dave and I both tend to be home-bodies, especially now with Nora around, so we would choose to relax more often than not.

However, then we end up feeling guilty that we’re “wasting” these precious few weeks of summer doing nothing. After all, if we don’t do it (whatever “it” is) during the summer months, there’s a pretty good chance we won’t have another opportunity until next summer.

So you see our dilemma :)

And yes, I realize this is a wonderful dilemma to have — not every adult gets 11 glorious weeks of freedom to do whatever they please AND a spouse with a flexible schedule who can also enjoy those 11 weeks!

I know we are lucky — and that’s another reason why we try to make good use out of our summers.

I also know that once we add more children, and once those children get older, our summer schedules will be full of sporing events, summer camps, family vacations, and more. It will be busy, but it will be fun.

So this year, we’re slowing down summer.

We have one simple family vacation planned to a near-by cottage, but other than that, we’ll be staying home all summer long.

We have one wedding and a couple baby showers — but they are all local and will require no traveling.

We have the dates and times of free programs and events at local libraries, churches, and schools — but we don’t feel obligated to go.

We have a bunch of projects on our list, but we feel confident that we can pick away at these projects without feeling overwhelmed (like we did with the kitchen renovation last summer)

We have lots of landscaping plans, but all the huge projects and heavy lifting will require a professional company (so we’ll just watch!)

We’ll sleep in when Nora lets us, we’ll probably stay up way too late, and we might even take a nap if Nora takes one.

We’ll spend lots of time outside – swimming, playing, going for walks, etc… but we won’t feel bad if it’s too hot and we’d rather stay inside.

Yes, we’ll still be busy and we’ll still make our to-do lists way too long, but my hope is that in 11 weeks, when Dave is gearing up for another school year, we’ll be able to look back on this summer and feel refreshed and relaxed.

Is that possible to do? 

I guess I’ll let you know in 11 weeks  :)

What about you?

Do you have a crazy busy summer schedule? Are you trying to pack in as much as you possibly can? Or are you trying to relax and take it easy?

By the way, I don’t really think either answer is the “right” answer — just whatever works for you and your family I suppose!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Filed under: FamilySchedules

 
 

Leave a comment

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.

19 comments

  1. Kimberley

    06/06/2013

    We are moving into a new house in 4 weeks! Soooo…our summer is not going to be a relaxing one (well, at least not until we are finished unpacking at the new place)! And we are moving into a smaller house (to downsize and to save some money, since we are planning to move out of state at some point in the next 5 years), so we have been doing a lot of purging and cleaning up. Can I just tell you how much I love to purge! My husband isn’t really a fan. He has a lot of great memories from his childhood and so he like to keep things…things that I would normally just give away, but it’s about compromise, right?!?!

    Hope you enjoy your summer!!! And I hope you take some time off like you did last year when you took a week or two off from working! Everyone deserves a break!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Wow — you will have a busy summer!! Good luck with all the purging and moving — and yes, I am planning to take a little blogging break at some point this summer :)

    [Reply]

  2. Carla Jo

    06/06/2013

    I am a military spouse living abroad. While we don’t get 11 weeks every year, we do get 30 days (actually more, but we can only take 30 at a time), so I kind of get it. We have taken vacations before we’re we slept in late & relaxed & we have been on the go go go more often then not. Because more often then not our 30 days is solely visiting parents in 3 different states. Next year we will travel from Okinawa, Japan through space available flights (meaning we get what we get, but it’s free) to get back to US. We will then travel either by air or car between Florida, South Carolina, and Washington, D.C. And then space available flight back to Okinawa. Oh yeah I should mention at this point we will have a 4 year old and a 14 month old & the minimum flight time from Okinawa to US is about 15 hours.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Oh my word Carla — you get “mother of the year” award for sure! I can’t even imagine taking Nora on a short flight — let alone 2 children on a 15 hour flight!

    [Reply]

    Carla Jo Reply:

    I have gone on 3 international flight legs with my older daughter, 2 of which were by myself to meet my husband in Germany while he was deployed (10 hour flight each way). BUT I would much rather fly than drive because we have taken more 6-12 hour road trips with our older daughter than we could even begin to count. She does much better in a plane than the car for some reason.
    Now this flight next year will be the first with both girls, so we will see how I feel after that trip.

    [Reply]

  3. Melissa

    06/06/2013

    Slowing things down a bit is always a good thing. I always have the best intentions of trying to do just that but unfortunately I can’t sit still and feel the urge to do what I can today since tomorrow or next week more things will need to be accomplished. Trying to stay ahead of the game is hard.
    Enjoy your summer and down time!

    [Reply]

  4. Louise

    06/06/2013

    As a Teaching Assistant and wife of a former Teacher I know how much work goes into each term (semester) and how welcome the holidays are! As a mum I was so appreciative of having the holidays with the children when they were small, as well as working with colleagues who understood the pressures of family life. We used to find it so annoying when people would say ‘I couldn’t do your job’ then complain about the length of school holidays – and we only get 6 weeks in the summer in the UK!! I knew I was lucky, too, as my Mum lived close enough to look after the children before they started school. Mine isn’t a highly paid job, I could have earned more money doing a different job with more hours and possibly overtime on offer. The children would have had more ‘stuff’, we would have had more holidays away etc. but would they be better people for it? That was the choice I made, and I feel that it was the right one for our family.
    Anyhoo, rant over (sorry), what was I saying? Oh yes, enjoy your holidays whatever you do, you both deserve them. Enjoy every minute together with Nora, she is adorable! I miss having my littlies around now that they’re grown – although I’m now off to soak up some long awaited sun in the garden on my own, bliss :)

    [Reply]

  5. Melanie

    06/06/2013

    My husband teaches and coaches so I can totally relate! Add in that he farms in the summer and we have 6 kids, our summers have to be really flexible. I’ve tried to commit to the minimum (finishing my son’s baseball season; swim lessons; VBS only at our church; summer reading program.) I also have to remind myself to let go of some expectations, not compare our summer plans to anyone else, and let go of the guilt that we are not doing a huge vacation or every sports camp. Enjoy your summer and the time with your husband off!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    WOW — you guys are busy!! Dave used to have a summer job too — so I totally know how stressful that can be. I also come from a long line of farmers so I know how much work that is!

    [Reply]

  6. Laurel

    06/06/2013

    I have a teacher husband too and I teach music lessons at home (really flexible) so we also enjoy summers like yours. Sometimes I have felt guilty that all 4 of our kids have had mom and dad home every summer to play games with, vacation with, swim with… While their friends often don’t even have one at home. I am sure it all evens out in some way, though. We love summer, but honestly by the end most of family is ready for structure.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Don’t let yourself feel guilty Laurel (although I totally understand). Dave and I have lots of friends who both work full time at “normal jobs” and only get to see their kids on nights and weekends… but they also take lots of fun vacations throughout the year and when they actually ARE home, they don’t have loads of grading, lesson planning, or other at-home work to occupy their time.
    It’s all a balancing act, and we mess up often (at least Dave and I do) but I’m trying really hard not to let myself feel guilty about anything parenting related. You’re doing what works best for you and your family — there is no reason to feel guilty about that!

    [Reply]

  7. Organize 365

    06/06/2013

    Andrea-

    You articulate my thoughts exactly!! There is such a tug of war in the summer between goals and freedom to relax!

    This summer I am actually working more than I have before. I have the kids schedules set and a LOT of goals. But that works for me in this stage of my life. It’s what I need and want to do right now.

    So I agree with you, there isn’t a “right” answer.

    I am glad you will be blogging though! I love to read you daily posts!

    :)
    Lisa

    [Reply]

  8. Erin

    06/06/2013

    My Dave is also a teacher, which means starting today he’ll be home with us for the summer. Yay! I’m probably more excited than he is because it means someone else will be around to watch our daughter while I’m working at home.

    We also have a few big projects to tackle now that his schedule is lighter, but we’ve also made room for fun. Friday afternoons, I’ll finish up work early and we’ll head out for some family time.

    [Reply]

  9. Barb

    06/06/2013

    We hit the ground “flying” last week to Canada for our first summer vacation and are closing in on our first week of summer vacation. Summer couldn’t get here fast enough this year.

    [Reply]

  10. Marissa Thompson

    06/06/2013

    I’m attempting to “slow down summer” too. I’ve been asking a lot of hard questions about how important certain activities are to me.
    Thanks for sharing your plans!

    [Reply]

  11. Karilee

    06/06/2013

    Bravo! Relish these sweet days of Summer and have a wonderful time enjoying your dear girl and hubby. There will never be another day just like today. Make the most of your Today, tomorrow will be here soon enough.

    [Reply]

  12. Kelly

    06/06/2013

    I am actually looking very forward to this summer. Last summer we moved into our new home that we went through a long process building so it was extremely hectic. The summer prior to that was our wedding and house planning along with 17 other weddings. I swear all of my friends got married in the same year. This summer we only have 4 weddings. I know 4 still seems like a lot but compared to 17, that will be cake and not to mention a lot lighter on the wallet and weekend plans. We are settled into our house now with several projects left (it never ends, I know) but we don’t have a lot of obligations where something has to be done by a certain date. They are projects only we know aren’t finished like landscape improvement, painting our master closet attic door and organizing my office no one ever goes in, etc. It is simply wonderful!! I can’t wait. :)

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    I can totally relate Kelly — our last several summers have been filled with lots of weddings (13 was our most in one summer), moving, home renovations, international students, etc. We’re looking forward to relaxing this summer but still crossing a few projects off our list!

    [Reply]

  13. Barbara

    06/15/2013

    I had a plan in place to have more of a schedule this summer. But my Dad has been in the hospital and I got the flu. It hasn’t gone one bit as planned!

    [Reply]