When I used to be a teacher, I DREADED this time of year. Although August is still sunny and hot, I knew in a matter of weeks, it was back to the reality of work. And as I revealed in Xtranormal movies one and two and mentioned throughout various blogs posts, teaching and I did not, how shall I put this, *mesh* very well.
But as a stay-at-home mom with two young Babes in Michigan, summer is supposed to be a glorious time of fresh air and fun times (at least for a few weeks before the thick, wet blanket of humidity covers the area, nearly smothering us to death). Summer is magical and fun and carefree.
And long. So very, very long.
I was surprised by these very strong feelings of wanting summer to end.
To be quite honest, I am exhausted to tears by mid-August. I just can’t keep up this late night/early morning pace for much longer. (My Babes are poster children for the saying, “Sleep begets sleep.” They sleep *less* the later they go down for the night. And don’t even get me started on the witching hour(s) that occur between 4:30p.m. – 7p.m.).
And then the tsunami wave of guilt crashes down on me:
- We have had so much fun this summer; why do I want it to end?
- I’m a horrible mom because what kind of mother wants to not spend time with her kids?
- This is Marie’s last summer before Kindergarten; I should want it to last FOR.EV.ER.
Between the anxiety of Kindergarten and the guilt of wanting the very short season of summer to end, I was beating myself up around the clock – even during sleep! I knew this because every morning, my jaw and shoulders would be tight with tension.
And then I came across this post by Wendi Aarons. I burst out laughing! (Well, as much as I could with my jaw wired shut with stress). So I am not crazy because this heat is stifling and having to be “on” for 14 hours a day with no break! This is normal! Thank goodness.
And then I read this post on Scary Mommy’s website by Yael Saar. Here is a quote that resonated deeply within my weary soul (but be sure to read the rest of the post because it is amazing):
But how about, just for a moment, we examine this: it is only human to get frustrated when our childcare duties balloon, while the rest of our responsibilities don’t come down even one notch. Add to that some record breaking heat-waves, summer viruses, a road trip, or perhaps cousins or in-laws visiting from out of town, and what you get by the time August comes around is a lot of cumulative stress. And now we still have the rest of August ahead of us, and by the time we arrive at the joys of the back to school prep, nobody should be surprised that it is mom who desperately needs a vacation.One word: liberated. And if I had to add a second: relieved. Next time I think I am a bad mom, I’m going to remind myself that I am just tired. So very tired.
August (especially, mid to late August) is a tough time for me. For everyone, really. Thanks for these wonderful posts written by these amazing women. If you ever question what kind of effect your writing has on others, please remember how you were able to make at least one mom laugh out loud with relief and be kinder to herself next time she feels guilty for being human.
So how are you hanging in there these last few weeks of summer?