Summer Is Hard for Working Moms


A woman working while holding her children.I know all too well the joyous feeling of counting down the days until school is over. I was there once. I would enjoy what felt like endless days of fun and relaxation. Nowhere to be and nothing to do.

So I get it, I really do, when we’re approaching the end of the school year, and everyone is cheering. But for me, and I’m sure for many working moms, the end-of-school joy you have for your children to have completed yet another successful school year quickly gets replaced by the mounting anxiety and guilt of, “now what?”

I know that moms everywhere have that “now what?” feeling. Whether we work outside the home or within, summer is a mixed bag of emotions. We’re all happy about their well-deserved rest. And we all need to keep our kids occupied and engaged. But in my house, with two working parents, we need to make sure we have daily coverage for our kids all summer so we can also continue to focus on our jobs.

My daughter went to daycare until she started kindergarten, so though I worked all year round, it was a non-issue, as daycare never closes for the summer. Our daycare shifted into a “summer camp” vibe in the summer months, where they had water days in the sprinklers and special visits from different entertainers.

The fun never stopped! And the 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. coverage didn’t either! It was a real shock to the system when we were approaching the end of kindergarten, and I realized with school ending, I needed to find a camp quickly! Luckily, I’m not the first working mother to need summer camp in the world, and our town has plenty of options. And yet still, the guilt sets in.

My kids go to camp for fun, of course, but also necessity. I wish they could have endless lazy days and late nights out in the yard.

We try to have at least one vacation planned each summer, so they have a little freedom to relax and enjoy. But the gaps between camp and school are stressful, and we play the childcare scramble! 

I’m not writing this for pity. I’m not writing this to play the “who has it harder?” game of comparison. I write this because in our social media-driven world, I’ve recently been inundated with articles, posts, and pictures of families heading into the endless summer abyss, and that’s not what summer in my house looks like.

I want other working moms to know they’re not alone. I want them to know that we can still make summers memorable for our kids and that we haven’t failed them because we need to keep them in a structured schedule all year round. Every summer can be magical, and every family’s magic looks different.

And mama, if you even have these thoughts and concerns, it means you’re doing it right, and your kids are lucky to have you. And also, keeping an early bedtime all year round isn’t the worst thing in the world. 


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