When kids get out of school for the summer, I think they imagine the whole world is on vacation with them — that we all get to sleep in, lounge around in our pajamas all day looking at our phones, and basically, put our brains on low-power mode until we need to actually think about something.
News Flash: Parents still have to work in the summertime. There is no summer break for us. Sure, we may take a week-long family vacation, but the rest of the time our routine is the same as it is any other time of year.
Honestly, I feel like I am herding cats. My 14-year-old treats social engagements like a professional event planner. One disconnect — she doesn’t happen to own a car or drive, so we are always on deck as far as transportation goes.
My 17-year-old’s plans change faster than the weather. And while I can track her through the GPS on her phone, she thinks curfews are for sissies and that brief text messages suffice for real communication about where she is and what she’s doing.
It’s mid-June, and I’m already exhausted from the machinations and negotiations of managing their unstructured summer lives. They both work, volunteer and participate in activities like swimming and dance, but nothing can replace the familiar and comforting ritual and rigidity of a school day.
So, if you see me looking a little weary during these summer months, know that I haven’t been out on the town. I’ve been up late herding cats on my cell phone …
Amanda is the mom of two, a reporter for WRAL-TV and the author of several books, including some on motherhood. Find her here on Mondays.