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Amanda Lamb: Summer loving

Posted June 12, 2011

"Mommy don't you get the summer off too?" my youngest daughter asked me one day as she was counting down the days until her summer break.

"No, Baby, I still have to work," I said tousling her little blond head.

"Why?" She asked.

"Because adults have to work all year long, except maybe for teachers that is," I replied. She cocked her head to the side and looked at me inquisitively. I could almost see the little wheels turning in her tiny brain. I half expected to see steam coming out of her ears at any moment.

"Well, maybe you should be a teacher," she said excitedly as she stumbled upon the idea she imagined to be the perfect solution to Mommy not being home with her in the summertime.

In many ways, the summer is a relief for working mothers - no more rushing through the morning carpool line to get to a meeting, no more lunches to pack or homework to help with after a long day at the office. No more conflicts with school functions and extracurricular activities that you have to figure out how to get to, or how to get your child to when you can't leave work. But, there is the downside, primarily that you go from part-time to full time childcare. Basically, in the summer most working mothers work to pay their babysitters or to pay for camp. You work to keep your position that you hold the other forty-two weeks out of the year.

Even now, I can recall the endless days of youthful summers spent at the neighborhood pool, reading books, playing with friends - a truly magical time that literally begins the second the last school bell rings for the year. Believe me, I would love to spend the summer with my girls enjoying that magic again. Maybe someday I will. But for now I hope they will share a little of that magic with me on the weekends.

Amanda is the mom of two, a reporter for WRAL-TV and the author of several books including two on motherhood. Find her here on Mondays.

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  • carolinagirl28 Jun 13, 2011

    ncst8mpa - I have nothing but respect for teachers, but I have to point out that lots of professions (mine included) require licensing that includes mandatory annual continuing education credits. You may do your conferences and workshops during summer break, but those of us who don't get a summer break at all have to take care of those while still working. So instead of complaining, be thankful that you have some down time to complete those tasks. And what's wrong with people thinking that teachers "kick back and relax all summer"? That's what most people do during their vacation time - enjoy it!! Having time off during the summer in no way minimizes the work you do during the school year, for which we parents are very thankful :)

  • Think_About_This Jun 13, 2011

    Thanks for reminding everyone that working parents don't stop working during the summer. My children are up and out at the same time during their track outs as they are when in school. They still have fun and enjoy summer, but they also get to equally enjoy spring, fall & winter thanks to YR school.

    Great post.

  • ncst8mpa Jun 13, 2011

    I wish the myth that teachers do nothing but kick back and relax all summer would be debunked once and for all. In order to teach, public school teachers are licensed. In order to retain that license, they must continue to take courses. When do many do this? During their summer vacation. When do teachers write theses and dissertations to earn their advance degrees? During their summer vacation. When are many of their professional conferences and training workshops? During their summer vacation. Oh, and one more thing. When are they NOT paid? During their summer vacation.

  • msnfnp Jun 13, 2011

    My daughter delights in making me feel guilty going to work. She's old enough that she can stay home for the 2 hour transition between me leaving and her father coming home. She's always asking me to stay home or to come with me to work which would be even more boring for her.

  • outlawtaxi Jun 13, 2011

    My mother was a schoolteacher in the same country school that I attended. Except for a week or two before school started, we had all summer at home to do things together. I learned to cook, sew (a little), can and freeze vegetables, and we spent a lot of time on "projects" around the house. I had regular chores to do, and as I got older they got more numerous. I still had plenty of time to read, and my best friend and I alternated weeks at my house, weeks at her house and weeks at her grandparents' house. I looked forward to trips to "town" to the dime store, grocery and library, and if I was bored, I knew better than to say so or I'd get a chore I didn't like added to the list!

  • justbcauz Jun 13, 2011

    Summer is one thing our family would be able to enjoy a lot more...if only we could win the lottery! I feel guilty that after a long day at work and travel time from work to camp to home, I'm almost too tired to even consider the pool, park or any other *fun* summer activities during the week.

  • slappyh99 Jun 12, 2011

    Well said Amanda. I also remember those magical days of summer from many years ago. Back then summer seemed to last forever. Looking forward to reading about some of the magic your children share with you.