"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.