When my children were firmly planted in the preschool phase, I remember a mom of school-aged children lamenting the beginning of the school year, and I distinctly remember thinking she was absolutely nuts.
For me, a long summer of trying to work from home with two small children who needed constant care had clearly taken its toll. I was limping toward September, beyond anxious for the beginning of preschool to provide some relief.
After all, it didn’t matter if it was a weekday or weekend, summer or fall, my kids got up around 6 a.m. each day, making every day long and exhausting.
I had no concept of how grinding the school year can be for the parent of an older child. The cajoling you have to do to get them out of bed in the morning (and to get them to go to sleep at night). It didn’t occur to me how taxing it can be for moms to find ways to fit in homework, after-school activities and family time into a cramped afternoon and evening schedule. I had no clue how glorious a summer of no set time to get up and no calendar chock-full of must-get-to activities could be. How simple and how wonderful at the same time: Summer, for a parent, is a time to breathe.
To the parents I scoffed at before: My sincerest apologies. Now, I know.
Jennifer is a mom of two and WRAL-TV assignment editor in Fayetteville. Her food obsession memoir, “Designated Fat Girl,” came out in September. Read more about Jennifer and her book on her website. Find her here on Go Ask Mom on Tuesdays.