The Long, Lazy Days of Summer

Today, a friend of mine—a stay-at-home-mom—lamented that summer was going much too quickly, and that the end was coming faster than she wanted. She described her days of sleeping a little later in the morning, not having to be somewhere at a given time, and the joy she feels while watching her children get to be carefree kids for a while.

I’ve been trying so hard to enjoy this summer, to make the most of the long days, to just relax a little. I keep wondering why, instead, I feel so overwhelmed—so exhausted. When this friend was describing the end of summer, I suddenly became excited for the first time in quite a while—school is coming! Just writing those words gives me a little thrill. The days of the children being gone by 8:20 are almost here—simple schedules of drop-offs and pick-ups, each day almost the same as the one before. Yes, I long for the days of routines and predictability.

You see, in my attempt to “make the most of summer” for my children, I have inadvertently over-complicated my life: swim team practice (five days a week), swim lessons (twice a week), dive lessons (once a week), taekwondo (three times a week), camp (five days a week), and gymnastics (once a week). All of this is done while still working full time, and I’ve had to travel quite a bit this summer for work. So, to squeeze all of this in, there are aspects of my life that have suffered, namely my blog and my weight (and quite possibly the cleanliness of my home—but that is for another day).

Let me start off by explaining what I mean by my weight neglect. Since last November, I have been consciously trying to lose weight—yes, I’ve been dieting. I had successfully lost about 25 pounds when I decided to start exercising sometime in the spring. And, like most things in my life, I became completely obsessed with it, barely letting a day go by without using the elliptical, going to kickboxing, or sweating in a 105 degree yoga studio. When summer started, I had very proudly lost about 35 pounds. Now, fast-forward two months, I have regained a few pounds and have probably lost all of the muscle I had started to develop—sadly, I have once again become sedentary.

I blame summer.

My lunch times—once spent pushing myself to go another mile on the elliptical—are now spent shuffling the kids from camp to swim practice. And my evenings, instead of focusing on cooking a nutritious meal, are now spent relaxing by the side of the pool reading a book until well past an acceptable time to actually cook.

My poor blog. . . I try to find time to write—I even bought a journal  to write in while at the pool. The reality is, the time I once spent thinking about what to write about next, is instead consumed with thoughts of “Do the kids have gymnastics today, or is it swim lessons?” The time I used to spend actually writing has been slowly chipped away at until all that is left is an hour late at night—a time when I am too exhausted to even carry on a conversation—how on earth am I supposed to be literate!

For my daughter, I once again leave her with a small piece of advice: summers are meant to be treated differently—it is therefore okay to be lazy, to spend endless hours swimming or just hanging out with friends. Even as I write this, I am suddenly struck by my own lesson. By focusing on all of the things summer has somehow deprived me of, I stopped allowing myself the freedom to be as carefree as my children, to enjoy the simple pleasures of a late night at the pool or a long weekend at the beach.

So, for my health, for my creativity, and for my overall sanity, I dream about the first day of school.

Yet, for my children, for the joys of childhood, and for the long, lazy days of summer, I will allow myself the freedom to enjoy this last month of summer.

Answer to the question: What do you miss most about the school year?

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34 thoughts on “The Long, Lazy Days of Summer

  1. My three are still too young to be in all those lessons, but before i had kids I vowed never to revolve the family around someone’s (insert hobby here) practice. You can’t enjoy life when you’re constantly running.
    Enjoy August. Summer’s my favourite season.

    I found you through #commenthour 🙂

    • I totally agree about not over-scheduling. I always SWORE that I would never do it. In all honesty, it’s not even me—it’s them! They want to do so many things.

      I’ll admit one thing—my daughter is eleven so I drop her at the pool at 10:00 for dive lessons, and then she has swim team, and swim lessons, all while I am at work. I don’t pick her up again until after I’m done working. This isn’t something I can do with my son because you have to be at least 11 to be at the pool without your parent. So, at least I’m not running around all day.

      I’m also really lucky to have a couple of mom’s who help me out by doing pick ups and drop offs (I think that needs to be the topic of another blog). I guess my point is, sometime our kids make us do things we don’t want to do, but hopefully we are fortunate enough to build a network of other mom’s to help us out.

      Thanks so much for coming by and leaving a comment. You got me thinking . . .

  2. Summer is the opposite of vacation like for me, even without overcommitments for the kids. One Summer I got my daughters bus passes so they could get to their camps, etc without my constant chauffering but my son has autism so (for now!) that’s out.
    AND YES! School is coming… (I am not exactly counting the days, but I am with you!!)

    • Good for you about the bus passes! That’a a great idea!

      Let’s say it again—YAY! School is coming!

      Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment.

  3. Because I’m a teacher, I might be one of the few parents who actually laments the end of summer. The kids going back to school means it’s also time for me to go back to work. Furthermore, our summer is pretty much over. In this semi-backwards school system, we actually start school next week in the first week of August. *sad clown face* It has always felt wrong for us to be so hard at work when the rest of the world is still enjoying lazy summer days. Make the most of yours!

    • You start school the first week of August?! Wow! When do you finish school? I can’t even imagine! I have a few friends who are teachers, and I completely understand not wanting summer to end. It’s funny, I’ve been working in corporate American for 11 years, and yet, when summer comes, I still feel like I should be off! 🙂
      Good luck with the new school year! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

  4. Oh how I was waiting for this:

    “Even as I write this, I am suddenly struck by my own lesson. ”

    That is all we can ask.

    From the age of 16 all the way to the age of 32 I worked all the way through my summers. This is not something a student or a teacher should do EVERY SINGLE YEAR. I knew not of vacation in the big sense of “the summer.” I allowed myself a couple of weeks like most “normal” people do. Then, after finishing grad school and getting married I decided my husband (also a teacher) and I should actually take a summer off – for real.

    O-M-G

    The summer is so beautiful, so refreshing and so energizing. We felt like kids again!

    However, it is quite possible that the school year is YOUR summer! Just remember, whatever time of year you allow for your down-time, that you DO, at some point allow for it!

    • I love your comment! I’m so glad that you and your husband are able to enjoy summers like you did as a child. I think that’s just magical.

      I’ve realized one thing about myself while writing this post—I’m someone who always looks forward to the next season, but sometime in the middle of the current one, I get bored with it, and am ready for the next. So, besides being a little over-scheduled this summer, I’m also looking forward to all the things that fall brings.

      Thanks so much for your thoughtful comment—it’s incredible!

  5. Oh how I miss summers like this. I lost these once I hit 15 and started working. Glad you give your children the chance to relish their summers though, I’m sure in the future they will appreciate it. 🙂

    • Thank you for that! It’s so easy to forget that, as tired as I am with the summer, my children are enjoying themselves immensely. When they are older, they will (hopefully) be able to look back on their childhoods with joyful memories of summer. Thanks for stopping by, and for taking a minute to leave a comment.

  6. Summer has and always will be my favorite season, about mid-July I start feeling as though I didn’t accomplish all the activities I had imagined myself doing and I start to feel as though I’ve wasted my Summer! When I was a kid Summer’s seemed endless, now I feel like I blink and it’s over. It’s funny how we have to remind ourselves to just relax and enjoy it.

    • I feel the same way. The day school lets out I think “we’ve got all this time” and then, bam! School is in in three weeks. I don’t even know if they’ve done anything they consider “fun.” If I didn’t work full time I think I’d be in a better position to help them achieve fun in the summer, but we so don’t want me to go down that wishful road.

    • I feel so torn sometimes. I was looking forward to summer the entire month of May. I enjoyed every second of it for the first few weeks, but now that August is almost here, I just feel worn out. I know that there are still so many things we haven’t done—that I still want to do—and I know I’ll regret not doing them. I think I just need to finish out the summer with a few more “summer activities” and then call it a day! Thanks so much for stopping by!

  7. I miss that my kids are already grown and out of the house. Summer is very quiet here now. I used to enjoy the time we all had together and then I used to enjoy when it was time to get back to school and the routine too! Congratulations on being featured on #commenthour, although I am a little late to the party! Lisa

    • As much as I feel overwhelmed in the moment, I know that I can’t fathom a time when my children will be grown. Thanks for the perspective—it’s a good thing to have.
      Thanks so much for stopping by, and thanks for the congrats on #Commenthour. I was really excited!

  8. I miss the laziness of summer. My kids have gone from camp to camp to camp. No lazing about, no let’s just go to the pool, no riding their bikes in the neighborhood. Wait, that’s b/cthat was MY childhood. I had such big plans for this summer. We have yet to get to the beach or an amusement park or do any of the other, normal things I wanted to do. The lazy things I wanted to do . Everything is so specified and time-driven. I refuse to let this last month get away from me, though. We are gonna drive somewhere, dammit! We’re gonna take walks and go to the park and visit the museums. I so want them to treasure their summers, remember them fondly. Right now, though, I’m afraid all they’ll remember from this one is being shuttled back and forth, up nearly the same time as when school’s in session, going to bed only slightly later than usual b/c they have to get up the next morning. Summer is supposed to be scheduleless.

    • I hope your last month of summer is filled with relaxing, joyful, summertime memories. Stop back and let me know how it goes!
      Thanks so much for stopping by, and for taking a minute your time to write such a thoughtful response.

  9. I no longer miss the laziness of summer, my babies are grown up and having kids of their own now. But I do miss them being around, I look back now and wonder where the time went, seems like just yesterday I too was finding myself running around like a chicken with its head cut off lol

    • That’s a time I just find so hard to imagine! I’m so glad that you can look back and laugh at the craziness. Thanks so much for stopping by and for leaving a comment!

  10. Way to go on 35 pounds!! A few pounds will be easy after that. I am with you – I have let myself go a little this summer, but as things feel tighter, I know I need to get off my tush.

    You do sound busy, and I hope you and your kids can find some down time to enjoy each other before school starts. But I totally hear ya on routine and predictability. 🙂

    • I’ve decided to take a week off in August to just hang out at the beach with my kids (I’m lucky that my mom lives just a few blocks from the Atlantic Ocean).

      Thanks for mentioning the weight-loss. You know, I’m actually looking forward to getting back to my routine of eating well and exercising—it’s something to look forward to. After yo-yo dieting for years, I at least accept that it is a journey and a part of my life, not a quick fix. Thanks for coming by, and for taking a minute to leave me a message.

  11. Every summer ends up kind of a disappointment, even before I had Wee ‘Burb. All these big plans and then every rainy day ruins something and play dates are impossible and you end up doing so much you don’t want to do b/c you feel obligated instead of doing what you really want to. Overscheduling is so much worse in the summer, I think.

    • I always think that I should make a list of all the things I want to do in the summer, just to be sure nothing gets forgotten. Then, as soon as summer begins, I’m just so happy to go to our local pool after work—and I do relax. I think I have relaxed so much that I’ve neglected these things that are such an integral—and necessary—part of my life. Thanks for the comment!

  12. As a career mom your days are usually very structured. It’s hard to just go with the flow in the Summer. It goes against your grain. I know…I worked in corporate America for 15 years! But I’m happy to hear that you’re going to try to be more carefree in August. It will be hard, but you can do it! Know that it is OK to let things slip. And don’t beat yourself up about neglecting your exercise… or your blog. SO many bloggers take a break during the summer months! Your readers will be back with you when you get back into blogging. Hope you enjoy the rest of your Summer! xo

    • Thanks for the point about a lot of bloggers taking time off in summer—it really made me feel better about not blogging as much. Sometimes I think we just need to hear that “it’s okay” to give us license to just relax. So thanks for saying it to me!

  13. Pingback: Back-to-School | a Book for My Daughter

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