It’s week 4 of our Smarty Mom Survival Series and this week Michelle shares with us her summer experience, how she handles it and her tips to make it work. As a busy working mom with an 8 year old and almost 1 year old she has a lot on her plate. When we last met her she was expecting her youngest.
WM, works full time for one of the banks
Husband- Drew (4 years)
Children- Porter (8 years)
Cameron (1 year)
Grew up in Richmond, has lived in Charlotte for 12 years
Original Smarty Mom Posting, July 19, 2008
I am a working mom with two children, my daughter Porter is almost 8, and my son Cameron will turn one at the end of this month. My husband and I both work full-time with occasional travel. On the weekends, my husband is usually playing golf. A LOT of golf. This makes me a golf widow but that is a small price to pay because of the amount of help that I receive during the week or when I travel. Summer brings a special dilemma for me – my daughter spends four weeks with her dad out of state. I not only have to plan full time care for her when she is here and also take advantage my time with her while she is here. So I am going to let all you Smarties in on my summer.
When not on the golf course, my husband and Porter have a shared love of the movies, which is a great/cool way to beat the heat and provides me down time with my little one. As a family we like going to the Farmer’s Market, running errands and just enjoying lazy time in our house. We spend a good amount of time at the pool, and family naps are a favorite! My in-laws have a pool and live at the lake, which is a fabulous adventure as well. Smarty tip – take advantage of the in-laws, parents, friends for summer fun, they may have a great yard, pool or play set. This will give you quality family time and entertainment all rolled into one.
One of the most frustrating aspects of summer planning for me is finding full time care. There are so many great half day camps out there, but those really aren’t an option for us. We are doing good to get her to one activity on time, but scheduling two-a-days would kill me. The other aspect that is difficult is the cost. Hiring a nanny or babysitter by the hour would be very expensive and I would be looking at double or triple the cost of a camp and planning summer care sneaks up on me every year. Some moms have their kids’ summer camps lined up before winter break…I am not one of them. As we speak her Y Camp registration forms are sitting on my desk at work. Oh I drove all the way to the Y to register her tonight…without the forms. Not so Smarty of me. (A fellow soccer mom will laugh when she reads this. “Classic Michelle”. And you know I haven’t registered her for fall soccer yet…) So my smarty tip is, Get started early! Many camps have discounts if you register early and you can plan ahead with friends to have your children in the same camps and thus work out carpools or emergency care.
Cameron’s summer plans are easy; he is in a church daycare close to my work that we really love, so he is covered year-round. Porter presents more of a challenge. In addition to securing camps that provide full day care, I also have to work around the 4 weeks that she spends with her dad who lives out of state. My mom was a teacher, so I got to spend all of my summers with her, and only attended a handful of camps. Porter will have quite the resume of summer activities when all is said and done.
So our summer is planned as follows:
Week One: Art Camp through CMS After School Enrichment Program
Weeks Two-Five: “Camp Dad”
Weeks Six-Eight: Y Day Camps
Week Nine: Y Sleep-away Camp
Week Ten: Family Beach Vacation
In my dream world, planning summer care is a task I would like to outsource. I am sure this will horrify some readers, but I believe that there are those who probably feel the same. I wish that someone could hand me a plan and say, “Here is what you are doing for summer childcare.” A notebook with color-coded tabs for each week, with copies of all of the registration forms that were completed and submitted in a timely manner, online bill-pay set up to make sure the camps are paid for, copies of immunizations secured from the Pediatrician, etc, etc, etc. (This could be a great idea for one of you smarty mompreneurs and I will be your first customer.) The position of Parent does not come with a built-in Personal Assistant so I will muddle through, even if things come together at the last minute. But a girl can dream, right?
I guess my most important tip is to make the most of the time you have with your children. Planning the summer activities is difficult but more difficult is Porter being gone for four weeks. In the end, it is all worth it, she is going to have a great time at her camps and at her dads’, mom will be frazzled at the end of the day but when we all cozy up for a family nap, all is good in the world!