Every year, I know it’s coming, but I’m never ready when it arrives… I’m not talking about Christmas (though, I could be).
I’m talking about summer recess. Vacation for your school kids, and a new routine for everyone
Last Weds. was my kids’ first day of summer recess, and already I’m going crazy. All those things that were routine are now askew. Everything from getting up to practicing the piano has to be rescheduled, renegotiated, and reconsidered. That was all stuff I was supposed to have figured out, oh, like about three weeks ago.
I hope that you’re not caught short the way I’ve been, and that you’ve remembered our conversation from this time last year. Remember when we talked about how important it is to help your au pair reorganize your kids’ schedules?
Most of us will need a summer plan that includes:
- A new daily schedule, with wake-ups, naps, trips to the park, day camp drop off, etc. all lined up.
- A new weekly schedules, with M-F plans if the days have different activities (e.g., swim lessons on Tues/Thurs)
- A 10-week outline of what happens which week (e.g., Harry Potter camp vs. art camp)
- A 12 weekend plan — when you’re going to the shore, when you’ll be at home, when you know you need your au pair for a Saturday night, etc.
- A plan for your family vacation & trips
- A plan for your au pair’s vacation time, if any will be taken in the summer
- A schedule of visits and guests (Grandma in July, your au pair’s sister the first week of August)
Am I forgetting anything?
We’ll also need to help our au pairs, our kids and ourselves to a little psychic reset.
- You might work more at home but still need your au pair on duty.
- Your au pair might have the kids for 8 hours straight 5 days a week, after getting used to having the middle of the day to herself.
- You might travel every weekend to your lake house (lucky you!) and expect your au pair to come with you– or not.
- Your kids will want to stay up late since it’s still light out, and they won’t want to get into their car seats in a stinky, sticky, steamy minivan.
- You’ll need a treats policy or a large wad of cash to manage the twice-daily drive-bys of the Good Humor truck.
- Your au pair may need to be on duty at poolside, when she’s only ever spent pool time on the chaise lounge with her eyes closed.
- You’ll want to have a vacation, and have your au pair be on duty chasing kids while you catch up on your Real Simple back issues.
Am I forgetting anything?
Use Summer Recess for Re-Sets
We can use all this reorganization to our advantage, though, if we think ahead about how we’d like things to change, how we’d like our kids to grow, how we’d like our au pair’s responsibilities to grow, how we’d like our family to flourish in this summertime space.
So, rather than think of it as craziness, thing of it as a time for re-sets. Re-set your plans, your goals, your expectations, your assumptions, while you do whatever planning and reorganizing might be necessary.