mom camp redux

Every summer I write an article about the economical and emotional joys of Mom Camp.

Mom Camp (with a smattering of Dad Camp) is what my family does when school lets out for the summer. Instead of sending our kids to a bunch of (admittedly awesome) day camps around the City, my husband and I keep them with us and switch off childcare with friends and each other.

I work from home most of the time. My spouse teaches summer school at the University. We have flexible schedules and Mom Camp saves us some cash money in our pockets.

Mom Camp has its share of awesomeness. We run around San Francisco like tourists, see movies, go to the beach (in the fog, yes) eat junk food, and sometimes take field trips to sunnier parts of the Bay Area.

But so far this year, I’m in a Mom Camp slump. It’s partially the weather. SF summers always give me the blues. While the rest of the country posts on Facebook about running through the sprinklers and flitting about in tube tops, I pull on my flannel jammies and turn the thermostat up.

It’s partially that my Mom Camp comrades (other parents who make the same choice) are already taking off for places like Canada and London (where they are from) to see their families. So I’m already missing my Mom Camp team of camp counselors.

But honest truth is that my little darlings are making me nuts. This is one of those parent-guilt moments that I’m just gonna full-on own. I love my kids but sometimes I need a freaking break.

My sweet babies are fighting all the time. They are obsessed with TV and computers. They go all Sam Kinison on me when I tear their little over-stimulated eyeballs away from a screen. But my workload is greater than ever and I have to get it done during the day. I have to get it done during the day because I actually enjoy hanging out with my husband at night. And I actually enjoy sleep.

Most of the time I love working from home and I brag about how lucky we are to have such a groovy, family-friendly schedule. But for the past few days I’ve found myself fantasizing about getting up and going to an office every day.

Now, I hate it when I write only to complain or bitch. So I want to give this story a happy ending. I want to share the silver lining of Mom Camp completely kicking my ass this year. Even if it means forcing ten pounds of potatoes into a five pound bag.

So here it is. Here is my twisting and cramming and forcing my Mom Camp angst into my typical little happy go-lucky-girl spin:

I’ve been researching day camps. And there are openings.

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5 thoughts on “mom camp redux

  1. Don’t feel bad, R. You have many competing roles in your life (parenthood, career, couplehood, friendship, etc.) and — important though it is — parenthood is just one of them.

    T. and I have found that our kids have needed different things at different ages. By all means, there were times when the very best thing for them and for us was to have them with us, Mom Camp-style. But there have also been times — like now — when it’s best for everybody that they’re under someone else’s watchful guidance, and in the company of peers their own age, during the day.

    It’s a balancing act that we (by which I mean all parents) may never get right. But we need not feel guilty for having needs that extend beyond our children . . . especially when those children are being little snits. 😉

  2. Pingback: in a weird way this sort of made my day « The Foggiest Idea

  3. Pingback: in a weird way this sort of made my day « The Foggiest Idea

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