Bloomin’ Mom: A Later Mom Shares – Summer: A Busy Mom’s View By Margaret Burton, Fredericksburg, Virginia MLTS Chapter Head

 Summer is here whether I want to admit it or not.  Most moms are happy that the kids are out of school, but for me, it involves more coordination with my schedule to satisfy both myself and my girls.  I think this is due to the fact, that I was childless for the first 38 years of my life and that I suffer with fibromyalgia that often increases in severity in the summer months.

As a working mother of two girls, I often struggle to pursue my own interests and decide on the activities that my children will enjoy.  Both kids are out of school for the summer and I have searched most of Fredericksburg’s online resources to find interesting activities that would be both educational and fulfilling for them.  For some unknown reason, this year, the time came too quickly and I went scrambling at the last minute to gather the information and register them for the vacation bible schools, swimming lessons and tutoring sessions.  I try to be cautious when choosing summer activities to avoid disputes and shouting matches between me and my children.  

Swimming is one of these summer activities that I enjoyed as a young girl but it seems that both my children are afraid of the water.  I cannot relate.  I just don’t understand it.  If I even mention water my girls get very upset and fearful.   I know that last year my oldest daughter, who is 8 now, became afraid of water because she was enrolled in a parks and recreation swimming class in which the instructor told the kids to dunk themselves under water the very first day. The next day they were jumping off the diving board.  I have assured my 8-year old that I will not enroll her in this class again, but she needs to swim so she’ll be attending private swimming classes where the children can work at their own pace.  And, in an effort to avoid another battle, I’m going to have my 5-year old sit on the sidelines and watch her sister take the class.  Maybe in a few weeks she’ll express an interest.  

Then there’s Vacation Bible School (VBS). This is often a free activity that both of my children enjoy.  Not only does it allow them to socialize with other children but it gives me the chance to run errands, spend some time at the gym or even get a frappe or latte at Starbucks.  

I believe that children should have some fun in the summer but should also spend some time preparing for the upcoming school year.  I know from experience that my oldest daughter often doesn’t remember what she learned during the school year and regresses over the summer. However this summer she will be going to a tutor at least twice a week.  Hopefully this will help since she will be entering the third grade and Virginia has one of the hardest curricula in the country.  

With everything going on with the kids, I still need to fit my own life into the schedule includes work, practicing violin, bowling, cleaning house and shopping.

I know I’m not the only mom facing this kind of a summer so hats off to all of you!

Have a fun and safe summer – stay cool!