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THE SUMMER BLUES OF WORKING MOMS

BY: Cheryl Lynne Potter

For kids, summer is filled with fun, plenty of visits with family and friends and lots of activities. That’s not the case, however, for most moms and dads. For them, summer is nothing more than spending another day at the office. Summertime can be especially hard for working moms who try and juggle their professional responsibilities with their desire to spend time with their children, who are home all day from school. Experts say, the summer months is also the time of year when most working moms want to quit their jobs because their workload doesn’t allow much summer fun with their children. This lack of availability makes working moms feel like they’re shortchanging their youngsters and can make them feel extremely guilty, which is also known as mommy guilt.

 

Working mom, Judy Jusko, knows this scenario all too well. She says it’s “natural to feel guilty.”  She tries, she admits, to “do things on a whim during break,” when she is able. “If there is a couple of hours, we may go to the shore, or to see a movie. Make a trip to the park with sandwiches to eat there for dinner. It could just be sitting at home with a picnic on the living room floor and building a Lego.”

 

Yet, it doesn't seem to get easier as youngsters get older. This rings true for working mom, Keri Murschell, who has two children, who are 12 and 14 years of age. When her children were younger, she and her husband, Wayne, looked for day camps that appealed to their children’s interest. Now that her kids are older, they “manage things differently and we do have our fair share of juggling,” she said. Today, the Murschell’s “rely on babysitters, family and each other to keep everything moving in the right direction.” Yet, Keri Murschell, wouldn’t have it any other way. “I have never viewed work as a burden but as a positive part of my life that fulfills needs for our family,” she said.

 

Still, it’s hard trying to find activities to enjoy with your children while you work. “It’s definitely a struggle, but I do my best to keep them busy,” admits an Elk Township working mom, who has two children, ages 11 and 13, and wants to remain anonymous. Yet, some parents have discovered creative ways to keep their youngsters occupied during the summer months. Working mom, Tracie Wolf, saves all of her vacation time for the summer months. “I try to pack as much family time as I can into those two short months,” she said. She even creates a Shutterfly book of photos for her family, which includes 14 year-old son, Jack, of things they do every year from May to October. This book helps the Wolf family to “remember the fun things we do each summer.”

 

 

Sidebar Article

Experts offer these suggestions on how working moms can keep their youngsters busy during the summer months.

1. Camp Friend or Camp Family Member

If a working mom’s schedule won't allow them to take time off, they can ask a friend, a relative or even a grandparent if they can lend a helping hand. Spending time with an older relative can often be a lot of fun. It’s important to always get input from your child about who they want to hang out with, so they won’t be with someone who they think will help to ruin their vacation.

2. Juggling Vacations

Working moms and dads can schedule separate vacations, so they can have summer fun with their children individually, while the other parent works. One problem with this arrangement is the family has to forgo family vacations together. One solution, if it’s possible, is to save all of your vacation time for the summer months and you can then pack all of your fun time into a family summer vacation.

3. Have a Staycation

If your budget is tight or a working parent can’t take time off from work, the family can have a cheap, fun vacation at home. Some ideas include having a movie marathon in your basement or even in your backyard. You can have, along with your movie night, such goodies as popcorn, pizza and chips and dips, along with age appropriate drinks.  Another idea is to invite family and friends over for a super soaker,  where they bring their own water squirting toys, so you can all have a water soaking good time.

Last Updated on Friday, 30 June 2017 15:37
 

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