“Summertime and the livin’ is easy … ” Sounds good, right? Warm weather, lots of sunshine, swimming, the Fourth of July; don’t get me wrong–I’m a summer girl through and through. But whoever wrote those lyrics clearly was not married to a teacher.
Let’s talk about summer break. (And winter break, fall break, spring break, snow days … ) During summer break, my routine is basically the same. Wake up, get dressed, haul myself into work, drag myself home, eat, maybe enjoy some time outside, crash. Repeat. Except that, instead of my darling husband being right there in the trenches with me, he is now A) sleeping in, B) lounging around in basketball shorts, and C) eating bon-bons* while watching Maury*. He’s only maybe-kinda done some house- or yard-work during day, so he’s not ready to go to sleep at the ungodly early hour of the working-person; meanwhile, I’m creeping around in the dark in the morning so I don’t wake him while I’m getting ready. Then, on the weekends when I just want to crash, he’s super-excited to have company again and busts out the turbo-activity side of his personality. Our schedules are totally off-kilter.
Things have changed a little bit with the addition of a child. At least now during the day I get some vindictive satisfaction from the fact that our toddler won’t allow him to watch a full episode of People’s Court. But being on opposite schedules is doubly exacerbated. When I get home from work, he’s ready for a break so I take on kid duties despite wanting to crash on the couch after a long day in the office. He feels compelled to get up with her in the morning since I’m the one who “has to work” even though he will be home with her all day. It’s like we need a third spouse.
And then, of course, there’s the entire “leaving your family at home while you go to work” battle. It’s hard enough dropping your kidlet off at daycare when you’d rather stay home with the little darling, but imagine trying to walk out the door when both your spouse AND your kiddo are snuggled in bed, watching Scooby Doo and drinking chocolate milk, looking totally content. Every. Single. Morning. It’s like … anti-motivation. And, yes, I made that up. What if today’s the day that my baby says a new word? What if she grows up and learns to tie her shoes and gets a job and I’m not there? On daycare days, I can at least console myself with the fact that her daddy missed that milestone, too. Not so when he’s the one at home teaching her how to ride a bike without me. I have to give myself the pep talk of all pep talks just to get dressed without whining. I’m pretty sure, at one point, I stomped my foot and cried, “It’s not fair!” Not one of my prouder moments. I’m just trying to hang in there until winter.
*Unsubstantiated claims, but I have my suspicions.
You can contact Krista, the author of this post, at firstname.lastname@example.org.