I love summer just as much as the next person, really, I do. And I enjoyed, and thoroughly agree with, Jillian’s post about how great it is to share it with my kids, especially now that they’re old enough to really do things with us. Those parts of summer, I love. But there are some parts of summer that are throwing me for a loop. I’m the kind of person who thrives on order and routine, and summer as a part-time working mom with my sons, ages five and three, has proven to be not-so-orderly and not-so-routine. There are a lot of factors at work here: my job changes a bit in the summer, my kids are around more, etc. So, as someone who does not deal well with randomness in my life, I’d love suggestions on how to fix/cope with the following summer issues:
1. My car is a disaster zone. I’m not known for having a neat car. It’s a major skeleton in my closet, and I usually don’t care. But it’s downright embarrassing this time of year. I blame it on my car being small (a Hyundai Elantra), but that’s partly a scapegoat. I spend my mornings packing it full of beach toys, lunches, towels, sunscreen, water bottles, snacks, extra clothes for all of us, library books, teaching materials for work, etc. I spend every evening unloading previously listed items. It’s a good thing there’s no Horders show for Elantra owners.
2. My laundry pile is terrifyingly large. Conservatively, I’d estimate my laundry load doubles in the summer. Kiddie pool “accidental tripping”, squirt gun fights, melting popsicles, mud…someone is always dripping with something and changing their clothes. I work as a museum educator, which means I spend most of my time at work doing messy science projects with really excited kids. My husband likes to take advantage of the nicer weather to go out for more frequent runs during his lunch hour. We’re all having fun, but we’re all totally plowing through at least two outfits each day.
3. I live out of bags. I pack my kids a bag of food and clothes and bathing suits when they head to my parents’ house while I’m at work. I pack a bag of gear for all of us when I take the kids to the beach. I pack myself lunch and snacks for work, and often a clean shirt because of the aforementioned messy science experiments. I pack my teaching materials to take to the various libraries, summer camps, and schools around the state where I’m presenting. There are reusable grocery bags and tote bags all over my life.
4. We are all too hot to eat dinner. We don’t have central air, and it’s hot, guys. I normally love to meal plan, fire up the crock pot, and get dinner on the table, but if it’s over 70 degrees, I. Don’t. Care. We can eat hummus and veggie sticks every night until fall, and that’s fine by me. I need some cool summer dinner ideas that don’t involve me sighing and saying “Fine! Just eat whatever you want to eat! I’m hot, too!” I may or may not have considered smoothies and cheese sticks and okay meal. Help. Me.
So those are the summer dilemmas that are slowly unraveling my sanity. Any tips to share with me? I agree, this time of year is lots of fun, but I never realized how much work it is for the moms!