The Lazy Summer Myth


lazy summer

Ahhh, summer. The sweet promise of longer, lazier days. The joy of fun in the sun, splashing around in the pool, and leisurely vacations.

<record scratch> 

Nope. Not like that at all.

For me, as a teacher mom, that illusion may be even more pronounced since I’m thinking to myself, “Oh, if I can only make it to summer, then my schedule won’t be as crazy.” What a big lie I tell myself each year. 

It’s just a different kind of busy. I need to change my mindset. I have a lot of goals for the summer, and some of them are just plain unrealistic. 

I think that this dream of a lazy summer stems from the first summer I didn’t work as a teacher. Another young teacher and I would sleep in, meet each other at the pool at noon for water walking with the retired ladies of the town, and read and lay in the sun working on our tan. All summer long. Literally. It was glorious. I think in my mind, I keep trying to get back to that.

However, it’s entirely impossible to live up to those lazy summer day fantasies now that I have kids. Even now that they are older, it’s still impossible. They have things they want to do and, let’s be real, I have things I want them to do as well. Why is it that I still ache for that, though? 

In my mind, because I am not teaching during the summer, I should have ample time to meet friends for coffee, or lunches, or drinks on the patio. In reality, scheduling those is just as hard as it was when I was working full-time! Gah!

Lazy summers are a myth! 

Summer Reality

So, if lazy summers aren’t an achievable goal, then what is? Figure out what it is you want to accomplish, and write it down. Make a list. Prioritize that list. For me, that list includes reading 2-3 books just for fun and 1-2 books to learn. It also includes a road trip out west to see a few national parks my boys and I haven’t seen yet and a trip to my friend’s lake cabin in Minnesota. When the boys are with their dad, I will focus on connecting with friends and enjoying a little “me time.”

When the summer comes to an end, which it does far too quickly every year, I want to look back and not be disappointed with any unmet expectations. I want to make sure I have had some time to rest and recharge for what will most certainly be another busy school year.

What does your summer look like? 

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Jennifer is a single mom of two boys. She does her best to get to places on time, despite being a chronically late person and the fact that neither she or her boys are morning people. She recently went back into the classroom after staying home for nine years to raise her kids, and she credits her sanity and success at this endeavor to the fact that she has incredibly supportive parents, family, and friends. She also has a network of single moms that truly “get it” and who encourage her on a daily basis. When she’s not hanging out with her kiddos, Jennifer enjoys writing at a coffee shop, trying new restaurants, or catching up with friends.


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