A few years ago, a Mom I know posted on Facebook about how she was going to enjoy a slow summer with her school-aged kids. They were going to sleep in and just take each day as it came, doing whatever it was they felt like doing. I commented that it was nice that she was doing that and an option not available to working mothers. She responded that she prioritizes her children, which is why she is spending her summer with her children at home.
The narrative around working mom’s children not being as high a priority to them than stay-at-home counterparts NEEDS. TO. STOP. It’s not appropriate for a whole host of reasons and it’s simply not true. Working moms and stay-at-home moms love and prioritize their children equally. End of story.
However, because this perspective does exist and is shared regularly, working moms carry a lot of guilt, particularly in the summer months. As they brace themselves for this guilt, they’re also STILL madly packing lunches every day and rushing kids out the door every morning, albeit for day camp, not school. There’s no going to the cottage for weeks or extended beach holidays for them. There’s no sleeping in and lackadaisical afternoons. They don’t have the option.
So, to help relieve your guilt, here are some things I want you to remember:
You are a good role model for your children. They see that you work hard to provide for them
You are providing them with interesting camp experiences. Many of the camps they attend are very educational and loads of fun!
You are often providing them the chance to build other relationships. Perhaps you send them off to your parents’ house for a week. Going to “Grandma Camp” provides a great opportunity for inter-generational relationships to flourish.
You don’t need to be engaged with your kids ALL the time. Let them experience boredom and figure out how to entertain themselves.
And by the way, that mom I mentioned about having a “slow summer”? Half way through the season her kids were driving her crazy and she wanted to know if anyone knew of any camps that still had openings.
Moms, enjoy your summer at work and home and kick that guilt to the curb. You’re doing an amazing job.