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Summertime Mom and School-Time Mom Are Fighting

I don’t feel like the same mom all year.

The schedule and season of the year seem to make a big difference in how I parent.  I work part-time, but I am able to schedule my time in the summer to be very flexible and available to spend time with my kids. I love our time together to create things, converse, shop and just relax.  Summer brings spaces of time to talk while we float down the river or sit on the back porch. It’s a time that we all breathe, rest and connect. 

So after a few weeks of school, “summer mom” is shaming “school mom”. I feel guilty at the end of the day when I’ve seen my son for five minutes. I feel badly that there wasn’t time or energy to listen to all of my daughter’s words.

Summer mom would have done better by them. She would have been relaxed and had the time.

So now on top of adjusting to getting up early and creating the routing and making sure the lunches are ready, I’m dealing with mom guilt. It’s like summertime mom and school year mom are fighting inside of my head. And this is because things look and feel different in how I’m showing love to my kids. 

It’s not that school mom bailed and got too busy. It’s that she was squeezing dinner preparation into the only 30-minute block it could go. She was back and forth to the school 3 or 4 times that day, totaling about 2 hours of driving. School mom spent the day ordering the son’s shirt, and picking up the daughter’s prescription after remembering to call the doctor for the third time that week.

She washed and folded their clothes, because they wouldn’t be home enough hours to do it. She bought tall white socks for band and searched for a locker shelf, because “the backpack hook is too high”.  And so summertime mom and school year mom simmered down and talked it over, and came to an important conclusion that 

Love looks different during the school year.

And we are okay with that. 

Summer mom can spend a lot of time with the children. But school mom does all the things. All the very many tedious, complicated, intricate and seemingly unnoticeable things. The things that are only noticed when they don’t get done.  And this is how she loves. There are still weekends and holidays to squeeze in some quality time with the kids all year round. And there is knowing that summer will return again, and that there is a season and time for everything in this life.

I don’t feel like the same mom all year. But I am.

I’m a mom that loves in whatever ways time, school, work, schedules and other constraints allow. So school mom isn’t gonna take any more flack from summer mom, because guess what? They are the same person. 

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