Summer vacation: a break from being a two parent working family

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It just one week, it will officially be SUMMER. Adam and the girls will be home all day, every day — no work, no school, no daycare. I will still work of course but a heady vacation joy de vivre will rule our daily life.

The fridge will also automatically refill itself. And a host of daily chores will fall away into nothing. Bliss.

Having the girls home all of the time gives us more opportunities than just avoiding chores (and daycare bills. Whew). It takes our two parent working family and turns us into a happy mom and a stay-at-home dad family, mixing up our balance,  lifestyle, and our parenting. For example:

1. Since the girls are home 100%, that gives us lead responsibility on their curriculum and education. Adam and I have had fun thinking about what we want the girls to learn this summer — like for Beatrice to spell her name reliably, and Blythe to use more two-word phrases. (And of course things that drive us bananas, like Blythe to keep her plate down consistently and not spill it all over the table/floor, and Bee not to run to the backyard we leave the house or come home). Knowing that we have the whole summer ahead of us has also upped our parenting game: if we see behavior that we don’t want to deal with all summer long (like, for instance, peeing in the yard) we need to nip it pronto, and do the hard work now of setting the precedent.

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2. It also allows us to take the kids on lots of ADVENTURES. Since Adam likes to get out and go places, the girls will be frequent visitors at the MN Zoo, Arboretum, Children’s Museum, and libraries. For our evenings I have big dreams of paddles and picnics and swims. And I have huge (unrealistic) fantasies about how easy travel will be when three out of the four of us don’t need to be anywhere on Monday morning. So much so that I’ve already booked us on five (5?!) cabin weekends (my parent’s cabin, Adam’s parent’s cabin, the Ely cabin we share with Adam’s cousins and parents) and one camping weekend, and more TBD.

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3. And finally, since we will be spending so much amazing time with the kids, I’d like to hire babysitters more, and have a weekly date or solo time scheduled. We have a hard time hiring babysitters during the school year when we’re already spending more money on childcare and hours away from the girls than we’d like. But we need to refill those wells before fall takes it out of us.

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Last summer the girls grew like weeds and nearly became heathens, but blossomed as well, returning to school with huge vocabularies (Beatrice) and an easy-going nature (Blythe). And most importantly, a strong sense of sisterhood. I can’t wait to see what this summer brings.

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