Mom’s summer schedule | Living with Gleigh

I suppose it was going to backfire at some point; that is, my desire to get my teen daughters out of the house to be productive members of society this summer. Last summer I had the brilliant idea of making them a schedule to follow every day and it ruined my summer and their summer too. So I have to say I’m glad they have legitimate activities of their own this summer. But somehow it is making me busier than ever.

I've just been reviewing my calendar to figure out what my summer will look like and it looks like I'll be spending much of it in my car driving my kids around to the events that make them productive members of society. Be careful what you wish for I guess.

I always look forward to summer; getting out of the routine, kicking back, not rushing, not having to coordinate and juggle schedules. But this summer that is exactly what I'll be doing and more. At least when they are in school, I have a definite six hours of time during my day and only need to coordinate after school schedules. This summer I feel like I’ll be working split shifts as I drop one off, pick one up, drop off again, pick up again.

My oldest is getting ready to go to Japan on an exchange student program for two weeks. As parents, we all know even though she is seventeen and is perfectly capable of packing by herself, she won’t be the instigator of gathering clothing, purchasing presents for her host family, making sure she has everything, including her passport and plane ticket. Those tasks will be in my court, as well as managing the endless lists I’ve suggested my daughter make so she can manage these tasks on her own.

Besides getting ready for her trip to Japan, she's trying to get a few hours of work in at the art studio she helps at before she leaves. She’s not driving yet so it takes coordination on my part, although my own mother is helping at the same art studio and is transporting her. For that I’m grateful, but I do have to make sure my daughter gets out of bed and showered by the time my mother shows up.

My youngest has a babysitting job all summer, which will require some help from me with transportation. I don’t know if it’s crazy, but I’m so happy she has a way to earn some money, that I told her employer that I would pick her daughter up at the pool. My daughter will walk her there then walk home, but I’ll need to pick up my daughter’s charge after the lesson and drop them both off at the girl’s house. The mom of the girl is a close friend of mine, so I don’t mind for that aspect, but it’s another task I must juggle for the summer.

When my oldest returns home she will be starting Driver's Ed - three days a week, for the rest of the summer, plus her driving instruction time. I'm thrust into what that means for me and find it kind of ironic that I'll need to drive her to Driver's Ed and pick her up. I know she doesn't know how to drive yet, so I've not been taken by surprise with that task, I just hadn't bridged the gap in my head of how much time it would take me.

I have, however, given her dad the job of getting in the five hours of driving the driving school wants her to have before she starts classes. Teaching a child to drive who has never driven anything before is a task in itself. After taking her out driving a couple times, I decided it was too much stress for me on top of coordinating everyone’s summer schedule, including getting my daughter and husband out of the house to go drive. I'm just hoping my husband gets my daughter out of the church parking lot and on to an actual road a few times before she leaves for Japan.

Then, before I know it, they will be back in school and my summer will be over. I'll probably need the break.

Gretchen Leigh is a stay-at-home mom who lives in Covington. She is committed to writing about the humor amidst the chaos of a family. You can read her column every week and  more of her writing and her daily blog on her


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