School's Out, Camp is In
Mommyologist blogger Mary Fischer lets us in on her working mom summer secrets as part of the Care.com Interview Series
Mary Fischer, the Mommyologist, knows how to have a great New England summer: enjoy a week on Cape Cod, find a great day camp, and just let your kids be kids. While being a work-at-home mom means she and her five-year-old son miss out on a few afternoon outings with friends, Mary finds balance by taking advantage of the outdoors and sneaking in some snuggle time. Fischer shares her tips, tricks and why potty training in the summer is a bad idea.
Tell us about your family. How many kids do you have? What are their ages? What are their personalities like?
I have one son who is almost six years old, and no, I don't plan on having any more kids. I'm "one and done!" My mom always jokes that my little guy is five kids in one, and he totally is. He is extremely social and so smart, and I'm convinced that he will grow up to either be an actor or comedian or both. He's potentially the next Jerry Seinfeld.
What were your childhood summers like? Did you go to camp? Tell us about it.
I was actually the opposite of my outgoing son as a kid. As an only child, I was very introverted and never would've let my parents drop me at a camp with random kids! I do have fond memories of family vacations to Myrtle Beach.
How early do you start planning for summer?
We always plan our weekly trip to the Cape sometime after Christmas, so that's a done deal. However, the rest of my summer isn't too terribly scheduled.
How does your family schedule change in the summer?
Our summer schedule is actually easier and more predictable. Our son goes to camp 5-days a week and absolutely loves it. Every time we pass the school where his camp is held, he blows kisses! He can't wait for summer to get here so he can be a "camper" again.
What are some of your go-to summer activities?
Other than when my son is at camp, we love to just be outside in the yard, go hiking, swimming, or just do day trips together as a family.
What are some rainy day summer activities you do with your kids?
Ughhh...those dreaded rainy days! We love going to the movies, of course, and sometimes we'll even just stay in and play games all day long. Honestly, as busy as we are, sometimes it's nice to have an excuse to stay home and just be together.
Do you hire summer childcare? How do you find the help you need?
I am incredibly lucky in that I work from home and have a very flexible job. My summer child care comes in the form of the camp that I send my son to.
Camp is the best thing ever! The one we use is offered through our town, and I can't say enough good things about it. Our son started going when he was four years old, and the same counselors and kids return every year. He absolutely loves it, and so do we. It's nice to have him somewhere that is so close to home.
Do you have goals for your kids for the summer?
I'm sure some people will think this is awful, but no, I don't have any goals for my son. He's only going to have one childhood, and all I want is for him to enjoy his summer without any added pressures.
Summer is high season for family travel. What are some tips you can give our readers about how to travel with kids?
When it comes to flying, make sure to be over-prepared. You never know when you are going to get stuck sitting on a tarmac for five hours due to thunderstorms. Pack extra snacks, extra diapers, and then have a few surprises for your little one. I usually run to Target or the Dollar Store before a plane trip to pick out books, games, and toys that my son has never seen before. I pull them out on the plane AFTER we take off.
Do you have any funny summer anecdotes?
Perhaps the biggest summer mistake I made was potty training my son during the summer months. It was just so easy to let him go in the yard when he needed to instead of dragging him back into the house and worrying whether he'd make it to the bathroom. Of course, now every summer he thinks he can just drop his pants and go in the yard. It's not cute anymore...
What is your best tip for parents on making the most of summer break?
Personally, I think the best summers are the ones that aren't over-planned. Sure, you will have a schedule and vacations and things like that, but summers are supposed to be lazy and fun. Let your kids be kids, and don't be afraid to take a day here and there to do absolutely nothing. One day you'll be wishing for those days with your kids when you couldn't come up with anything better to do than sit around the house, cuddle, and be in the moment.
Mary Fischer started the blog Mommyologist to provide a go-to place for mothers everywhere. From career woman to stay-at-home mom, to career stay-at-home mom, Mary candidly writes about Momhood in hopes of helping women feel more comfortable in their role as a Mom. You can find Mary on Twitter and Facebook.
Photo used with permission from Mary Fischer.
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