I know summer doesn’t officially start until June 21, but at my house, summer starts Memorial Day weekend (hence the blog's new color scheme). My husband’s busy season at work picks up as soon as the grass turns green (or earlier, depending on his projects), but it gets really crazy starting Memorial Day weekend. Like, seven-days-a-week-crazy. His days are long, his job is hard and free time and trips away from the farm are nonexistent.
That’s when I’m pretty much on my own. In summer, all of the household jobs become mine, I plan and cook just about every meal myself instead of the two of us taking turns and I do all of the grocery shopping. (I made shopping for groceries a boy job earlier this year, since I work, too.) It’s always been tough, and it’s even harder with Nathan in the picture. Taking care of Nathan is mostly my domain, but my husband helps out as much as he can, especially during his off-season. But now it’s all up to me.
I remember our first summer here, the summer before we were married. I was planning our early September wedding, gardening like it was my full-time job, working full-time, taking care of meals and every aspect of the house—being a good little housewife before I was even a wife—and I nearly broke down at the end of the summer from the stress of it all. (I’m sure that breakdown had something to do with the wedding, which was just a week away.) All I know is that after the season is over, I breathe a deep sigh of relief and feel like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders.
I imagine lots of moms take on all these same jobs and maybe some of you are saying boo-frickin-hoo, but it is hard doing everything myself and going everywhere alone (with Nathan, of course). Family gatherings and dinners don’t include my husband during the summer months; it’s a given he won’t be able to attend. (And often the rest of the year, too, thanks to bad luck, bad timing or both.) We don’t get to go anywhere as a family and don’t get to spend much time together, period. I can’t leave Nathan with him while I go shopping for an hour our two by myself, let alone to run down the street to get milk.
There are no hot days spent at the community pool or picnic lunches on weekends. Forget about summer vacations or trips to the shore. He gets no days off. And like I said, I work, too, so now I’m doing it all. In short, summer is like a four-letter word around here.
So I spent one day this weekend visiting my parents and brother and the rest of the time gardening, cleaning, getting my house back in order after the great washing machine flood of 2011 and playing outside with Nathan. And of course knitting and crafting and cleaning while he sleeps.
|My summer squash have little buds on them already.|
|I finally planted my tomatoes, several weeks late thanks to lots of rain.|
I started taking down my spring decorations and putting out the summer ones.
|The window stars on my kitchen window are from the Harvest Moon by Hand Etsy shop, and I love them! When the sun shines in around 5-6 p.m., my favorite time of the afternoon, they seem to glow. They look amazing.|
|My vases are waiting for the hundreds of cut flowers I expect to get from my cutting garden.|
I also spent some time thinking about how I can make this summer different, less stressful and more fun than previous summers.
This year I’m going to try to stay as relaxed as possible and try to just go with the flow. It’s something I’ve been working on since Nathan was born—I was more Type A than I’d realized—and I think I’m getting better at letting go and letting what will happen happen. To a point.
And I’ll also revel in the good things about summer and remember why I’ve always loved it so much. We get to spend more time outdoors, walking, relaxing and eating (I love eating meals outside!). I love gardening, harvesting my own fresh veggies and bringing in my own cut flowers. And swimming!!! This family looooooves to swim, and we steal what little moments we can to jump in the pool, even if we only have 20 minutes together to spare.
So even though summer is difficult and we have to make efforts to spend time together as a family, it has its rewards… It’s a strange dichotomy. And now I’m in the thick of it!