My Love/Hate relationship with summer

standard July 30, 2014 Leave a response

Six weeks into summer break and only one thing is certain. I have developed quite the Love/Hate relationship with summer.

I’m sitting here, at my computer, still in my pajamas, sipping a leisurely second cup of tea. The kids, having just spent a fun hour crafting beads, are now strapping on their brand new (thank you Grandma!) roller blades and pads so they can “practice” skating around the living room.

It’s almost 11am.

This is very much how every morning has gone since school let out back in May.

The kids wake up and have breakfast with M. They turn on the TV and watch their allotted two TV shows of the day while I snooze away with the puppy by my side. When I roll out of bed  they move on to whatever activity catches their fancy that day – dolls, legos, crafting, reading, swinging on the new backyard swing. For the most part they let me have breakfast in peace and when I’m done, they let me move to the office to get some work done.

At some point mid-morning we all get dressed and figure out our plan for the day. Swimming, errands, lunch out, playdate with friends… We’ve done it all.

It has, so far, been absolutely lovely. Exactly the kind of summer I wanted the kids to have.

Lots of down-time. Lots of room for imaginative play. Lots of room even for boredom.

Throw in the fact that it has been unseasonably warm for a Northern California summer, and you pretty much have a recipe for the perfect summer.

Knowing all that, you might wonder, why, with three weeks to go before the start of school, I’m starting to chafe a little under all this summer togetherness.

I mean, clearly, the kids are giving me plenty of space.

And yet…

I haven’t really been alone for more than a few minutes at a time since May. I haven’t been able to change plans midway just because I feel like it. I haven’t felt unwatched in weeks.

I know that there are moms everywhere who live like this year-round. They have toddlers, or they home school. Their kids are always around and they’re laughing at me now. And I get that. I mean, duh, what am I really complaining about here? That my delightful kids are home with me? Oh please. It’s pathetic.

No, what I’m really complaining about is the loss of my routine.

In the noise and the chaos I’m struggling to find myself. I can’t focus on the words. I can’t figure out what I need to do. And at the end of the day, I can’t pinpoint exactly what I’ve accomplished, but I’m way too tired to even try to do anything after they go to bed.

In three weeks I’ll have to get up at a regular time again. Have to get dressed and face the world probably before I even have my first cup of tea. I’ll have to keep my eye on the clock, stay organized and on top of the laundry and the food shopping. I’ll lose the ability to just wing the day, see where it takes us.

But I’ll get the quiet and the structure back.

See? Love/Hate. There’s just no winning, is there?

No shoe summer with quote My Love/Hate relationship with summer

Aloha Also Means Goodbye out in Paperback!

standard July 15, 2014 Leave a response

It’s been a long time coming! But it’s here! It’s here! We had to chase down some errant typos, update the cover with the IPPY silver medal seal,fight the Amazon uploader, but at long last it’s ready and available! And I am SO excited!

I present to you, the award winning Aloha Also Means Goodbye out in paperback! WHOOOT!

Aloha With logo Aloha Also Means Goodbye out in Paperback!

Quick reminder about the story line!

 Jo and Jordan tied the knot five years ago in a mud hut in the middle of Zambia far from all their friends and family. Now they’re in Hawaii for a big wedding vow renewal ceremony elaborately planned by Jo’s mother. There’s just one small issue, something’s wrong with the wedding license issued in Africa and only Jo knows that she wasn’t legally married in Zambia. Enter her old flame, the man she was running from when she met Jordan. He’s on the island and with his two kids, both of whom are named after her. Coming face to face with her past, just as she’s trying to brave her future, forces Jo to make some big decisions. It might even force her to grow up. Luckily she doesn’t have to do any of it on her own; her two best friends are there to hold her hand and help her down the right path. But what path will she choose? Despite all the upheaval and complications, Jo will eventually walk down the aisle to say “I do” to the man who completes her. But will the wedding be the one Jo’s mother planned? Or will it be something much, much better?

With luck the reviews from the Kindle version will soon populate over to the paper version, in the meantime you can see them all by clicking here.

Have you read it yet? Were you just waiting to get it in paper to sink your teeth into the beach read of the year? Lucky you! Your wait is over! Be sure to tell all of your friends!


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The Work At Home Mom Summer Paradox

standard July 9, 2014 5 responses

I had all these grand plans for the summer. I was going to get up at 6:30 to go for a walk/run with the dog before M left for work. I was going to write, write, write, write. So much writing. So many goals. I was going to get my office and myself organized. I was going to go on day trip adventures with the girls.

I had Plans. With a capital P.

I totally felt like having the kids (and the puppy) at home wouldn’t be a hindrance. Instead they would help me stay on track!

Ha. Ha. Double Ha.

They might well be 9 and almost 7. They might well be relatively self sufficient. They might even be more than happy to play somewhere far from my supervisory eye. They’re still there. They still talk, and play, and quibble, and need, need, need.

They might not be in the office with me (most of the time), but their chatter and their singing (oh yes… so much singing) is pervasive and makes it so very hard to get into The Zone. When I do, somehow, manage to get into that elusive productive space, they somehow need something important. You know. Like lunch. Needy little ones.

There’s no winning.

As for the getting up early to walk? Who was I kidding? No, really, was anyone fooled by that declaration? (Even if I did only make it in my head?) Summers are for sleeping in! Duh.

A smart mom would throw in the towel and not even try. A smart mom would put off all of these lofty goals and just relax and enjoy her kids for the next few weeks.

But I am not a smart mom. I am a pig headed mom who wants it all. And who really feels the need to scrape together a few dollars to help the family finances as best as she can.

And frankly, I think the kids deserve a summer where I’m not hovering over their shoulders every second of every day. They SHOULD get to make a mess of their bedrooms, the living room, the kitchen, and the bathrooms. They SHOULD get to use the swing in any creative way that makes sense to them without me cringing and wondering how much the ER visit will run.

DSC 0092 680x1024 The Work At Home Mom Summer Paradox

So I’m going to keep spending my mornings and some of my afternoons sitting at my desk, trying to find my calm writing center, trying to get in touch with my muses, trying to ignore the kids. And when the noise gets to be too much, we’ll duck out and go to swim team practice, or hunt down some fun summer activities and a stray ice cream or two before coming home to try to tame the mess so daddy never has to know just how bad it can get.

DSC 0058 680x1024 The Work At Home Mom Summer Paradox

What? Your swim team practice doesn’t feature wine? That makes me sad for you.

I’m sure I’ll get used to having them be home non stop just a few days before school starts.

And then I’ll have to spend weeks getting used to the silence again.