I had a very difficult summer last year. My nanny went away for a month and my cleaning help left. It was extremely challenging. I vowed to change things this year to make sure it will be a great summer.
We had a wonderful couple spend Shabbos with us this past weekend. They had an almost 3 year old and a 1 year old. Over lunch we got into a heated conversation about their difficult dilemma of where to send their oldest child to school next year. They had 3 choices and we spoke about the pros and cons of each school from tuition to education philosophy to the types of children that go to the different schools.
I guess after hearing parents talking so passionately about the education of their 3 year old, I somehow felt I needed to have that same passion and put it into our summer plans.
I decided that I needed to take my kids away for the summer to be in a Jewish summer day camp with other Jewish kids. Now, I can safely say that we live in one of the most beautiful places in the world, but nevertheless, I decided that we NEED to do this, even though there is an insane amount of planning (and money) that would be needed. I decided that staying here and having to entertain them for the summer would be disastrous, based on my last experience.
I decided to drive myself absolutely nuts as well as anyone who would be willing to listen to this terrible dilemma of mine of how I HAVE to go away for the summer and how the kids HAVE to be in day camp.
I didnt once stop to think that my darling nanny, my right hand lady, will be here this year. All summer long. And my new cleaning help lives down the block and is now a part of the family.
In the summer, my kids are outside all day, every day. We swim at home or we can go to the neighborhood pool. We go to the beach, we go to the park and we live in a hot tourist spot so outdoor activities are endless.
My kids are fabulous at entertaining themselves and love to play together for hours. Not once have they EVER asked me to go anywhere, not even on an airplane. They don't have a clue what day camp is but I DECIDED that they NEEDED it.
I think that if we stay home, they will have a wonderful summer. I also think that I need to realize when it makes sense to stress out and when its self imposed. And when it makes sense to go away. Like when they are a little bit older and can truly appreciate the trip.
My oldest is 7 and is dying to go to Lego Land. I would have these pangs of guilt of how this poor child (who has more then a 7 year old could ever need) cant go to Lego Land because his younger siblings are all too young for the trip.
But you know something. Lego Land will be there when he is 8, 9, 10. And I am sure he will love it when he does get to go.
But as moms, and I am sure many of you can relate to this, we tend to take on self imposed stress. Some things make sense to stress over (Pesach cleaning, making sure the house is ready for Shabbos when its starting in an hour, etc.) and some things we just put on ourselves and its not fair to us or anyone around us.
So after much thought and many conversations with family and friends, I realize that yes, it will be nice one day for them to go to a Jewish day camp but now is just not the time, and that's okay. My kids are very happy and content and I need to look at what IS, not what I think should be. And if what IS is pretty great, then live and let live.
Wishing you all a stress free and wonderful week,