Summer Starts Early For Me

I work part-time on a college campus, where I meet individually with students. Because I only meet with students, (meaning I don’t work on side projects, events, or even attend staff meetings), my work schedule is determined by student traffic into our office. If the demand for student appointments goes down, I don’t have any work. Therefore, I don’t work during the summer, spring break, or the six-week holiday break. And starting in April. the demand for students appointments drops precipitously. (Thus, I started this blog and am writing this very post from work.)  Therefore, I’m working this week and next week, before officially starting my summer break. This happens every year, and every year I greet it with a mix of joy (no 5:40am wake-ups!) and dread (lack of structure is hard for me). To make it easier on myself and my family this year, I’m putting together a list of summer goals. Here’s what I have so far:

  1. Create a realistic monthly budget, with just my husband’s income. (I earn small amounts of income throughout the summer through “side hustles”, but nothing constant or significant.) Include some budget for summer activities that aren’t free, so I don’t feel guilty every time we do one of them. At the same time, learn about more great free and cheap activities in our area. (Note: I’m talking mainly about activities for our daughter here.) And by all means, stick to the budget!!
  2. Develop structure for my days home with our daughter. We have an only child, and while she can be great at independent play, she also looks to my husband and me for entertainment. She’ll be attending camp five mornings per week for five weeks, so I need to create some structure for our afternoons and non-camp weeks together. Otherwise, I end up feeling like I’m not accomplishing anything, and she gets bored and whiny. Not a  good combination!
  3. Read at least two (library!) books each month. Before my daughter was born, I was an active member of two book clubs and enjoyed reading tremendously. I still love reading, but I’ve stuck primarily with magazines since becoming a parent. I think this has in large part to do with my love of completing things, and it’s been much easier to commit to completing magazines than books. (All of my magazine subscriptions are obtained for free using Recyclebank and survey rewards, BTW.) But I plan to make “quiet time” a part of my daughter and my summer schedule, and will use some of it for reading.
  4. Stock my freezer with meals that I can use once I return to work in the fall and life becomes crazy again. I’ll focus more on this during the latter half of my summer break, and will use the first half to research and test healthy and affordable recipes.

What are some of your summer goals? What do you think of mine?


4 thoughts on “Summer Starts Early For Me

  1. Patricia says:

    I hate to sound negative here, but I have to question the 5 week camp for a four year old when you are home. If this camp is not free then it needs to be cut. Please research free activities (libraries, church Bible schools, etc.) for her and put some effort into a free outing for the two of you weekly (going to a different park and watching her play on the swings, cooking lessons with Mom, ). I garentee she will love spending time with you and you being the great Mom you are, plus, you will be much more relaxed when this debt is gone.

    • Thanks for the suggestions, Patricia. The camp is important to us because I’m considering taking on a p/t opportunity this summer, and I’ll need childcare for my daughter to do so. It’s cheaper than other childcare options in our area. Plus, it’s already been paid for – cash!

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