Summer Vacation Survival Plans

Confession: Today is the sixth day of summer vacation and I’m already over it.

Don’t get me wrong. The Button and Murmel are great. They’re funny and fun and just spent five minutes blowing raspberries on my exposed belly while giggling like fiends. Unbearable cuteness, slightly slobbery, also I’m sort of amazing by how pale I am. Of course, when they were done with that, they proceeded to fight over the Wii remote, because Murmel wanted to play Just Dance and The Button wanted to play Kirby and Murmel didn’t “ask nicely” and then The Button said it still wasn’t nice enough and then she scratched him with her toenail (note to self, cut her toenails) and then he licked her arm and well…..

…how does anyone get any work done around here?

I’ve got a blog post I want to write on how to manage social media faux pas, and it’s been backburnered because in order to be wise and advice filled, I need to be able to focus. For longer than it takes to type three sentences. Even writing this is chancing that it’ll make no sense and you’ll be struggling to figure out what I meant, because I got up four time to break up two fights, retie Murmel’s dress and pour one cup of milk.

Self employed or work at home moms feel my pain, right? All the things we want to be, piled up on top of each other. My kids have had work from home parents since the day they were born, and so they’re used to this, and have some awesome independence skills – for the most part, they’re content to play together or alone, while I work in the same room as they do and enjoy that initially idyllic image of self employment as a parent that I’d envisioned – a beautiful office connected to a sprawling playroom, where I can work while they play, taking over the world with my big business plans, all while being perfectly put together in my sassy work from home mom clothes.

I’ll wait for you to stop laughing.

I’m sitting on a couch that has seen better days, and the dog won’t stop chasing the geriatric cat around. Something in my immediate vicinity smells funny. I’m in jeans and a t-shirt, my usual uniform. My kids are in the living room with me, while their playroom sits ignored. They’re playing, which is awesome, but I’m pretty sure someone’s going to get smoked in the head with a Wii remote because they’re dancing waaaay too close together.Summer Vacation Survival Plan

And you know, I sort of love it? I love that I get to be here at all, instead of in an office downtown, while they hang with a nanny or in a dayhome. The blessing is apparent, but it’s easy to lose sight of.

It’s that thing that eludes all of us – balance. Does it even exist? I can’t give everything to everyone all the time, so something suffers. Sometimes I write blog posts in five minute spurts and sometimes I forget to pour a cup of milk until my 6 year old drags the 4 litre jug out of the fridge and sets it down on the table beside me. There’s something freeing in reminding myself that that’s okay. That I don’t have to be everything to everyone all the time, because I can’t be, and trying to be is a surefire path to burnout.

How’s the start of summer vacation going for the rest of you mamas? Any survival plans? (Ours, by the way, is summer camp which starts next week, paired with evening work and a few days of bringing in an awesome babysitter.)

Stephanie Ostermann

I’m the sort of girl who you meet for coffee and end up pouring your entire heart out to. The friend you come to when you need someone to call it straight. No bullshit. No extras. Just truth.

I’m a communicator. That’s a PC way of saying I like to talk, but I also spend a lot of my time listening, and over the years, I’ve developed a sense for subtext – how one or two words can change your entire message, what people are really trying to say and how to weave the varied layers of your story into one cohesive brand message that your clients fall in love with.

When I'm not acting as editor in chief for Vivid & Brave, you can find me geeking out over words here.

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