I made a friend of mine jealous today when I ran into her in the checkout line at Target. She was with her daughter and asked where my kids were.
“They’re all at camp this week,” I gloated and then waited for her to tell me that she was envious.
She did, but my self-satisfaction was short lived.
For one thing, my house feels creepy when it’s this quiet. Even my dog is jumpy. For another, I put a lot of pressure on myself to get all kinds of huge tasks completed when my kids are gone for several hours a day. As I write this, a brand-new carpet steamer/cleaner thing (total impulse-buy at Kohl’s) is silently chiding me from the corner of my room for not even reading the instruction manual yet. Time is ticking.
But the biggest reason I can’t let myself just relax and enjoy the mommy alone-time is because of how much it’s costing me.
Ever wonder how much it costs to put three kids in a week of day camp? At least $600, and that’s probably a conservative estimate. Except for church-run camps, it’s tough to find ones that cost less than $250 a week per kid.
No wonder I put pressure on myself to use the time wisely!
And no wonder so many of my friends have said no to camp this year. I admire them for their frugality and ability to stay sane during the dog days of summer.
I need to figure out their secrets.
I’m lucky that I don’t work during the summer so I don’t have to pay to put my kids in camp for weeks at a time. But, I also value my sanity and think camp can be a good enrichment experience for them. So, every winter I start researching, planning and budgeting.
This summer my kids will do two separate weeks of camps. Right now my daughters are in drama camp at a Lutherville church. They come home happy every afternoon and practice the songs they’ll sing in the play at the end of the week. My son is in baseball camp, happily working on his skills.
I know it’s money well spent. I just need to make sure I make the most of it. The new carpet cleaner is calling.