This has been my first summer working a real, honest-to-goodness jobby-job since bringing home a baby in December 2003.  See photo above for a representation of how I’ve been handling it.

Last summer I began freelancing for Nickelodeon’s ParentsConnect, and this January I accepted an editor position with this premier, entertaining and REAL parenting site. I get to work for a major media company and write for a website that meshes with my “skills” from home (while still maintaining my blog)…a dream come true. 

Sidenote: I’m hosting a prize-filled online party over on Nickelodeon’s ParentsConnect TODAY, Tuesday August 24 from 11:59am-11:59pm ET. We’re giving away toys and back-to-school prizes! It will be fun. Join me, please, this is the link with details on how to party with me and win!

So the last three months have been all about balancing the taking care of the kids when they’re out of school with an almost full-time job. But stupidly, I thought I could handle this summer just like I have the others.

I signed the kids up for swimming lessons, planned weekly outings and playdates, organized my church’s vacation Bible school. I planned for family to visit us and to host them with fun meals and outings during their stays. I attended the BlogHer Conference as a speaker, attendee and ambassador for the Huggies Every Little Bottom program (I’ll be posting a run-down of that experience with lots of giveaways of cool products soon!). I accepted an assignment from The Washington Post on August activities for kids and families while camps are out and school’s not in.

I DID sign the kids up for some camps.

Another sidenote: Summer day camps I personally, highly recommend to you all for next year:

I also hired a teenage babysitter to watch the kids and take them to the pool and keep them entertained/away from the TV for 10-20 hours per week. She was great, drove and the kids adored her. (NO, you CAN’T have her number. Sorry. She’s MINE.) But the sitter had her own family vacations and summer activity commitments and was not full-time, so I still had a great deal of child care/career juggling.

And after all that juggling, now I’m jiggling. Because with a summer like this we ate a lot of take-out burritos and grabbed breakfast at Starbucks and evil donut establishments that end in an apostrophe. And although my rail-thin, leanly-muscled (thanks Daddy for the awesome gene pool) and hyperactive (um, that genetic trait was from Mom) kids look ripped after a summer of swimming and running around, I barely worked out. OK, I’ll just say it: I never worked out.  But did that keep me from wearing a swimsuit AND drinking beer AND eating popsicles like it was my job? Nope.

Yup, this is the post where I sound like one of those people trying to one-up everyone else on how busy I am, cut with a small amount of self-deprecating humor about the droopiness of my ass. And where I reveal myself as a pampered stay-at-home mom who now is whining that she gets paid to BLOG and write fun stuff FROM HOME who should just shush. But let’s just get this out of the way now: I am a total jerk. There, I said it for you. We are agreed.

But it’s mainly my annual post where I’m utterly worn out by the amount of work that falls to parents in the summer who are used to the child care routine of school.

And it’s my annual ode to all the working moms out there who have been multi-tasking like this FOR YEARS, and when I ask them

HOW HAVE YOU WORKING MOTHERS BEEN LIVING LIKE THIS????

How have you been taking care of your families, yourselves, your careers, your homes, your marriages/romantic relationships, your friendships, your familial relationships? Because I have SUCKED at all of mine. I was supposed to host the get-together of my book club. IN MAY. I call my mom back…after she leaves THREE messages. Barely hanging on as it is, I’m utterly FLOORED by natural disasters and any change in the routine. I have four inches of mousey-brown/gray showing at my roots. We haven’t even had a proper housewarming party for our friends since moving into our new home…one year ago. I’m being stalked by every health care professional in the county for our family to obtain their annual check-ups. The fridge is a wasteland and the cupboard only houses one stale box of cereal that no one likes and a sweet potato sporting a seven-inch growth.

This, from a chick who used to bake her own biscotti.  Plan a fancy-schmancy dinner every night.  Organize outings for my mom’s club. Wait on the front steps for Daddy to come home from work looking all pretty while the kids ran around catching fireflies in Mason jars like it’s freaking Mayberry.

So working parents, I worship you. I’m not even a full-fledged, 40-hour week member of your ranks, and I still suck at this.

And you know who else I worship? TEACHERS.

I cannot wait for school to start.

A Parent in Silver Spring will resume regular postings Monday – Friday after Labor Day. Until then, please expect the sporadic two-three times a week drivel you’ve been receiving all summer long.