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Saturday, October 24, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Family

Mama Bear Moxie: End of School Year Blues

UPDATED: Fri., May 31, 2019

By Kristina Phelan For The Spokesman-Review

The end of the school year is a busy time. My kids get out of school at the end of May, which makes the month seem to fly by.

I am a work-at-home mom who writes for clients at my corner office. When I say corner office, I really mean a desk that is shoved into the corner of our craft/guest room.

It never fails that I start to feel this suffocating anticipation as the school year winds down and I know that summer is coming. Every year I find myself trying to squeeze as much personal time into my work week because I know that my work schedule and beloved “me” time will be gone once school is out.

I start to worry about what I am going to do with the three kids home every day. I try to think of ways that I can help minimize the sibling fights ahead of time. My kids may be going to the same school location every day (our tiny school is K-12), but they don’t necessarily spend the day together. Summer is always a bit too much of everyone for everybody in the house.

It’s not that I dread summer. I choose to work at home because I want the freedom to be here when the kids need me. I want to be home during the summer but I also want to continue working.

Just as my kids are counting down the days of school with glee, I find myself catching my breath with the reality that life is going to change in the same number of days. The quiet that I experience all year long will be gone, and I will need to figure out how to continue working amid the chaos.

Even if a mom’s job is taking care of the children and family, having the kids home from school can feel overwhelming. It’s so tough to love someone so much that you will burst but also need space from them at the exact same time.

I am a firm believer that my kids need some downtime. They need to be able to sleep in, watch cartoons and relax. However, I am also very aware that my children are used to schedules. They go to school with teachers who have set lesson plans and are a bit addicted to being told what to do.

I know that my daughter will want a schedule of things we are doing each day. I, too, like schedules, but being at home during the summer means learning how to take the day as it comes with a little bit of planning.

As summer starts, I’ll welcome my kiddos home with open arms and a lot of deep breathing. It’s going to be OK.

Visit Kristina Phelan’s website at

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