Look up "burnout" in the dictionary and you may just find a picture of a Mom during the last week of summer "break." School starts tomorrow for us, and it is rescuing my working career. For the last week, my daughter didn't have any scheduled activities, and I couldn't get any work done. (I didn't even get to blog last week, which I really missed.) I have ended up feeling pretty angry at our traditional, agriculturally-derived school calendar. Sign us up for year-round school! The three-month break means that parents have to scramble to assemble a patchwork quilt of activities to cover the working day. Many of the summer activities were fun, but when my daughter went to her second-grade open house on Friday, I could see just how much she'd missed her class.
What makes me angry rather than sentimental about summer break, is that it's pretty clear that someone's work day is going to be compromised during the summer. In many two-parent families, that will be Mom. In single-parent families, the need for work-day coverage is even greater.
Our family had some wonderful travels during the summer, but three weeks off would have been enough for me. As the next phase of my work evolves with the founding of the Mojo Center for Women's Leadership, the summer schedule bonks me in the forehead as one impediment of women's career progress.
Look for more postings to the Mojo Blog this week. We're back in business!