Home > Parenting, Work > My Summer Staycation

My Summer Staycation

staycationstoryvoI’ve been on vacation for two weeks. I’ve always felt my best vacations have been those spent in the homes of friends in unfamiliar places. Exploring a strange place with the safety net of familiar friends and a cozy guest room makes for the perfect combination. Unlike hotel or cruise ship vacations (which have charms of their own), the “home away” vacation lets me live someone else’s life, if only for a week or two.  There was the time I experienced life as a well-heeled, work-at-home mom in Miami. Or the three bucolic weeks I lived in a 350-year old stone house in the Hudson Valley. I’ve stayed in mid-century moderns in LA, grand brick colonials in Virginia, suburban McMansions, townhouses in Twickenham, flats in small Russian cities you’ve never heard of. The common thread: the warmth of the people opening their doors to us – home truly is where the heart is.

Home is also where I spent this vacation. Yes, I “stay-cationed.” My husband was in Russia visiting elderly relatives, I was at home working the summer camp/swim team/taekwondo circuit with my 6 year-old son. And loving every single minute of it. As with those other vacations, I got a glimpse of another life: mine, as a work-at-home mom. I was in touch with the office, monitoring email and Twitter constantly, even coming in one day for an important meeting.  But I was also present at every swim team practice, every meet, every play date. I got to catch up with a couple of moms in town I really enjoy – on the playground, at the pool, at the Dunkin Donuts. I felt connected to my town in a way I haven’t in a long time.

Sure, my laptop was my accessory (good thing mine is pimped out with a groovy new Gelaskin). I whipped that baby out whenever I had down time — editing presentations in the lobby of the martial arts studio, pruning my email inbox at the local coffee joint before camp pick-up. I took time to do something for this much-abused body of mine, too, hitting the local pool for good, hard mile-long swims; even hauling myself back to the gym where I was greeted by not one by three employees with a too-boisterous, “Haven’t seen YOU in a while!”

In other words, I was balanced. I was making it all work. I was taking care of things and people that needed to be cared for – and I was even taking care of me. I go back to the office tomorrow. Thanks to a few pretty serious emails that came in over the weekend, I already feel this fragile equilibrium slipping.  

Stay tuned for further dispatches from the Working Mom Teeter-Totter.

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Categories: Parenting, Work Tags: , ,
  1. Geri
    July 19, 2009 at 10:30 pm

    Stephanie,
    As always, a great post. You always give me hope of what my life could/should be and I’m inspired by you!

  2. July 19, 2009 at 10:39 pm

    This is a great post! I think it is hard to balance it all especially when working full time! Good luck! Things will balance each other out eventually. Just gotta get back in your groove 🙂

  3. July 20, 2009 at 10:41 pm

    I so aspire to be as balanced as you. My daughter is 3 1/2 and just starting to venture out on her own (camp full day) Often now I don’t know what to do with myself. I guess it is a transition from being the f/t stay at home to easing back into p/t working mom. I can’t wait to be an adult again I feel so befudled sometimes, ok most of the time. I think this is from too much Elmo and Dora

    • ssmirnov
      July 21, 2009 at 1:48 pm

      Thanks, Melissa, I may seem balanced but it doesn’t ever feel quite that way. I keep telling myself the grass is always greener, that if in fact I did work at home I’d probably go nuts…stay at home isn’t an option…but work away from home feels like it’s killing me sometimes. But I also know it’s not just me, we all have our challenges. Writing about it helps.

  4. thesisterproject
    July 21, 2009 at 2:05 pm

    This paints a lovely portrait of you – of us all – as we struggle to be all those women we are. Thanks for the true appreciation of time spent at home. It is a welcome relief amid all the dizzying posts we read about all the other glorious places we could be. No place like home. You bet. Thanks again.

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