For Working Parents, Summer is Anything But “Carefree”

It’s a childcare headache of massive proportions

Kerala Taylor
7 min readJun 6, 2023

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Photo by Kampus Production/Pexels

The countdown to summer has begun. My children are giddy. Ten weeks glimmer ahead of them, weeks that will entail generous doses of sand and chlorine and popsicles. Evenings that linger. Bare feet and the crackle of campfires.

When I was a child, my parents shared in the giddiness, too. They were both teachers. For them, summer also meant a well-deserved break, a change in rhythm, a chance to recuperate from nine intensive months of corralling, comforting, confronting, and coaching dozens upon dozens of children while also attending to their snot, blood, and tears.

It never occurred to me that when I grew up, I might lose summer. Not that summer would disappear altogether, but that it would merely present itself with the same lack of fanfare as any other season. Maybe I could coax out a weeklong vacation or a weekend trip, but my daily routine would remain more or less the same. So would my weekday wardrobe, as office buildings, I would soon learn, are typically chilled to temperatures that require winter sweaters.

Fresh out of college, as the realities of the working world were dawning on me, I was determined to claim my last summer. My sister and I embarked on a five-week journey to South…

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Kerala Taylor

Award-winning writer. Interrupting notions of what it means to be a mother, woman, worker, and wife. Subscribe: https://keralataylor.substack.com