Families is powered by Vocal creators. You support Wendy Etter by reading, sharing and tipping stories... more

Families is powered by Vocal.
Vocal is a platform that provides storytelling tools and engaged communities for writers, musicians, filmmakers, podcasters, and other creators to get discovered and fund their creativity.

How does Vocal work?
Creators share their stories on Vocal’s communities. In return, creators earn money when they are tipped and when their stories are read.

How do I join Vocal?
Vocal welcomes creators of all shapes and sizes. Join for free and start creating.

To learn more about Vocal, visit our resources.

Show less

Summer Break

Exciting and overwhelming!

My view while updating daily class starter slides

From the Saturday before Memorial Day until the first day of August, I get a taste of what it is like to be a stay-at-home mom. My day job—middle school teaching—is on summer break. Many people think teaching is an easy job and we shouldn’t complain about our job because of the time off, but it’s that time off when we have to catch up other parts of our lives we couldn’t invest as much in during the school year—momming and wife-ing!


I have two daughters—eight and three. Both are beautiful and intelligent. They each have hearts of gold and are going to do great things! Summertime for the 8-year-old meant summer camps and a trip to Disney World for Nationals in Gymnastics! She is also an 8-year-old—just starting to connect the dots on how things work in the world, and that can be exciting and overwhelming at the same time.

For the 3-year-old, we have finally conquered wearing “big girl” panties and are speaking clearer. She is learning she can do more and more by herself, which can also be exciting and overwhelming.

We’ve eaten a lot of popsicles, swam in the pool two to three times weekly, and slept past 6 AM. Both girls have grown a couple of inches—I think my 8-year-old literally grew overnight. We bought shorts and two weeks later, they were too small! Speaking of overnight—my 3-year-old decided she could wear big girl panties Monday morning... Praise the Lord!!

At the beginning of the summer, I was excited about all we could do this summer since I wasn’t working. About last week—beginning of July—I realized how overwhelmed I was trying to decompress from the school year and do the mom thing. Regardless, I choose to focus on the excitement of momming through the summer. I mean, a mother-daughter trip to Disney World and current snuggle time with my toddler, I can’t complain one bit. Some working moms never get this time. 


My husband is awesome! Before my eyes are open, ever since I was pregnant with our first child, he brings me coffee and breakfast in bed daily. He is a great partner in parenting our girls. My husband also owns a golf course... yeah... OWNS it (Who buys a golf course at 36? Crazy, right)!

When we met, I knew nothing about golf other than my uncle had a set of clubs in his garage. About two months after we were married, I learned what the phrase “Golf Widow” meant—especially in the warm months. This means my teacher downtime in the summer is his busiest time. Yep, there it is—the overwhelming part.

This means scheduling a family vacation is tough, though most years we manage it. This year, due to the traveling with my oldest and a few other date conflicts, our vacation is being pushed back to fall break. That’s okay, though. It will be a better time for him to step away from the business.

But, I digress...

Summer Teacher Wife means I have time and energy to actually get dressed up and fix my hair decently when we can go out to eat. I get to cook more of his favorite meals and even not mind if he takes some downtime for himself instead of the usual tag team parenting routine. Summer brings one of my favorite weekends when I get to be his wife and dress up in cute outfits and go to local charity golf tournament dinners! People actually call me by my first name there!

Momming and Wife-ing:

Summer Break also means catching up on home projects, checking in on our health (lots of appointments we can’t get in without missing work), and even checking in on our financial health. Today, I bought paint for two bookcases for my classroom and repainting my daughter’s bedroom. We’ll complete both of those projects within the next week, while also getting in some family time, beating this southern heat poolside and with more popsicles. Again, exciting and overwhelming.

I guess we stay in this state of “exciting and overwhelming” year round, just like we balance teaching and families. A couple of years ago, in trying to balance both, I had to decide which ones would be around when I was elderly and needy... the answer was easy: my personal children. However, my school children know once they are mine, they are always mine. My husband has helped me manage both my excitement and overwhelmed feelings, so when I can, I try to help take some burden off of him. Either way, I’m extremely blessed at my lot in life. 

Now Reading
Summer Break
Read Next
Breaking the Silence