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Stay-at-Home Parent: Camp or No Camp?
You’re a parent who decided to stay home with your children. Many
factors are to be considered when a parent decides to stay home full-time: family
budget, school routines, the other parent’s work schedule, household
responsibilities and more.
Summer camp is another factor that has been added to the list of things to do. How does a parent entertain their child for eight weeks every summer? Every situation is different and long gone are the days when kids used to just play outside from morning until night while moms trusted the neighborhood to look after her kids. Our reality has definitely evolved since adults and children are constantly plugged into their devices.
Stay-at-home parents face a reality that is not always easy. As school-aged children grow up, the stay-at-home parent may find summers even more challenging since he/she has to constantly entertain their child and perhaps more than one child. It can be hard to find activities to do that are suitable and fun for more than one child in the household. Camps structure their activities around the child’s age group. There are even themed camps out there that can help children develop their interests in new activities and explore new talents. Camp is also a nice escape from the usual school routine and children attending camp like to go to camp to socialize with kids in their own age group.
Karin Derderyan was a stay-at-home Laval mom who now works from home while her children attend school. She also works from home in the summer, and although her children are older, she also finds it hard to keep them busy and off their devices. Camp was the solution to entertain them. She also does not have a swimming pool or activities in the backyard to have them constantly playing outdoors. She also suggests that having a pool requires supervision and it can be hard for a mom to stay outdoors every day with the children.
As for the ‘mom guilt’ of sending your children to camp while you’re a stay-at- home mom, Derderyan offers some advice. “I never felt guilty, even when I wasn't working,” she says. “Camp is good for them, they make new friends, they socialize, they play, they learn. My kids loved it! Plus, you don't have to send them to camp eight weeks in a row. You can send them to one place for two weeks, keep them home another week, and then pick another camp for another two weeks.”
Some stay-at-home parents may want to keep their children home most of the summer but sending them to camp for two weeks allows the stay-at-home parent to have a much needed break, and keeps children entertained.
“I think that fact can lessen a stay-at-home mom's guilt,” says Derdervan. “Plus, where does it say, that as a stay at home mom you have to be involved with the kids 24/7 during summer? I think a lot of the guilt moms feel is due to the judgment they receive from other moms.”
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