Don't get me wrong. We play in the pool quite a bit in our "off hours," but my kids don't have the typical summer vacation. They go to work with me each and every day, and they help. Like truly help. We don't travel to far-off lands or exotic places, and though I don't think they'd turn down the opportunity to do so, my kids actually think they're lucky to be working all summer.
We don't travel during the summer because our clients do. As a professional pet sitter and work-from-home-mom, when the kids are out of school, they accompany me–aka free child labor–on my visits. They generally know my schedule, and they know all of the creatures in the lineup, so if we're seeing some of their favorites, they'll often be dressed before 5 a.m., ready to make the rounds.
This week is particularly fun because we're looking after one of our favorite animal families. They have a dog, a cat, two horses, and three chickens, and my kids wouldn't let me leave them behind for anything.
Sometimes I feel like my kids are deprived because they don't get to do much of what their friends are doing over the summer, but then I review the pictures and see their enthusiasm and realize that putting them to work for the summer doing something they love while spending time together is just as valuable.
It's like our own private petting zoo, all summer long.