‘The last weeks before the summer holidays are all stress’

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While most parents can’t wait for weeks of summer vacation, mom and blogger Rachel Garlinghouse can’t wait for her kids to get a day off from school. “Those last few weeks are way too stressful.”


As soon as spring arrives, Rachel is exhausted. “The other day I couldn’t even remember what I ate for lunch a few hours ago and what day of the week it was,” she describes on her blog. The reason: the busy, hectic last weeks of the school year. ‘The end of year party starts at my children’s school at the end of April and lasts until the last day. And in between there is something special that is organized every day. And if I’m honest, I’m done with it.’

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Rachel longs for the old days when she was in school herself. ‘The end of the school year was very relaxed then. We watched movies with the teachers and helped organize things and clean the blackboard. And on the very last day there was a party in the schoolyard. Why can’t it be the same at my children’s school? Why does everything have to be so extensive and according to a fixed schedule these days?’


With four kids, Rachel’s schedule is packed with special events, field trips, and other things organized at school. “Almost impossible to keep up with,” she says. ‘Moreover, many parents are unable to participate when asked to do so. Some work outside the home, others at home – like me – and have no family nearby to look after.’

Normally, Rachel is a control freak when it comes to organizing and preparing. “Except in April,” she sighs. ‘I let the children do more and more for themselves, from choosing clothes to making their lunch. And if there’s a note to sign for school, Dad will do it. I can’t wait for the summer and the holidays, until this stress is over.’

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