Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Summer/Ny Times

I don't really want to become a media flog, and I'm tempted for the sake of calm to cancel my ny times subscription for a few months, given that it's so easy to get it online, but: sunday's week in review article about moms and summer camp? Made my blood boil, filled as it was with so many wrong assumptions about family life. It's one of those recurring "what do I do about summer" articles. And the stories are predictable: summer camp is way expensive; if you keep your kids home they're lonely because all the other kids are in camp; how many parents hate summer because it's so stressful to deal with care/camp.

So here's the problem. All the interviews were only with women. Don't any fathers in America tend to their kids' summer camp need? Is summer camp planning only a mom thing? Does the NY Times not know any fathers? Please tell me the answer so I won't just believe in my feminist way that the media is conspiring to keep parenting and child-raising as women's work, thus burdening mothers and depriving fathers.

Second, there's no political analysis. The whole entire rest of the week in review is devoted to political analysis. But the one article on family life is unconcerned with anything other than how individual families make it work. Couldn't the reporter think about what's happened to full-length summer camps, so that parents end up doing a week here and a week there for their kids? Can we talk about school schedules? Can we talk about lack of public support for summer childcare? A lack of community centers, a lack of families who can plan collectively with others? couldn't we imagine a group of five-ten families creating a fun, inexpensive, at-home or at-the-pool summer option for their kids? I don't even know what the right answers are here, and there are different right answers, but these are some questions that could help us start a conversation.

18 comments:

landismom said...

I read that article too, and was pissed with it for the same reasons that you are. My other gripe? I'm not able to find a local, affordable day camp that goes beyond 3:30 p.m. Hello? Some of us work till 5, or even later!

Anonymous said...

I didn't see the article but I totally agree with your observations. This is my first summer back at work after kids and I have an ok set up except for the 2 1/2 weeks in August where camp is done and school hasn't started yet. Of course this does not coincide with the week long vacation planned around my parents 50th anniversary.

jon said...

After we paid for our kids north east summer camp we found it tough to recover! I totally agree with you!

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