This (several years old) photo is a pretty accurate depiction of how I often feel during the summer: hot, tired, and conquered by my kids. That’s never been more true than this summer in particular.
Their completely packed schedules — tennis, swim team, art class, yoga camp, tutoring — are a product of my own making; in my excitement to resume mostly normal life, I forgot that I should also probably factor in some recovery time.
We’ve been in “go mode” since school ended in May, but professionally, I’ve felt pretty stagnant. And while I’ve only been a parent for 8 years, I’ve been experiencing this summer slump every year since I first started my career in 2007. Maybe it’s because I work mostly with children, and these summer months are typically lighter in terms of my workload, but I still have businesses to run and tasks to be completed.
As is typical for me during the summer, the essential things always get done. And while I usually ride out this slump and get back at it when fall comes knocking, this time around had me feeling restless. I needed…a spark.
And what a summer it was. The year 2020 has been anything but normal, and that applies to my favorite season, as well. Between having my kids home with me 24/7, not traveling at all, and only providing services virtually, it was a…unique experience.
That said, we did all we could to make the best of it. Things like swimming as much as we could (my daughter learned how to swim without floaties this summer!), grilling out several nights each week, spending time with our neighbors, trying new art projects, and taking long bike rides helped keep us busy and for the most part, happy.
And even though it wasn’t my ideal summer, it was still bittersweet to (unofficially) say goodbye to it as Labor Day weekend ended. The weather has already cooled way down and my kids are planning their Halloween costumes; there is no mistaking that fall is upon us.
Life has felt pretty heavy lately. We’re nearing the six-month mark of the COVID-19 pandemic, which means it’s been almost six months since my kids were in school, I was able to do my job as it is meant to be done, we’ve been able to travel…the list goes on and on.
And now that the upcoming school year is upon us, we’re facing hard decisions that will determine what our lives will look like in the second half of this insane year. There is bad news every day, the state of our current government is terrifying, and everything is uncertain.
I’ve also been listening to Taylor Swift’s new album folklore on repeat, which — as INCREDIBLE as it is — doesn’t do much in the way of lifting my spirits. It’s a work of art, but it is a moody and contemplative work of art that has definitely elicited some tears.
All of that to say: I was in dire need of some serious self-care this weekend. That meant *finally* getting some alone time (since during the week while my husband is at work, I’m with my children for 10+ hours/day), and using the first few minutes of said alone time to create a fresh playlist.
This summer has looked very different than I had initially planned, as I’m sure is also true for you. In a normal, non-pandemic world, my kids would be busy with various summer camps and spend one full day each week with their babysitter so that I would have dedicated work time…but this is not a normal, non-pandemic world at the moment.
Instead, the 3 of us have spent each and every day together, mostly at home with some pool days thrown in to keep us all sane. That of course translates into me not getting as much work done (like, barely even a fraction of it) as I had originally hoped, but I’m giving myself grace — as we all should during the year 2020.
That said, I have managed to write and record a few new tunes, as well as breathed new life into a good handful of songs I wrote in my earlier professional years. You can check out all of the latest songs over in the store, but I wanted to feature 3 of them here for you. Hopefully you can get some use out of them as we enter the last full month of summer!
Summer officially begins in just a few days, and yes, we are still virtual. As much as I had hoped that the physical doors of my studio and music therapy private practice, Music Therapy Connections, would be open by now, they are not. The safety of our team and families is our #1 priority, and the risk of COVID-19 still remains too high to resume in-person services.
So we will continue teaching lessons and facilitating music therapy sessions virtually, as well as holding our music classes via livestream. After a 10-week virtual spring music class session, I enjoyed a glorious two week break (during which I celebrated both of my children’s birthdays as well as my own!)…but now it’s time to get back into the swing.
Welcome! I’m Rachel Rambach, board-certified music therapist and creator of Listen & Learn Music — educational songs and musical materials for children. I love sharing my work with you, along with my behind-the-scenes creative process, adventures in business ownership, and life as a mom of two little ones.
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Next month’s music therapy sessions, early childhood groups, or classroom music…planned for you in advance.
Click the image below for this free resource and song collection!