There were a few articles going around earlier in the spring about how you only have 18 summers with your kids. Eighteen summers to discover, explore, barbecue, travel, camp, splash at splash pads, swing at the park, roast marshmallows, swim … so, you know, you better make the best of it.
While I can understand the sentiment (make every moment count!), all it really does it make moms feel guilty when they don’t.
Newsflash: Your kids don’t just disappear after 18 years. Trust me, you’ll have a hard time getting rid of them. Kids stick to you like Cheerios dried to the inside of a cereal bowl.
Also, the reality is you don’t even get 18. You’ll find that out when your 16-year-old gets a job, a girlfriend, and a license, and you’re scrambling to plan a family day at the amusement park around his schedule.
But even before you get to that point, you need to know it’s actually impossible to enjoy every single waking moment of summer with your kids. I tried but the splash pad did me in. The first couple of times were great, but by about the 20th, my eyes would glaze over as I waited for one of my boys to cry because he got sprayed in the face.
They were 5 and 2 at the time.
Still, I went, even though it made me want to lobotomize myself with a juice box drinking straw simply because those little munchkins liked it.
For the love of god, YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO GET WET AT A SPLASH PAD.
If you were given a dream vacation, a trip of a lifetime you only ever imagined, you wouldn’t enjoy every moment. You’d enjoy, probably, almost all of them, for sure. But waiting for your lost luggage? Not so much. Or realizing that boob sweat is going to be a problem for the next ten days? Mmmm… nope.
Actually, who knows, maybe you like boob sweat. No judgment here.
What bothers me most, is now there are moms, whose kids are back in school, questioning themselves.
Did I make the most of it? Did I just f*ck up one of the only 18 summers I will have with my kids?
I’m here to tell you adamantly, NO. No, you didn’t.
You don’t have to fill every minute of every summer day making memories. If you had an off day (or hell, an off week), if you let your kids veg out in front of the television or Xbox for more than “the articles” will tell you is appropriate, you absolutely didn’t f*ck it up.
I can guarantee your kids didn’t enjoy every second of this summer, did they. Maybe there were a few tantrums? Foot stomps? Tears over dropped ice cream? Itchy shirts? Hats they didn’t want to wear?
Don’t get me started on sunscreen.
You are human.
What’s even crazier? All these amazing things you do with your kids might not even be the things they remember.
It could be something as simple as sitting on the porch eating a Freezie with them.
I know this to be true because it’s one of my kids’ favourite summer memories. I believe we also took them on a Disney cruise that year.
And me yelling at them at the splash pad?
Not even a blip on their radar screen.
So give yourself a pat on the back.
You deserve it.