Every summer I begin the season with an acute case of “Mommy guilt.” I have two children, an eight year old daughter and a four year old son. When summer hits for these two there is not real change to their Monday through Friday routine.
I take my daughter to a summer camp that is run out of the same daycare my son attends.
Although my daughter is not in school, she and my son are both woken up early and out of the house in much the same manner as the school year.
Why do I have “Mommy guilt” you ask?
I remember my summers as a child and they were just fun. My older brothers and I slept in and spent our entire days at the local neighborhood pool. We stayed up late and caught fire flies and gorged ourselves on ice cream. Summer felt different and special to me as a child.
My daughter and son have a great time at their camp and daycare.
They have regular outings and fun water based activities and they definitely play all day. Despite understanding that I am not taking them to a torture chamber each day, I somehow feel like I am short changing them a bit on the summer experience. I often wish I could offer them something closer to what I had as a child.
I have even found myself jealous of some of our friends, who can afford to send their kids off to super cool camps where they create pottery and build canoes…or something like that.
This year things are going to change.
Instead of wallowing in my “Mommy guilt” I am seriously stepping up my “Mommy” game. It always comes down to perspective right?
So let’s focus on what we CAN do to ramp up the summer fun shall we!
- Let them stay up a bit later and arm them with mason jars to catch fire flies.
- Alter our work schedules enough to let them sleep just a bit later each day.
- Take them on one amazing beach vacation where they can spend two weeks of quality time with their Grammy, cousins, aunts and uncles.
- Make the weeknights special with random movie nights and trips out after dinner for ice cream.
- Sit out on the deck sipping on a cool beverage and just watch them play in their cheap plastic pool. .
Times have changed and we don’t have the budget to afford an awesome camp experience or take our kids on multiple vacations. Both my husband and I work full time and neither of us get summers off.
That does not mean summers can’t be fun or even special.
When I remember my summers, I don’t recall any fancy vacations or trips. My brothers and I never went to any camps. But I completely remember catching fire flies, eating my ice cream quickly before it melted and just lying out in my yard staring up at the stars.
What makes summer so awesome is the simple pleasure of slowing down and enjoying the lazy days as a family.
How are you working with what you have to ensure your kids get the kind of summer adult memories are made of?