Summer Vacation is not What it Used to be…It’s Going to be Better!

Ramping up this summer!

Ramping up this summer!

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!

We can:

  • 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?


About Suzanne Coblentz

8 Responses to “Summer Vacation is not What it Used to be…It’s Going to be Better!”

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  1. Dennis says:

    Loved your approach Suzanne! Indeed, when we look back on our early years, we remember feelings, emotions and impressions and not anything material. Those are the things that make a great vacation for kids and we have to remember that as parents. Great post!

    • Hi Dennis,

      Yes I totally agree and that is why I want to focus on the little things that can make an average day a little less average. Thanks for stopping by and have an awesome summer!

  2. Awesome! We have the same ambitions. Let us know how things go!

  3. Travis says:

    I can relate, Suzanne. Although our kids are a bit older and can stay home to self-supervise. Vonnie and I are up and out the door before either Tori or Tristan get out of bed. They get up and spend the morning sleeping or playing video games. When Vonnie gets home early afternoon Tori then can head outside and play with her friends. She’s spending a TON of outside time which is awesome to see because this is a girl that went sledding after the first snow a few years ago and immediately declared she wasn’t stepping one foot outside until spring unless she had to (for school, etc) – she made good on that promise.

    There are no boys Tristan’s age in our neighborhood, and all his close friends live far enough away that it involves someone driving him or his friends to the other’s house. We’re struggling to get him to go outside at all. Good thing he’s at least in baseball, huh?

    • Tori and Tristan sound like they are having a lazy summer which is PERFECT in my eyes. That is what I had with my brothers for sure. I think it is tough for parents to strike that balance with work and home and that is somehow, not easier in the summer. Outside time is the best and it’s really cool that Vonnie can get home early enough to make it happen. We do what we can right! Can’t wait to hear what you have cooking for the 4th of July (literally, what are you making?)

  4. Jennifer says:

    So I was a kid who grew up in summer day camps with no siblings close in age. It wasn’t the summer experience my Mom had, and yet I loved it. My son may not get the summer day camp experience himself like I remember but whatever he gets will still be a summer time experience…which means awesome. You sound like a great mom and the absolute best for your kids!

    • Hi Jennifer,

      Thanks so much! You make a solid point, there is room for varying levels of experience and just because it is different than my own does not make it any less fun 🙂 Enjoy your summer!

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