When I first became a mom and my kids were toddlers, I imagined summer as a great time for picnics, visits to the zoo, hikes in the woods and days at the beach. This plan worked well until we got to a critical mass of 4 children and 2 almost teenagers. Weekend forays were becoming much more complicated and after one particularly disastorous camping trip with 3 active boys, a porta-crib and rain, we abandoned the great outdoors for a cabin. Now that my children are older, I compare my summers with 5 young children to a summer with 3 teenagers and 2 young adults. Here is my top ten list:
1. Running around at the park is replaced with running around to try to get my kids off of Netflix and computer games.
2. Driving to the zoo has been replaced with driving to the mall or local pool. I am the chauffeur and not invited on any of these excursions.
3. Lazy days of summer are instead trying to get an evening meal served before soccer practice, soccer games or evening jobs.
4. Putting the kids to bed as the sun sets is mom heading to bed while kids are still at backyard campfire.
6. Notes to the summer nanny have been replaced by a “chore list” for each child
7. Money for summer art projects is used to fund clothing needs for teenagers. I didn’t realize that when you were a girl >14, you needed more than one swimsuit!
8. Any outing suggested by MOM, which would have previously been met with cheers, is now met with groans.
9. Calls home at 4 pm to check in with the nanny at the end of the day have been replaced with calls from the children thruout the day to complain about their sibs and requests for evening transportation.
10. Afternoon naps for toddlers have been replaced by sleeping in until 10 am and staying up until 11 pm.
Some days I long for the weekend morning snuggles and other days I appreciate the time to pursue some of my own interests!