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You Only Get 18 Summers With Your Kids or Do you?

You only get 18 summers with your kids or so they say. But, guess what? You also get 18 Springs, 18 Falls, and 18 Winters. I bet when my kids are 19 or older, we will still have some summers or other seasons together too.

You also get more than that actually because once your kid turns 18 and they move out (hopefully), you don't stop being a parent.

They don't stop needing you? Sometimes more now than when they were babies. The real world can be tough. I hate these articles I see making their rounds every summer to make sure we soak up every second of the summer with our kids because we only get 18.

Yes. You should enjoy as much as you can, but don’t Feel Guilty if the fact that they spilled a soda under your dining room table on day 5 of Summer break and didn’t tell you about (or clean it up) for SEVERAL hours is enough to make you not enjoy them or that moment for several minutes(or hours). It’s OK to complain, or vent, or not enjoy the fact that your kids are all up in your business 24/7 during the Summer.

You only get 18 Childhood Summers, yes. You really get a lifetime though when you’re a mom.

You get a lifetime of I love you and of being one of the most important people in the world to another person. You get a lifetime of teaching and watching your child grow into the remarkable person you hope they would. That’s a special gift every day of the week, and every season of the year. Summer is special, yes because we get more time. But, it can also hard because we get more time. It’s not that we don’t love our little angels, it’s just that are angels that also act like little a-holes sometimes, too.

Summer isn’t about cramming it all in because you think you only have 18. Yes – enjoy your summer, but it’s OK if it’s hard sometimes.

It can be both enjoyable and incredibly difficult. That’s what most people don’t seem to understand when they try to break a lifetime of work like motherhood down into 18 Summers for an article. I just don’t buy it. Summer isn’t the only time to bond with your kids. In fact, in some families, like ours summer might be the time where you un-bond a bit. We homeschool so I am with my kids 24/7 all school year. While I love having my kids home for the Summer and the freedom it brings. It’s also hard for me. We both need a break from each other. Summer is our time to pursue individual interest. While we still do plenty of things together we spend less time together during the summer.

I’ll admit, when I heard “You Only Get 18 Summers” as a title of a blog post years ago it scared me. Now it just ticks me off for what it implies.

That in some way I’m not doing enough, being enough, or savoring enough. Yeah, NO. I'm NOT subscribing to that nonsense. There is never enough time when you're a parent. Summers or not. Motherhood is a constant race against time. Childhood is over before you know it and, you have to find ways to enjoy as much as you possibly can. Not all of it. Don’t get crazy. It's just not possible. Have you potty trained, sleep trained, or lived with a threenager? Let’s be real.

It’s OK if some of it you don’t make the most of. Some of it is just not enjoyable. Some of it you’re not crafting with popsicle sticks or making sidewalk chalk paint. It's ok if some of it you're just surviving.

What about all the other seasons? Can't we make big memories then?

The thing about summer is it's hot and everyone one else is trying to do exactly what your doing at the same time. Which makes for big crowds, long waits, and short tempers. When I was a kid we always took our big trip in the fall. It was fabulous. We usually went to Disney and by then it had cooled off some and the crowds were all gone. Getting to wait minutes for rides vs hours is a sanity saver to any parent and child. Now that we live in Tennessee we experience seasons. So winter can be long and brutal. Its usually cold and often wet so we spend a lot of time indoors. It gives us a chance to watch lots of movies have family game nights, and, just grow closer as a family.

Don't loose sight of the other seasons of their lives because all these articles tell you to focus on their childhood summers. Do what works for your family.

Let’s not try to diminish the value of every day with our kids by guilting us with the phrase – “You only get 18 Summers with your kids”

The truth is if I’m lucky I’ll get a lot more than that. They’ll still love me when they’re 19 (I hope) and I would guess that there will still be summers in my future with young adults, older adults, and eventually grand babies. Enjoy what you can, but give yourself grace if Summer isn’t where your heart is because your heart also belongs to silence and alone time. You don’t love your kids any less. And the truth is, there are more than 18 Summers, and all the rest of the seasons in the year too. You’re doing enough. So, take a deep breath, mama and go out there and enjoy this summer like crazy. Or not. Or a mixture of both.

It will be OK.

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