My 18 summers are up….now what then???

You’ll have probably seen the 18 summers meme doing the rounds.

My reasons for hating it are twofold.

Firstly – the pressure!!!

The implication that if we’re not all replicas of Topsy and Tim’s mum , loving every second of parenting and permanently sporting a smile that makes me wonder what ratio of gin to valium she’s using , then we’re doing it wrong. That we’re undeserving in some way.

The summer holidays are long ….so long. If you have to work during them you’re likely having to sell a kidney to pay for childcare so not feeling mega chirpy about the situation. Or otherwise having to be nice to friends and family so they’ll help you out with childcare which is exhausting in itself.

If you’re home with the little treasures for 6 WHOLE BLOODY WEEKS then give yourself a mighty pat on the back if you get to the end of week one and haven’t called a pj day yet. These ,I feel a bit sneery, memes I don’t think help anyone . It smacks of ‘you’re not trying hard enough to make your kids childhood magical, you lazy cow…. they’re gonna need therapy when they’re older because you you slothful pig didn’t even cut their sandwiches into flower shapes and decorate their plate with vegetables you grew with your own hands and carved into the shape of their favourite Disney character. Shame on you .

Shame. On. You

You didn’t take them to Mandarin classes either did you ? You didn’t take them on an archeological dig or the ballet or craft your entire house to within an inch of your life did you?

You lazy arse went to soft play for a couple hours and sat drinking rubbish tea didn’t you ???Then fed them a FROZEN pizza ….urgh you’re a disgrace.

Everyone wants to give their kids fond memories to look back on when they’re older. Thing is these memories mainly come from something organic ,unforced. I don’t remember summer hols being all about days out and stimulation as a kid. I remember playing out all day long with our friends or my sister and I making up dance routines or pretending the stairs were a bus!!!

I hope everyone makes some memories this summer but just leave the guilt out of it for goodness sakes. We as spend our lives worrying we’re not good enough . Twee Facebook memes just aren’t necessary.

Secondly though. It appears I have run out of summers with my eldest.

18 summers , that’s what the meme says. I’ve had them all. He’s a summer baby and is 18 in a couple weeks.

So then what??,Is he going to disappear. Will I go to get him up one morning and he’ll have vanished till September??

I don’t think our summer time is quite up yet . We’ve a couple of trips away planned . We’ve cinema trips and days out scheduled . Not to mention the big 18 celebrations.

Does this make me greedy , that I love that he still wants to hang out with us ? I’ve had my 18 summers should I move on and leave him alone?

The summer holidays have changed now I’ve 3 teenagers . You’ve got to schedule time into their hectic social lives but everyone still wants to do things together from time to time. I know I don’t get the teens day in day out for 6 WHOLE WEEKS anymore because they’ve bigger fish to fry.

That’s not a totally awful thing.

In fact 18 summers preachers let me tell you something that’ll have you reeling. For a good few days in this very precious summer . 1 of my 18. I’m going on holiday. Without the kids .

Poor unfortunates who have followed my blog a while will know last summer I went to Edinburgh festival alone and it changed my entire mindset well this year I am making my glorious comeback. Without the kids…… but with a MAN!!!!

Ooooo she’s wasting one of her precious summers hanging out with a guy , drinking GnTs and watching plays and snogging??tut!!

Yes she absolutely is !!!!

Not a fraction of guilt about it either.

Thing is I’m the kids ever present.

I’ve always been the kids ever present.In summer AND winter . In the school hols and during term time.

We have some ace memories and we have many more to come I hope.

So really I’m ok with the days we sit and watch movies in our PJs . The days the kids have way too much screen time because it stops them bickering. The days we have takeaway because oh I’ve lost the will to live never mind cook. I’m ok with all those things .

It’s just my version is way too long to make a cute meme out of …

I’ve always been a waffler.

My Facebook page is here

If you’re at all fond of my incessant waffling , you can nominate my blog for the BiB awards just here


Tale of Mummyhood
Cup of Toast

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48 thoughts on “My 18 summers are up….now what then???

  1. I agree, that meme smacks of self-righteous shaming from ‘good’ moms. I’ve also seen a new meme going around Facebook recently that tells people to enjoy every moment their kid keeps them awake at night because one day they will be too big to crawl into bed with you. Shut up! It doesn’t make you a bad parent if you don’t enjoy your child kicking you in the head all night long! Wankers.

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  2. The summer holidays are a bloody long time so you can’t do everything all day everyday with them. We try and pace ourselves and do one biggish thing like a day out once a week and then we usually go away for a couple of weeks. Holidays can seem a bind but that quote is so true and with the eldest we’ve only got 8 years left…although if we’re paying i’m sure she’ll still want to come on holiday! #triumphanttales

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  3. Here’s to waffling … we wouldn’t be bloggers without it!! As for the 18 summers with your kids … you can enjoy the off-season too; you won’t see as much of them but the bonds are there and they will always feature – and you for them. Just make sure you build a life outside them so you can enjoy that time without them #Triumphanttales

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  4. You’re so right … We have years with our children – hopefully – so why pressure ourselves and get into a right old state worrying about packing in as much as possible during 18 summers.

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  5. Happily I haven’t seen the meme… but I can certainly do without that guilt trip! Thanks for articulating how ‘natural’ parenting can lead to better times and happier memories than ‘perfect’ parenting. And thanks also for the anti Topsy & Tim rant! Insufferable family – every single one of them!!

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  6. I’ve been lamenting the end of our time as 5. Most days it’s long gone but I do from time to time steal moments of us all together….it’s a hard thing. I think it’s ok to complain and get annoyed – but make sure you know that one day you’ll be missing all those times – even the bad ones! #Stayclassymama

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  7. OMG Kelly live it up on your kid free holiday. As a relatively new mum even i know you have earned it luv. I am a huge advocate for stop the ‘mumma shaming’ it doesn’t help anyone. Be supportive instead of judgemental and go back to that old saying ‘If you can’t say anything nice then don’t say it at all’. Enjoy your holiday, i look forward to a good gossip filled loved up blog about it #Blogcrush xx

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  8. I love your waffling, we all need a waffle sometimes don’t we? I waffled last night and then the internet went so the post was lost and I nearly cried due to the heat and the fact that I couldn’t even remember my tangents!
    This 18 summer thing is just bullshit. I’m with my boys 24/7 right now and probably will be until school… thats only 14 summers left, what if they want to go away with a friend, grandparents, cousins? Should we stop their fun so we get to spend it with them??? no!!!!
    Thank you for sharing this with us at #TriumphantTales. I hope to see you back next week!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Oh my goodness, you have no idea how much I needed to read this post right now! I have been having all that summer guilt for being a lazy sloth and feeding my kids peanut butter and jelly and frozen pizzas with the occasional fresh fruit tossed in a bowl all haphazard like! I get two glorious weeks this summer when my mother-in-law takes them and spoils them rotten. Is that enough for making childhood memories? Time spent with grandma? I sure hope so, because right now we have no budget for any of the other fun stuff! We attend the free kids events at the library and head to the splash pad every now and again. And my kids have no idea how good they really have it, after all, so I don’t know where my guilt is coming from…probably the memes! Thanks for the perspective! #BlogCrush

    P.S. I hope you have the most amazing time away with your man and kid-free!

    Shelbee
    http://www.shelbeeontheedge.com

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    1. Thank you . My lot also go to grandma’s for a bit of the holidays and get up to all sorts there , so I think my lazy days are justified!!!

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  10. I always start the holidays with the best of intentions. I have a Pinterest Board full of activities to try. By the end of week 1 I decide to give myself a break. I stop trying to live an Instagrammable life and enjoy the lazy mornings. We have impromptu art sessions, which aren’t picture perfect, but we discover what happens when we mix all the colours together…turning them into a sludge colour! #BlogCrush

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  11. We are currently having the laziest summer holiday ever! Thanks to fabulous shutters in France the kids are sleeping until 9am – woohoo! As for the 18 summers I will bet my parents wish that were actually true as I am 42 and we still go on holiday together every year so they are still getting those summers!! #Blogcrush

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  12. I’ve written a post about this too. I get my children 365 days a year, and I’m living life with them, not counting down the days until they turn 18! Thank you for sharing your thoughts with #Blogstravaganza 🙂

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  13. Oh my gosh. YES!!!! I love this post. The 18 summers thing had me freaked out at first… but of course it’s not really 18 summers at all. I’m totally with you on this one. We never had summers scheduled within an inch of our lives. So why start now with our own little ones. I’ll be the one in the pjs sat one the floor playing snap for the millionth time, because THAT is the game of the summer at the moment lol. Thanks for joining us for the #dreamteam – so much love for this post xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s exactly it !!!! It’s getting the bloody Hama beads out for the thousandth time despite knowing they’ll end up all over the floor !!!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Yes! The pressure created by reducing their childhoods down to 18 summers is incredible! As you say – what about the rest of the year?? Happy memories are made year-round. Plus, I live a few hours away from my parents, but I still go and stay with them every summer for a few days, I just take my kids along with me now and we ALL make happy memories together! #blogcrush

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