Relax, Summer Vacation

This article, entitled "When did summer vacation stop being about doing nothing and all about always doing something?," comes from Nicole Knepper at Moms Who Drink and Swear.

When did summer vacation stop being about doing nothing and all about always doing something? I'm serious. We have always had low key summer vacations, yet my kids seem to think that everyday should be jam packed with super-fun activities.

WHAT?

I have a love/hate relationship with summer vacation. In short, there are just not enough dollars and cents to do the things I’d like to do for and with my kids, and after we have our fill of cheap entertainment in the boiling hot sun, we all just want to go home and veg out in front of the TV anyway. This shouldn't make me feel bad, yet it does.

AGAIN, I ASK "WHAT?"

Every summer, I feel little guilty about how bored I get trying to make sure they aren’t too bored, and they whine about being bored. Let me stop you now, before you tell me that it’s not my job to entertain them 24/7. I know this…that’s not the point. I want to provide them with some entertainment. And learning. And quality time. Because that's what good parents do and I'm a good parent!

The point is that I feel bad about how cranky the quantity of time makes me, which makes me sort of a jerk. I can't help it. I have a lot on my plate you know. Just because the kids are off for a bajilion days in a row doesn't mean that I have the time off! And trust me, I do NOT feel like I have to entertain them 24/7 and I don't. That's not where my guilt comes from.

Anyway, it’s the amount of time I have to spend with them that kills me, year after year. The truth is that I get bored when doing too much stuff with my kids and I feel bad about that. I do! I shouldn’t, but that doesn’t mean I don’t. Too much togetherness is just that – too much! I like spending time with them, but there are only so many times I can fake laugh while watching PewDiePie videos before the rage sets in. Yes, rage.

And then my daughter wants to make simple crafts like How to Make a Doll Daybed with a Pull-Out Trundle.

Simple? You know what's simple? Coloring with crayons. Quietly.

Hey, Ms. My Froggy Style, why don’t you have parental tutorials that show how much wine we will need to drink after spending an hour at the craft store trying to find all the stuff to make this stuff and then spending another hour realizing we have NO idea what to do with any of the stuff?

HOW MUCH WINE?

This Froggy person makes everything look sooooo easy, so when I turn the glue gun on myself ask my family to please forgive me, she just keeps chirping her way though these videos, like lives aren’t in danger. "But she said we can do it in three simple steps, Mom!!" This time it’s not rage. It’s despair. It takes me three simple steps to fail at simple Froggy Style crafts. Oh, and every single thing she makes requires a shoebox.

HOW MANY SHOEBOXES DOES SHE THINK PEOPLE HAVE?

And then there’s Frozen. Would I like to watch Frozen again? Do I want to watch another version or parody of any song from Frozen on YouTube? How different! Yes, let’s watch 100 more of these! I would also enjoy watching the 198 videos you made of yourself acting out scenes and songs from Frozen. Hold on, let me just get another glass of wine. Wait, I think I will need the entire bottle, so let me get some ice cubes and, wow, it's a theme here! Frozen wine! Yay! Ok, let's hear another rendition of "Let it go!"

Thank goodness for camp. Campy-camp, campish, camp, CAAAAAAAAMP! And it's sleep away, yo! But camp isn't all summer. And the teenager isn't going to camp this year.

UGH! The teenager. I’m losing sleep because I must stay awake and wait for him to get home. I have to stay awake so that I can pick him up from wherever he happens to be. I have to! Responsible parenting requires that I find out if parents are home before he goes anywhere and then when he comes home, I smell his breath and check his eyes and make sure he’s safe. Dear Lord, I’ve become a sleuthing, sniffy, paranoid chauffer service. Oh, and then there are constant requests for extra chores to earn extra money so that he can do things with his friends.

HOW MUCH MONEY DOES HE THINK I HAVE?

I mean if I had money, I’d be taking him places to do more things. I’d take his friends too! I wouldn’t be playing 25 games of Apples to Apples and watching YouTube videos of Minecraft for two hours straight every other day. We’d be at Disney World.

So I guess, as usual, I’ll just do my best to be a creative, patient, rage-repressing wino again this summer and let my kids watch a ton of Simpsons cartoons between outings and craftings and chaufferings and PewDiePie video watchings. With 20 years of episodes of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie in the can, they will never run out of episodes to watch and I will enjoy watching with them!

Awesome Simpsons photo gallery HERE!

I’m super good at television watching while snack eating and snuggling. Which reminds me that since I said I wouldn’t let my kids sleep all day, I have to squeeze in an episode of Orange is the New Black before I rouse their demanding and adorable faces out of bed.

Summer vacation? You need to chill out and get back to having your something, be a lot of absolutely nothing! At least that's what I think.



About the Author...
Nicole Knepper
Nicole Knepper is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor with two advanced degrees (psychology and gerontology) whose blog, "Moms who Drink and Swear," became the basis for her first book.
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