Are you a mom who’s planning your family’s summer vacation? Don’t get trapped by comparisons. Here’s why I’m letting go of mom guilt this summer.
Letting Go Of Mom Guilt This Summer
I had awesome summers as a kid and now I feel guilty about it. I feel guilty because my own kids will never experience it. And, though I’m not sure they would even enjoy the same experiences quite like we did back in those days, I still feel guilty that my boys will never experience the simplicity of the true lazy days of summer.
We played hopscotch and marbles and Chinese jump rope. We rode our bikes for hours along the dirt roads that carried us around our neighborhood. And we drank from the garden hose or ran through the sprinkler to cool off in the heat of the day.
If we did take a family trip, it consisted of piling into the back of my uncle’s pickup truck with my cousins for a few days camping at a campsite that was less than an hour away. Can you imagine? I cringe at the thought of my boys riding along without a seatbelt, much less, thrown around in the bed of a truck while speeding down the highway.
Am I the only mom who’s afraid that, no matter what I choose to do this summer, it will somehow be lacking or wrong?
Now, it seems as if the world is too consumed by fear to enjoy the long days of summer. We’re always in a rush to go somewhere or do something spectacular for fear our kids will miss out on something.
It seems as if we’re trapped in a continuous cycle where we spend way more than we earn on extravagant vacations or we push our kids to play catch up on school lessons all summer for fear that they’ll somehow fall behind. Is it really too much? Or too little?
More than that, we fear the world and everything about it. So, unlike my childhood summers roaming the woods and wading through mud puddles in bare feet, today’s children have lost the freedom to experience those things.
After all, who knows who or what is lurking in the woods these days? And, after reading horrific stories for the past few summers about flesh-eating bacteria, I wouldn’t dare allow my kids to wade through those muddy waters like I did, and certainly not without shoes!
Let Go of the Mom Guilt
In spite of my fears, however, I’ve decided to let go of the mom guilt this summer.
Don’t worry. I’m not dropping off my youngest in the middle of the woods by himself with only his bicycle and a pocketknife. In fact, I do have a few learning activities I want us to try, and I have planned a few outings for us where my teen son will be required to also participate.
I’ve decided to forgive myself and not be bothered when some other mom questions my parenting. My parents didn’t get everything exactly right and neither will the rest of us. And though many moms will disagree with me for giving my son handwriting sheets to practice his cursive, I will not apologize for my attempts to help strengthen my son’s writing skills even in summer or whenever I can.
I’m letting go of the mom guilt this summer because frankly it’s been exhausting. My family has created its own haven and what works for us may not be the best advice for anyone else.
As for providing for my children my own childhood summers, well, that’s impossible. So I’m letting go of that guilt along with the rest of it.
Truth is, my boys will never experience my childhood summers completely. However, I can give them samples and a couple of glances. I can give them breathing room to take their own chances and allow them to experience their own version of the lazy days of summer where doing nothing is doing everything, and sitting still listening to crickets chirp offers much more than a textbook or video game could ever provide.
I’m letting go of mom guilt this summer. I resolve to be less afraid and more adventurous. This summer, I resolve to be the best mom to my children I can be and let go of judgments, comparisons, and anything else others may assume is required.
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