It Is Okay If This Summer Is Not The Best Summer Ever

I’m sure you have all seen the meme that has been going around Facebook reminding us that we only have 18 summers with our kids. It reminds us of how fleeting our time is and how our children will only be little for a short period of time so we should make this summer count. With my oldest being 10, and already over halfway to adulthood, I appreciate the author’s message now more than ever. At the same time though, that meme made me feel guilty and like a failure.

See, in past years I made summer bucket lists with the goal of trying to cram as much fun into our summers as I could and make every second of summer perfect for my boys. I even wrote a post with tips on how to maximize the summer months together where I declared our summer starting May 1st one year so we had more time for summer fun. We would go on monthly trips, head to all these fun places, and do all sorts of exciting things I thought would make the kids remember their childhood for years to come.

This summer is unlike all the rest though. This summer I feel like I have been failing. I don’t have a bucket list written down nor exciting vacations planned. In fact, up until now, I wouldn’t even say we’ve done any typical summer activity other than going to the pool a couple times. Being pregnant, and in my first trimester, means I’ve spent more time with my head over a toilet and napping on the couch than I’ve spent doing anything even remotely exciting with my boys. To add to that, the month started with excessive cleaning as we prepared to host a few dozen people for a party in our home and ended with me having a horrendous toothache (complete with root canal) and basically hibernating for a whole weekend (per my doctor’s orders) due to an extreme heatwave aggravating my asthma.

Now that it’s July, and I’m feeling a little better, I hope to finally start our summer but it won’t be as exciting and eventful as years past. Nothing about it will be extraordinary that they can look back on with fond memories. I’m learning to accept that though because I have to keep this in perspective. This is one summer of my children’s lives. 3 months. And I don’t just have 18 summers with my kids, I have 18 whole years with them at home. Plus, when they get older I’ll still see them as much as I can so it’s not as limited a time frame as it seems.

In the meantime, I’m hoping they will remember the sweet times we’ve had together during this slow season of life before things get hectic with school, the holidays, and the arrival of baby #3. They will remember the time spent cuddling on the couch, the times I stood standing over the stove making grilled cheese sandwiches even when I was feeling nauseous, and the one-on-one time we had together.

Maybe you are pregnant like me and finding fatigue has overwhelmed your body. Maybe you are struggling with post-partum depression and struggling to just get through each day. Maybe you are taking care of a sick child. Maybe you are mourning the death of a parent. Maybe your chronic illness keeps you from doing everything you wish you could. Whatever the reason, I encourage you to find joy in the little moments with your children and to remember that if this summer is not one for the memory books it’s okay because there are plenty more seasons left that you can enjoy with your kids.


  1. robin rue says

    We’ve had some ok summers and some great ones. I am happy just spending quality time with my boys.

  2. I love this post so much! Everyone always talks about making summers the best ever, but they’re only ONE of FOUR seasons that we have with our kiddos.

  3. My kids know that I have to work to be able to support the household. I do give them a little more wiggle room in the summer to relax and enjoy it.

  4. Becca Wilson says

    I have been seeing a meme online about making their 18 summers the best ones that they can have. You are so right though that life doesn’t always go as planned and we have the rest of the year with our kiddos too!

  5. I have had summers like yours too. Not every summer has to be exciting…time together is what counts even if it is just staying home playing a game together! Hope you have more energy this month!

  6. Oh man! That got me in the gut. Only 18 summers? Luckily, there’s all year long. My oldest jis on his 19th summer at home, yayyy! Every family is different and while some can have the traditional family vacations to all ends of the world, that doesn’t work for everyone. Great reminder that it’s, OKAY!

  7. I was thinking this earlier today. My oldest is 13 years old. It’s so sad how fast time flies. I am trying to make our summers memorable and special!

  8. This summer has been great so far. We’ve spent a lot of time sleeping in. For the most part, I let my daughter relax during the summer and try not to put too much stress on constantly doing things.

  9. Summer is always the best. My girls and I try to do a lot of activities in summer. We have a lot planned for this summer yet and we’re excited for all the fun.

  10. Our summer this year includes a move to a new city. I look forward to discovering all it has to over with my youngest.

  11. katrina gehman says

    so true. we are doing our best this summer but some things aren’t going as planned. making it the best of it though.

  12. Thank you! The whole “only 18 summers with your kids” is so much pressure! I think it is so unrealistic.

  13. I totally agree!! We’ve got a whole year to make memories! Love this!

  14. Awww, that’s kind of sad and such a short time when you think of it. But yes, enjoy your time! Love the idea of summer bucket lists

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