Friday, June 28, 2013

The Summer Guilt Trip

Every summer I take a trip, but it's not a vacation or a fun destination--it's a guilt trip, mom-style.

Sophie, our mini-wiener dog!

Within one week of school letting out, the following thoughts pummel me until the kids head back in the fall.

* They're watching too much television.
* Do hours of playing Minecraft prepare a kid for a career designing video games?
* Is my teen a recluse? Why so much time in the bedroom?
* When--when??--will either of them crack open a book?
* A summer with no math? Disastrous.
* My figure-out-lunch-for-yourselves policy can't be healthy.
* If we drive to a city pool for the day, how will I finish my revisions?
* One pair of shorts should get each kid through the summer, right? *Gulp* I need to take them shopping.
* Since when did a package of stickers and markers cease to be exciting?
* Is going to the zoo really a "rerun" as one of my kids told me?
* How many text messages is too many? Again, the teen...

I've been working long hours to finish revising my current book. After that I'll be taking time off to brainstorm plots and study a few writing craft books. We'll have the leisure to explore the area more, to spend time at the beach or a local pool, to go to a discount movie. But even then, the mom-guilt-trip-of-summer will continue. It's in my blood!

Do you ever feel guilty about how you spend your time?

Have a terrific Friday!


  1. Holy cow, you just summarized my summer guilt trip! All of it. Minecraft. Teen locked in room texting. I need to write, but I want to get them out of the house. All of it!!!

    1. Ha, ha!! I'm seriously laughing out loud, right now!! It's like we're living the same nightmare!! BTW--awesome cover for Mindsiege--whoop, whoop!!

  2. Figure out lunch will teach them independence. And yes, spending hours playing Minecraft will prepare them for a career designing video games. My Young One played hours of video games. In the Fall, she'll be a Senior at WPI majoring in IMGD: Interactive Media and Game Development. In Jan, she will spend 9 weeks as part of her MQP (major qualifying project) doing an internship with Disney or a Disney owned company in Silicon Valley. Doing what? Working on video games!

    1. I am totally taking notes right now, CJ! My youngest dreams of becoming a video game designer! Thanks!!

  3. Oh yeah! LOL I just told my son no for the computer games. He was very disappointed. But I plan to let them watch cartoons this afternoon. *grin*

    1. Ahh! We read the same non-existent parenting books! *high-five*

  4. Yes, yes, yes! That's what summer sounds like around here, too. My hubbie did a sweet thing this year, though. He bought a family membership to our community pool, which is walking distance from the house. So the kids are walking there and spending a few hours each day. Now I'm the one sitting home sulking because they're having fun while I'm slaving away on book edits. But then they come home and plop in front of the TV and iPod again.

    1. Your hubby is a genius! Our community pool has a wait list, so we'll see if next year we can get into it. :) I'd be jealous too. Maybe you can get there for an hour now and then?

  5. Loved this post!! Yup, you are not alone!! Sounds like your kids are super loved, and that's what counts. Bless you (and the teenager!!!) ;)

  6. Oh my goodness, Jill, it's like you're living inside my head....

    Glad I'm not alone!



    1. We need a support group, don't we? Ha!! Every summer. Every. Summer. The guilt!!

  7. I gave up the guilt trip when I realized there were good reasons they lay on the floor and drooled through 5 hours of the Discovery Channel. Okay, the Disney Channel, too. They've just spent 9 or 10 months working full time, socializing with unpredictable friends, trying to impress how many teachers and coaches, navigating a faith to make it their own and never getting enough sleep. Until they're about 19, kids are a hormone factory. Their moods are like fireflies on Red Bull.
    They NEED a time of nothingness. They truly crave a break. A time where no one expects them to give 100%.
    Don't feel bad.
    Let them rest.
    Let their brains and bodies crash and seek renewal.
    Let them do NOTHING. In time, you will hear "I'm bored."
    Just make sure the fridge is stocked, they have enough clothes and the a/c is working.

    Too much structure falls in on itself and is brutal to rebuild.

    It's summertime. Live easy.

    1. You are brilliant, Jennifer. Everything in here is true! Thank you!!


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