The other day, someone I know was saying how she feels guilty that she has all these great Summer plans for her kids and then they end up playing outside, watching TV, or playing video games. I know all of us have all these really cool plans in our heads as the school year comes to a close….or at least, those with younger kids have these really cool plans.
I am 20 years in to this SAHM gig now, a veterMom, if you will. And I plan NOTHING for the sake of my kids summer break anymore. Wanna know why? A) My name is NOT Julie and I am not an entertainment director for this cruise ship called Life.
2) Trying to come up with plans that will jive with the interests of 5 teenage humans, the amount of money we happen to have in the account after the mortgage is paid, and the brief timetable we can pull this off in AND still make sure that everyone is back and ready for re-take of whatever state-required testing that they missed during the year, and/or early training schedule for sports try-outs that aren’t even happening until the fall anyway, is a bust. I’m not rich, patient, or have a magic wand (not even the kind made by Hitachi.) In addition, none of my plans ever work out the way I want them anyway. EVER.
So when my dad announced he wanted to take two of the boys with him back to El Paso for a couple of weeks? Not a plan I made. GO! Have a blast! We enjoyed a lot of quiet in this house…even with 3 teens still at home. The difference between 3 teens and 5 teens is not 2 like most people think. It’s QUIET. I digress.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that I do not feel guilty about not providing fascinating Summer vacations complete with souvenirs and memorabilia for my kids. My husband works and if he takes time off, he doesn’t get paid. We are the working class of America, people. We have to use coupons and make partial payments to one utility in order to accommodate another sometimes. And that’s just life. We tighten that belt and keep on keeping on. And if the kids want to go on road trips or spend time at the movies with friends or day trips to Six Flags, then they know how to fill out online applications for jobs just like I do and they can save their money and do these things.
Am I mean? Yup. But I’m okay with that. I came to grips with it a long time ago. I could say that it’s because I do all the laundry and dishes and cooking and finding of lost crap and driving and shopping and cleaning and breaking up of arguments and more laundry and more dishes and more cooking with very little help. But the truth is, I’m building financially responsible adults and teaching them that life is not all about vacations and holidays and getting money from unknown places. It’s about hard work and doing without in order to make the things that you are able to afford that much greater and enjoyable. And I have no guilt at all over that.