I’m Quitting Summer

by Abby on August 5, 2011

Dear Kids,

I quit. Effective immediately, I hereby resign as your summer activities coordinator/cruise director/source of nonstop entertainment.

Beach baby We’ve been to the beach, the brook, and the duck pond. We’ve spent as much time at the pool as the lifeguards. We’ve played in the sprinkler, the water table, and on the Slip ‘n’ Slide. We’ve been to the little playground, the big playground, the playground with the dinosaur, the playground with the pirate ship, and the playground with the palm trees. We’ve been to the play areas at the mall, the library, and Chick-fil-A – sometimes more than once a week.

We’ve been to concerts and cook-outs, berry picking and bike riding, to amusement parks and boardwalks, to petting zoos and the regular zoo. We’ve been to playdates and picnics and parties and parades. You’ve been to Cape Cod, music camp, swim camp, and Bible camp. We’ve collected shells, stones, and bugs. You’ve eaten hot dogs, popsicles, watermelon, and S’mores. We’ve gone out for pizza, ice cream, frozen yogurt, and snow balls. You’ve watched movies and played video games. Done puzzles and craft projects. Sidewalk chalk and bubbles. Legos and trains. Board games and books.

Cherry pickingAnd now I’m done. DONE, I tell you. Tomorrow morning when you get up and barrage me with questions before I’ve even had my coffee – What are we doing today, Mommy? Where are we going? Who can we play with? Can we go here? There? And then there? And then where will we go after THAT, Mommy? – my answer will be: WE ARE GOING NOWHERE AND DOING NOTHING AND YOU WILL LIKE IT.

And this is from ME, a former camp counselor! A person who likes baking cookies and playing tag and making paper-doll robots and who once even made homemade Play-Doh! (Once was enough. The store-bought kind comes in prettier colors, anyway.)

But I am BURNT-OUT, do you hear me? I have used up every bit of creativity and imagination and energy and most of my money entertaining you since the way-too-early last day of school in June until now. And we still have almost a whole month of summer left!!

As a stay-at-home mom of 3 I know said, “Summer vacation should only be 6 weeks long.” Sounds like plenty to me.

Your Loving But Exhausted Mom

P.S. When’s MY summer vacation?!

QUOTE O’ THE DAY: “A vacation frequently means that the family goes away for a rest, accompanied by a mother who sees that the others get it.” – Marcelene Cox

READ O’ THE WEEKEND: My nemesis Mitch Albom (kidding!) has penned another column for the Aug. 7 Parade magazine, in which he urges parents to let their poor, overscheduled kids take a break and spend the summer doing nothing. While I agree with the sentiment, I’m pretty sure the days of opening the screen door and saying, “Go play, kids! I don’t want to see you till dinnertime” are over. And also, illegal.

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

d. bianchi August 5, 2011 at 7:37 am

You are making me feel like I need to get moving ;). So far it has been gatherings of kids outside playing until the fireflies are out. Going from neighborhood yard to yard playing capture the flag and making friendship bracelets. Too much ice cream, however and did see a couple of fireworks shows. Okay, so I need to get some camp counselor in me ;). Happy summer!


Abby August 5, 2011 at 1:21 pm

Sounds good to me. Happy summer to you, too!


Kathleen Basi August 5, 2011 at 7:53 am

Hee hee! The part I was expecting was kids getting cranky and ungrateful for all your efforts. I haven’t done anywhere near what you have (seriously, Abby, are you getting ANY writing done???) but my 6yo is bursting into tears and tantrums that I firmly believe are unstructured- and overstimulated- related.


Abby August 5, 2011 at 1:22 pm

Very, very little writing is getting done around here these days.


neena August 5, 2011 at 8:14 am

Love this! I should go on strike, too!


Abby August 5, 2011 at 1:24 pm

Exhausted moms unite!


Lou Mello August 5, 2011 at 8:19 am

I guess the only thing I want to say is “Can I be your kid for the rest of the summer”? I promise no tantrums, no accidents (well, probably not), and totally minding everything you say. Now, what time is ice cream?


Abby August 5, 2011 at 1:23 pm

No tantrums? OK, then. Tonight’s make-your-own sundae night. 😉


Rebecca August 5, 2011 at 1:09 pm

Wow. I’m exhausted just reading your list. My list is way shorter: read books. Watered plants. Watched t.v. Took a walk. And repeat:)


Abby August 5, 2011 at 1:24 pm

Sounds like my idea of heaven.


Kim August 5, 2011 at 6:39 pm

This summer (my daughter was on break from her preschool for only one week) and it hit me: how am I going to manage year-round school with her. Year-round sounds good, but what it means is frequent 2-4 week breaks throughout the year. However the break from school is divided up, it means one thing: we’re the entertainers for children who get bored too quickly without school. My daughter is only 4 and needs school, the stimulation, the new environment, the socialization. And if I try to take my girls on outings when there is no school they get cranky and tired. I have no idea what I am going to do once they get really long breaks from school!

And I think you are right, you deserve a summer break! More than just a day. A whole week, doesn’t that sound wonderful. 🙂


It's Not Like a Cat August 7, 2011 at 7:42 pm

I’m exhausted by your list of activities. I also feel INCREDIBLY lame. Today, for example, it was rainy and I dozed on the couch while my 3YO watched a video and the baby napped. I was not proud. I was mad at myself for not coming up with fun crafty ways to spend the day. I was also super-exasperated with my children. That seems to happen a lot lately.
I’m going to continue to staunchly defend my lameness by blaming the baby (14 months). He’s switching from 2 naps to 1 and I never know what kind of day it will be and when we can go out and if he’ll get all tired and cranky 20 minutes after we get to our destination. Half the time he falls asleep before we even leave.
But are you people telling me this gets harder as they get older and start school? I may just faint right now.


Abby August 7, 2011 at 8:38 pm

I wish I could doze on the couch while my kids slept/watched a video! That sounds great. I wouldn’t say it gets harder, exactly, but now that my older son is in school he’s become less satisfied staying home. He seems to need a LOT of activity because that’s what he’s used to during the rest of the year w/ school, sports, play dates, etc. And believe me, I’m SO not one of those moms who overschedules her kids. This is all driven by him.


Kelli @ writing the waves August 7, 2011 at 8:05 pm

Can we trade summers? I’d much rather be exhausted from all of that than from packing and unpacking zillions of boxes. The moving process stinks. There are only three weeks left until school starts, and I am going to try to cram some of that fun stuff in – if only I knew where things were around here. 😛


Abby August 7, 2011 at 8:38 pm

Hi, Kelli! Haven’t heard from you in a while. Are you moving AGAIN?! Guess I need to catch up on your blog. Good luck!


Angie August 9, 2011 at 9:05 pm

I’m one week behind you on this, but now I’m officially there. And I’ve realized something… how life is a double-edged sword. In the old house, we lived on a busy street with no kids. And now, we live on a cul-de-sac with kids– and it’s a bit out of control. My doorbell seriously rang at 9 this morning and the kid came inside. And that’s not out of the ordinary. The frat party of 2011 is over — time to break it up.


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