Back at the start of summer there was a post going round facebook and other social networks from Motherly. This post discussed the idea that you only get 18 summers with your children before they fly the nest. It created a number of lovely blog posts about the idea of making the most of summer, including the one I’ve been tagged in by Arepops. The aim of the original post was to help you stop and take stock of everything you do. But that’s not what it made me do.
Our summers so far
If I was to take notice of this post, it would have panicked me. We are 4 summers in. We would only have another 14 and at the rate those last 4 have gone thats nothing! Our first summer was spent in a newborn blur. All I remember is worrying about how hot she was constantly! Her second was spent ditching her at friends’ houses and nursery whilst I tried desperately to land a job that would help us look after her properly. The third I’d have to look at my photos to remember properly and this year we spent a bit strapped for cash so though we had many days out, they were all mostly cheap ones and we didn’t do loads. The above photo is pretty… but it was taken on a walk to the shops for some bread!
Why I believe that summer isn’t the be all and end all
Our strapped for cash days are the ones that made me hate the idea of the 18 summers thing most of all. I would love to give Spike the world, amazing travel opportunities and amazing summers that are unforgettable. But I also need to feed her, clothe her and what about all the other months. The post on Motherly spoke of keeping the kids up late to enjoy those longer days. But Spike gets Hulk style mad if she’s up past 7:30 so they would just end as stressed out sad days instead. Plus, as I say, what about the amazing kicking of crunchy leaves in Autumn. Hot chocolate day dates in winter and watching the birth of spring lambs in spring. I love all the season for many different reasons and whilst Summer will be the season which contains most of the school holidays, it only takes up a quarter of the year!
My theory on making the most of every day
The rest of they year has many great day making opportunities and sometimes the best days are the ones spent curled up on the sofa watching Up! I think that time does go much faster once you start getting older and you have kids. However the days are what you make them. You don’t have to go out of your way to make amazing memories and cherish every moment, because amazing memories will be made with any time spent with your children. And so will not so amazing ones… because that is life.
Why does growing up mean going away?
Another reason I didn’t like the idea of 18 summers was that it reinforces the idea that once a child hits 18 they are no longer yours. Its true that I hope Spike is as independently fierce as I am. But I still love my parents. I am still part of their family and I still make memories with my mum, dad, sister and even brother. Obviously once you hit adulthood you tend not to spend every minute with your family, but they are still there and I hope Spike knows that. I hope we have a long lasting relationship through the years and I am able to enjoy 18 or many more summers with her children too if she chooses to have them!
Increasing competition in the social media world
Whats more of an issue with this post is the way it perpetuates the idea that you have to prove yourself in the social media world. You have to show every happy moment every day to compete against others. There are far too many people believing that every one else life is perfect because of the world they portray on social media and this type of post is feeding that. Other peoples’ lives are not perfect. There are ups and downs for everyone and that is totally normal. Don’t live your life comparing what you and your child can do to what everyone else is doing and you’re bound to have a happier time with them.
Ways you can make the most of every day
Play. Have fun. Laugh. Build a fort. Read a book. Have a cuddle. Don’t compare your life to others. Teach them things they don’t know yet. Take notice of the things they love. Help them build their imaginary worlds. Believe in fairies with them. Fly a rocket to the moon. Cuddle them when they are sad. Help them understand that life isn’t perfect, but thats ok. Grow with them. Be who they need you to be. Stop and smell the roses, and the shit, that life throws your way. And whatever you do, don’t count down the days.