From The Confessional: The Good News — Summer's Here! The Bad News —Summer's Here!

by Karen Johnson

Summer’s here! Woohoo! That means we get a break from fighting with our kids about homework, we can relax a bit on bedtime, and we can hopefully soak up some extra sunshine to make up for being hermits over the past year.

However, summer also means our kids are up our ass-cracks all damn day with nothing to do and nowhere to go. Do we enroll them in ridiculously expensive camps that we can’t really afford? Are camps even safe yet? Do we beat ourselves up over how much screen time they get? Or do we just say fuck it and be grateful for the peace and quiet?

And then there’s the humidity and the bugs and the endless battles with our kids over sunscreen and who gets the last orange popsicle, which means by the end of August (or maybe even by the end of June) we’re all set with this season.

Here are some confessions from other moms who are super pumped about summer—because it’s the best! But also dreading it. Because it kind of sucks ass.

Today I realized that summer break is coming soon, and there still no activities in my area. I will be trapped at home, still have to work, with DD all summer…..again. I’ve been checking back rage tears all day.

Confessional #25834122

I so, so wish DH was back in his office working this summer.

Confessional #25836615

Last summer I just wanted everything to be normal. This summer I want everyone to leave me alone.

Confessional #25836017

My kids are really worried about the new no-mask rules. They are old enough to be scared of COVID and too young to get vaccinated (yet). We all know the unvaccinated people are NOT going to wear masks. Here's to another COVID summer at home.

Confessional #25832585

Super exciting to be going into pandemic summer #2! *cries* Lots of parents are still working from home. Lots of kids’ activities haven’t reopened yet. But all of us have to figure out what TF we’re going to do with our kids for June, July, and August. Wheeeeee.

My ADHD son got kicked out of summer camp. Again. I thought we were past this nonsense. I am so angry, embarrassed, and ashamed. Why can't he/we figure this out? Why does therapy not help at all?

Confessional #25835866

We are stretched thin trying to give our two kids 3 separate weeks of sleep away summer camp. How do regular folks afford this? Some kids go all summer! Want to give them this memory before they are too old to appreciate the experience.

Confessional #25834132

A friend's soap company also sells dirty shirts. I just realized that I am wearing "A clean beaver gets more wood" to pick up DD11 from church camp. And I am not putting on a sweater because it is f'ing hot!

Confessional #25385167

I skipped signing my kids up for camps this summer, thinking we’d be free to just relax and have fun! I won’t make that mistake again...

Confessional #25225898

And then there’s camp stress. There’s the pressure to send your kids, even if it’s outside your budget. There’s the question of whether it’s Covid-safe. There’s the frustration when camp doesn’t work out. And there’s the awkward moment you show up to church camp in an inappropriate t-shirt about beavers. (It’s all good. Jesus loves beavers.)

I normally find being a SAHM rewarding. During the summer though I nearly lose my mind

Confessional #25835730

3 days of school left til break & already, f these kids man. I don't want to be a summer camp director & referee I've done it for 15yrs I'm over it. DH doesn't get it. I work ft time too but pm so expected to come home after 12hrs & provide entertainment

Confessional #25833815

My kids are assholes, and I'm dreading summer because of it! I love them, but damn it takes 10 minutes of them being home from school for me to want them to go back!!!

Confessional #25833168

I hate being a mom. I don't know what to do with my kids without school and summer camp. Instead they just play on electronics most of the day and I ignore them and do my work. Such a failure.

Confessional #25790651

I’m a SAHM, so putting my kids in summer camps all day doesn’t make financial sense. But I’m also an introvert, and even though I love them, being around my kids ALL day is making me so crabby and short-tempered.

Confessional #25091077

The truth is, for lots of moms, summer is seriously the worst. The daily expectation that you are a carnival cruise director of fun is exhausting. You want to enjoy these few summers you get while your kids are young, but some days you just count the days until school starts again.

I have loaded our summer full of stuff to do. I need to be distracted from my depression and this seems like a good fit.

Confessional #25835185

I have summer anxiety. DD had a serious tickborne illness one year, skin cancer runs in my family, I was pregnant during Zika, and I worry hard about the safety of bug spray and sunscreen and whether I'm using them right. I just want to chill. Ugh.

Confessional #25834874

Office reopens only at the end of August. I can't believe I'll spend another Summer of wfh with H (he's great tho) and 3 teenage SDs. On one hand they'd destroy the place if we are out on the other hand, my anxiety is through the roof with them around.

Confessional #25834160

And, you might be surprised to learn that summer is a season of peak mental illness for many. Or maybe it doesn’t surprise you at all, because you’re one of the moms who struggle with this.

My best memories are of summer, but I also hate the summer.

Confessional #25832749

I love the spring & summer & want to spend more time outside, but I hate bugs!

Confessional #25830725

I am desperate for summer to come but I am terrified to wear a swimsuit because my bikini line is horrendous. It’s so discolored and bumpy and really sensitive and the swimsuits that have skirts/shorts look like granny suits! Help!

Confessional #25828027

I bitch in the winter because I hate the snow & I bitch in the summer because I hate doing lawn work. I'm never satisfied.

Confessional #25827812

In the end, many of us have realized over our years of parenting that we have a love-hate relationship with summer. We love the late movie nights, and the swimming, and the days at the beach. But we also hate how crabby the kids are after a late night, how much work it is to go to the damn beach, and how freaking hot it is the second you step outside.

But it’s here for the next couple months—like it or not. Hopefully the summer of 2021 is at least a little better than last year, though. I mean, if you’re vaxxed and waxed and ready to roll, things are already looking up, right?