The last week of May brought unseasonably hot weather to the East Coast, where I live. We’re talking a week of 85 degree days, complete with evil humidity. We didn’t have our air conditioners in yet and stubborn-little-me wanted to wait until summer officially struck to install them. So we opened the windows and got out some fans, but by the third day, everyone in my house had turned into cranky beasts.
I thought it was bad enough that I had to dig out my kids’ shorts from storage and shave my freaking legs, but the sudden shift into insufferably hot weather turned me into a raging lunatic. I do my fair share of complaining when we’re in the thick of winter, but at least in winter I can stick my kids under some warm blankets, throw some screens in front of their faces, and hibernate for a few months.
I’ve always said that I would take the most frigid day over the hottest day, but since I became a parent, it’s only gotten worse. Parenting in hot weather totally fucking sucks hot hairy balls. Here’s why:
1. All the Crap You Have to Pack to Leave the House
Yeah, it takes an hour to leave the house in winter, but that’s mostly because of all the clothes you have to bundle your kids in. In summer, you have to pack the whole house and medicine cabinet. God forbid you go anywhere without bathing suits, towels, gallons of water, snacks, buckets and pails, sunblock, insect repellant, and…I’m probably forgetting something, right?
I know I mentioned it above, but sunblock deserves its own entry on the shit list. I hate sunblock—so much. My kids hate having it applied. I hate putting it on them. I hate cleaning it off. I hate that I either have to spend my paycheck buying them sunblock without horrid chemicals or use cheap sunblock that is obviously going to kill them.
3. Having No Choice But to Bathe Your Kids
I can usually get away with bathing my littles once or twice a week unless something unusual happens, but in summer, I really have no excuses. And sitting in a stuffy 90 degree bathroom every night while my little guppie splashes happily in the water is absolute torture.
4. Having No Choice But to Bathe Yourself
As a full-time mom, I don’t have time to shower daily. I just don’t. But in extreme heat, I have no choice. Sometimes I need two showers a day, which means I have to listen to my kids wreck my house twice a day while I wash the sweat off my sad, sorry self.
5. Pregnancy and Breastfeeding Is Absolute Misery
I was 9 months pregnant in August, and I basically spent all my time sitting in front of an air conditioner. Pregnancy already turns up your internal thermostat, but add summer heat, 25 extra pounds, and hormones—and you’re a wreck. Breastfeeding isn’t too fun either: boob sweat, underarm sweat, sweaty babies, and milk getting everywhere and making everything sticky. No bueno.
6. All the Places You Go Have to Involve Water or Air Conditioning
When it’s really hot, local parks and playground aren’t OK unless they have sprinklers. Even hanging out in the backyard doesn’t work unless water is involved. Water is fun, but it’s also a royal pain in the ass, especially when you’re dealing with wet bathing suits and wet children on a daily basis. If you don’t take your kids somewhere outside, you have to strategically plan to be in places that have air conditioning; most do, but you’d be surprised how many places are still in the dinosaur ages when it comes to cooling systems.
7. Metal Buckles in the Car Seat
Just getting into a hot car with a kid is an annoying ordeal in and of itself. But I have to zero in on the buckles on the car seat for a second because they are my nemesis. When my first child was a baby, I didn’t understand how incredibly hot they could get, and I made the mistake once of putting him in his seat when he was wearing nothing but a onesie and a diaper. It took me a while to figure out what those two odd shapes were that had been seared into his legs, but once I figured it out, I felt like the worst mother in the universe. Beware the metal buckles in car seats during the summertime—they are the devil
8. Wrecked Sleep Schedules
You’d think the heat would wipe the kids out, but they are impervious to it. Plus, the sun is still out at 8 p.m., so it’s impossible to convince them to go the hell to sleep. Of course, they’ll still wake up at the crack of dawn, no matter what time they crash.
I like bugs. I respect them. I make sure my kids don’t intentionally kill them. But mosquitoes? Screw you, mosquitoes. You carry diseases, and your main job is to bite people and drink their blood. Plus, the welts you leave on my kids are ginormous and keep them up all night scratching.
10. Heat=All the Crankies
The humidity, especially, just messes with my patience. It’s totally rage-inducing. And the kids aren’t any better. Cranky kids + cranky parents = World War III, the summer edition.
OK, I know these are all First World problems. I should be grateful that I have access to sunblock, clean drinking water, pools, and air conditioning. And I know there are a lot of memories to be made over the course of a summer. I like the freedom of our long days and how exhilarated my kids are to be running around wearing practically nothing and sucking on popsicles by the dozen.
But I still find summer—especially the extreme heat and humidity—to be a total buzzkill. I want it to die a slow, hot, merciless death.