Tuesday, 26 July 2022

18 Summers.

I am guessing by now we have all seen the "18 Summers memes", they have been going around for years. "We get 18 delicious summers with our children. This is one of your 18. If that's not perspective, I don't know what is." 

They always pop up at this time of year, when the schools break up for their summer holidays telling us that we only get 18 summers with our children, while they're kids so we should make the most of them.

Flowers

Years ago when I first saw the 18 summers meme, my heart sank a little and made me feel sad that our kids do grow up so quickly. For a while I used to go all out, stressing myself out over the summer holidays trying to keep the kids busy and happy. Making the most of our time together and then they turned into teenagers and they were so over me organising things. They wanted to play and chat online and spend time with their friends.

I feel that the 18 summers thing is just another way to shame us as parents. Not all parents can spend all of the summer with their children. Some have jobs to go to, some share parenting with another parent and some children are no longer with us. Not everyone can spend 18 summers with their children.

I'll let you into a secret. Becky is 20 in September and this will be her 19th summer and we have plans, we are going to do fun things over the summer that fit around her going to work. Summer fun doesn't stop just because your child turns 18 in fact sometimes it can become even more fun! Beer gardens and pints of cider in the sunshine. hehehe and do you know what's even better she pays her way. Sometimes taking the kids on a day out can be expensive but because Becky is an adult, earning a wage she will pay some towards any day out we have which means we are actually planning on having more days out over the summer! 

As the kids get older summer seems a lot more fun. There is a good balance of spending time with them and them spending time with their friends. I don't have to organise "fun" activities and play dates, they are happy with the odd day out, a full fridge and an internet connection.

The sentiment of the "18 summers" is that we should make the most of our children while they are children but there is no pressure. If you want to stay home in your pj's and do nothing, do it! If you want to go on days out and plan activities, that's OK too but just remember motherhood is challenging enough without the added pressure of making every second count.

I’m no longer counting the summers that I have with my girls and you shouldn’t. Instead I’m just enjoying the time we have together.

How do you feel about the 18 summers memes? 

PoCoLo linky

11 comments :

  1. My eldest will be 18 next March but he wont be leaving home anytime soon. #MMBC

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  2. I absolutely love this post Kim. I was worried at first because I really don't like the '18 Summers' meme. You turned it around brilliantly. And I love nothing more than going out with my two eldest who are in their 30s now. We have way more than 18 summers with our kids, and to be fair, a lot of them are with the kids doing what 'they' want. xx

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  3. I felt the same sadness when I first came across this meme, but it's complete baloney. I have no idea why someone came up with it unless it was an advertising campaign. My eldest turns 20 very soon and I know she still wants to join in the summer holiday fun days with my younger two. She goes off and does her own thing too. We've set up a challenge list this year, so they can choose what they want to do.

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  4. My oldest has already told me that he's coming with us on both the vacations we have planned for the next several years so it will definitely be more than 18 summers for us too! Heck, my mother in law has been coming on vacation with our family since my youngest was 5... which means she's also had an additional 13 vacations (minimum!) with her son and since she lives just 2 doors down we see her all the time.

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  5. Love this post and agree we are still having fun with our older children. We have literally done this same boring walk in the holidays every year since they were little and yesterday our 19 year old asked to go on it!

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  6. I wasn't aware of the 18 Summers. I think you are right, that having fun and making memories should be the main thing.

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  7. As the mother of two adult men and grandmother of seven grandchildren ranging in age from 8 to 24, I can attest that childhoods go by in the blink of an eye! Try to relax and relish the time you have to spend with children and grandchildren while you can. It's time that you can never get back.
    Carol
    www.scribblingboomer.com

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  8. Both my sons have flown the nest (although one has returned - temporarily!) but they still like to go on holiday with us which is lovely! #pocolo

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  9. Both our sons have flown the nest but we still enjoy going on holiday together which is lovely! #pocolo

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  10. Totally this. Enjoying summers however many is the main thing, none of us need shaming at all! Thanks for sharing with #PoCoLo

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  11. I'm spending summer with my 30 year old son in Australia, the summers never end.
    Thanks for linking with #pocolo, sorry for the delay with commenting

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