We are in survival mode with money at the moment. This isn’t intended to be a “woe-is-me-crying-poverty” post. It’s just that I was unemployed for almost a year and we’re still recovering, plus we have had some medical things this past year and we are just in, well, survival mode.

I think we are handling the strict budget confines fairly well but there always seems to be this guilt that creeps up from time to time about what we have done – or haven’t done – with our children.

Recently, I’ve made the mistake of looking at Facebook and saw all of the amazing trips, vacations and just general adventures my friends and their children embarked upon this summer.

  • Rock-climbing
  • Go-karting
  • Karate
  • Amazing camps
  • Disney vacations
  • Great Wolf Lodge
  • Overnight trips to the beach
  • Road trips in an RV
  • Camping near the ocean
  • European vacations
  • Family reunions
  • Vacations to visit family
  • Vacations with extended family
  • Cruises
  • Amazing museums
  • Water parks
  • Zoos
  • Carnivals
  • Bouncy house adventures
  • Family outings at sporting events

I’ve seen amazing upon amazing pictures of smiling kids exuding incredible FUN!!

Then, I feel the guilt. We didn’t take any trips or vacations. No camps or museums or even a Bronx Zoo membership this year. I didn’t even take them to a single carnival this summer.

This really hit me a few days ago when my oldest was heading back to school for 1st grade. I thought about him going into school and having all of the kids talk about their summer adventures, including all sorts of things listed above.
What is my poor, poor son going to say?

Needless to say, it didn’t take me long to stop feeling so pitiful. I stopped the melodrama and really thought about my kids’ summer.

We did do a a few things here and there:

  • We spent a few weekends at my parents’ house on the ocean (ok, Long Island Sound)
  • We spent many, many days at the condo pool including play dates with their buddies in the community
  • Lots of time on their bikes and just hanging outside, including hikes.
  • My kids had a few days here and there at Quassy – an amusement park that totally excites them at this age
  • We did an afternoon at Mystic Aquarium with some free tickets from my mom
  • They had a 2 day vacation in Maine (in a hotel because it rained like crazy) with their Mema and Pop-Pop
  • Before summer, we had a trip to upstate NY for an overnight stay in a hotel PLUS a mud run (that Andrew participated in)

They got to do this:

the "game truck" at a BBQ

the “game truck” at a BBQ

And this:

 

birthday party fun

birthday party fun

And this:

Pic by H. Robinson

Pic by H. Robinson

And this:

Pic by H. Robinson

Pic by H. Robinson

And this:

H. Robinson - Niantic, CT

H. Robinson – Niantic, CT

I guess we didn’t sit around and do nothing all summer. I actually think my boys had a decent amount of FUN this summer.

I think if we allow ourselves as the parents to see what they saw this summer instead of what they DIDN’T experience, we’d realize that they had a pretty great summer.

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