Thousands of kids are already anticipating what summer will bring for them. And many of these kids are hoping they will be heading off to a summer camp with their friends. Whether it is a day camp or sleepover camp, summer camps are awesome for kids (and parents!) But if you are anything like me, you might have some summer camp mom guilt.
Why Summer Camp Mom Guilt?
I am a work from home mom. That means even though my oldest is in school all day, my youngest is still home with me while I am working. So even though I am at home with him all day, I am also working most of the day. Juggling his demands with work demands becomes, well, demanding!
When school lets out, I’ll be adding my soon-to-be first grader into the mix. Luckily, she is entertainment to my youngest, but you know the fights will ensue. She will want my attention too. So I feel guilty for not always being able to give both of them 100% of my attention all of the time. And then the major guilt kicks in because I feel like I am shipping them off to summer camp to get out them of my hair.
It boils down to me having FOMO – Fear Of Missing Out. I don’t want to miss out on these memories and nice summer days with my kids, but I have to let go! We all experience it, I am sure.
Summer Camp Schedules Are Hard
Parents who work outside of the home might have a harder time with scheduling summer day camps and may feel some guilt about that. Since I can just stop working to do drop-off or pick-up, it is easy for me to work around my schedule for summer camps. But then I feel guilty because I can do this and others can’t. I can see this working out a couple of different ways:
- Parents find a work around and are able to do drop-off/pick-ups for camps
- Can work out a summer camp schedule with whoever would be watching their kids during the day
- Find a sleepover camp so they don’t have to worry about it at all
- And there is always the possibility that they have to tell their kids that they can’t do a summer camp just because of scheduling/babysitting conflicts. Uhg.
And again, I feel guilty because my kids CAN do summer camps and maybe their friend is missing out on the fun. So I try to offer up my carpooling abilities but I can only do so much.
Summer Camp Isn’t Cheap
My oldest is excited to go to summer day camp and see her friends, especially the ones that she doesn’t go to school with. It doesn’t bother her like it does me that she won’t be home all day. But we had to put a restriction on how many summer camp activities she could sign up for because they aren’t cheap! Our local gym has different summer camps each week and of course she wants to do all of them. She also wants to do soccer camp. Talk about a boat load of money for all of those camps. So we had to tell her she could choose one summer camp at the gym and she could also do soccer camp.
“But so-and-so is doing ABC camp, and so-and-so is doing XYZ camp. I can’t choose what camp to do.”
It is hard trying to figure out which camp will be best because of cost restrictions.
Summer Camp is Well Worth It All
Even though I may miss my kids during the day, I know that they are having a ton of fun without me. Plus I can keep them on a schedule and not let them sleep in until 10:00 AM every day (because I am sure my daughter would).
My guilt most certainly will kick in because I am not there to experience all the summer things they are doing. But sending them to a summer camp is a learning experience for me too. I don’t have to always be there for everything they do. And it is good for them to grow and experience life without their mom around! Summer camps are about:
- Gaining independence
- Learning new things outside of the regular classroom setting
- Enjoying your summer with friends – not your mom.
And summer camps are straight up FUN! Camp is something that kids want to go to and there isn’t a daily fight about attending. I can already feel the anxiety leaving my body because I know they are excited to go. It would be much harder if it was the other way around.
I highly suggest that you find a summer camp for your children to be involved with. Don’t feel guilty about it. The memories that are made at these camps will be thought of for a lifetime. And I know this from experience. I am still friends with people I met at summer camp. Plus, I don’t remember missing my mom at all. That makes me sad since I am a mom now, but it helps too. I know that my kids will come home and be happy to spend the rest of the summer with me regardless. They will also be happy that they are getting to experience something else at summer camp.
What are your summer plans? Do your kids attend any kind of summer camp? Do you ever feel guilty about sending them to a camp without you being around?