Rage Against The Minivan: My Family And I Failed To Accomplish Anything This Summer

The kids are back in school and instead of being happy about the time to work and get things done and not be distracted, I’m feeling regret. Not that summer’s over, necessarily. I’m always ready for back-to-school.

The regret is because I feel like I failed at summer. It seems like I always start each summer with a Big Plan. And I always fail to follow it through. Every summer begins with goals. Every summer ends with me wondering where the time went, and wondering how in the world we never got to all the great things I wanted to do.

For instance, here were a few of my goals for the summer of 2014…


Summer goal! Learn to sew with my oldest daughter. She’s gotten into vintage dresses and fabric patterns and wouldn’t it be so great if we took a sewing class together? This summer, we’re going to make all these cute, simple dresses!

Actual result: No sewing. No classes. No dresses. Maybe I pulled out a needle, once. But that was because someone had a splinter.


Summer goal! Focus on math. One of my kids has been struggling with math, especially math facts. We were going to spend the summer working with flash cards and solidifying all those multiplication and division tables. It’s just memorization. We have plenty of time. This summer, we’re gonna math it up!

Actual result: We reviewed all those facts and flashcards a total of””wait, let me do the math””THREE times.


Summer goal! Guitar improvement. My older kids have been learning to play the guitar, and we were going to ramp it up this summer and take the next step in their ability to shred. This summer, we’re committing to more practice. More lessons. More chords. More songs!

Actual result: They barely practiced. I’m currently not even sure where their guitars are.


Summer goal! Go to the pool. We love going to the local pool. The kids expend their energy. They go outside. They have something to do. I get to relax. This summer, we’re going to the pool almost every day, kids!

Actual result: We swam a few times on vacation. But how many times did we go to the local pool in our neighborhood on a regular summer day? NO TIMES. None at all.


Summer goal! Go to the beach. We live in southern California, you guys. You can practically see the beach from our house. People travel all the way to LA from the Midwest so they can go to the beach. This summer, we’re going to take advantage of where we live!

Actual result: We did not go to the beach at all. Yes, I ran at the beach on occasion. But actually family excursions? Nope. Zero. (To be fair, the kids seemed pretty happy playing in the front yard with the neighbor kids.)


Summer goal: Eat right. I was going to put our entire family on a weekly meal plan. The kids were going to help in the kitchen more often. We were going to try new foods and eat healthier and plan ahead and prepare meals as a family. This summer, we’re going to own the kitchen!

Actual result: We ate crap. Most days, I’m pretty sure the kids ended up making their own lunches.

Why? Why are summers so hard? Why do they get away from me so fast? The kids get out of school and it feels like we have about two weeks of chaos and then, out of nowhere, school is starting again.

Has this ever happened to you? You make these big summer plans and then follow through on absolutely none of them? How do I get out of this cycle? I guess I’ve got nine months to figure it out. Help me.

(Photos: Shutterstock)

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