No, You Don’t Just Get 18 Summers With Your Kids

Meredith Ethington
3 min readJul 11, 2022


But, guess what? You also get 18 Springs, and 18 Falls, and 18 Winters. I bet when my kids are 19 or older, we might still have summers together too.

You also get more than that actually because when your kid turns 18 and they move out (we hope), do you stop being a parent?

No. Do they stop needing you? Yes, more than when they were babies, but also — no, not really.

I hate these articles I see making their rounds every summer to make sure we soak up the summer with our kids because we only get 18.

Yes. Enjoy as much as you can, but don’t feel guilty if the fact that they spilled a slurpee under your dining room table on day 3 of Summer break and didn’t tell you about (or clean it up) for SEVERAL hours is enough to make you not enjoy that minute.

It’s OK if those minutes you complain, or vent, or don’t enjoy the fact that your kids are all up in your business 24/7 during the Summer.

You only get 18 Summers, yes. But, you really get a lifetime when you’re a mom.

You get a lifetime of I love you’s and of being one of the most important people in the world to another person.

That’s a special gift every day of the week, and every season of the year.

Summer is special, yes because we get more time. But, it’s also hard because we get more time.

It’s not that we don’t love our little cherubs, it’s just that are cherubs also act like little a-holes sometimes, too.

Summer isn’t about cramming it all in because you’ve only got 18. Yes — enjoy your summer, but it’s OK if it’s hard.

It can be both enjoyable and hard. That’s what people don’t seem to get when they try to break a lifetime of work like motherhood down into 18 Summers for an article.

I just don’t buy it. Summer isn’t the only time to bond with your kids. In fact, in some families, Summer might be the time where you…

Meredith Ethington

Meredith Ethington, Author - Mom Life: Perfection Pending, Blogger at and Editor in Chief of