Remember when I did a “roll call” last week and asked everyone to introduce themselves? That discussion got so much participation that I got an email from my contact at Substack who said it caused a huge spike in engagement on the platform in general. Woohoo!!!! Look at what a bunch of moms can do! Week #1 of my new newsletter was a big success. Hoping it continues. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart.
Today, I would like to discuss your summer plans. I think faster than most of us expected, things seem to be flipping back to normal. Mazzy’s sleepaway camp is a go. Harlow is going to gymnastics camp three days a week. I’ve got a girls trip planned with my college friends. July is almost completely booked so I’m already looking at August whenever I try to schedule something new.
I’m excited but also missing the slow pace of last summer, just playing in the yard and taking family bike rides. I feel a desire to take it easy, but also feel my FOMO (fear of missing out) kicking in for the first time in a long while.
What are your plans this summer as everything shifts back to normal life? Is it all systems go or are you taking it slow? Are you applying any of the lessons learned from the pandemic like the importance of quality family time, the intimacy of having a closer circle of friends, the ease of less planned activities… or are you living it up with parties, travel and mom nights out?
I’m trying to identify my exact issue and I think it’s that I really enjoyed the quiet downtime when none of us had a choice. Now that there are tons of things I could be doing and people I could be hanging out with, I feel the satisfaction I got from staying home with just my family slipping through my fingers. I’m also missing our small pod of bubble friends. This might be unique to city people having a weekend house, but since everyone is back and forth again on different schedules, our bubble doesn’t see each other by default nearly as often. I almost feel more on our own now than I did during the pandemic. There was something wonderful about everyone collectively having low expectations and zero plans.
Anyone else feeling torn like me?
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Here in Australia it’s winter (and FREEZING - I’m jealous that it’s summer there) and we have a 2 week winter break starting this Friday. I’m a teacher so it’s my vacation time too.
We’re still in a state of perpetual restrictions here, things change so quickly so you can never actually book anything in advance. As little as 3-5 cases can send us in a 3-7 day lockdown and when that happens the other states often close their borders to whichever state locks down.
Australians aren’t currently allowed to travel internationally without federal government permission, except to New Zealand, who we have a “travel bubble” with. I’m a New Zealand citizen and last week found out that NZ citizens are still allowed to go back to NZ even though our state is technically still locked out, as long as I get a Covid test 3 days before flying… so I’ve booked my very first flight in 520 days (a big deal for someone who flew the 24+ hours between Melbourne and Dallas 8 times in the year pre-Covid) and am going to see my 82 year old Nana for the first time in 2 years, and I leave on Sunday!
You said it perfectly. FOMO is real.
I totally hear you! The downtime together during the pandemic made decisions easy. You were limited, but you learned to thrive and appreciate what you did have within those limits--namely, your family. Now, schedules are filling up again and there's a nostalgia to it almost. But maybe that's revisionist history speaking ;)
I have a five year old who missed out on her first real summer camp last summer. You know, the kind where they’re outside most of the time doing “projects”, playing organized games, getting wet etc. she is definitely doing it this summer.
I completely understand your feelings. With a little six month old pandemic baby in our house I have so many different and often conflicting feelings about everything reopening and things going back to normal.
I really feel this too, Ilana. We have never been a go go go family so it was really nice having others on the same page as us and I find myself feeling sad that that is changing. I love going out to dinner and missed it so much but I also loved just sitting around a firepit with neighbors and I feel that slipping away. I was so hopeful that people would continue to live a slower pace but it doesn't seem to be staying that way.
I'm trying to balance life with a medically complex baby with a reopening society. I really want to get her and the other two out into world but also logically I feel like I need to be more careful... So far we are only doing outdoor things but as it turns out the trach/vent baby doesn't like the heat and it's hard to cool off a baby who doesn't take liquids (or ice cream!) By mouth. My pastor owns a pool though so I think we will be spending a lot of time at her house.
We live in AZ, but don’t have a pool so we rented a place with a pool because my sister and her kids are visiting from Virginia! We can’t wait to see them. Living in Arizona, sadly, not even half our state is vaccinated yet. But hardly anyone masks up anymore because people , sadly, don’t care. I am vaccinated but my daughter isn’t old enough yet, so I still mask up along with her so I can protect her. Due to that, much of our lives are still not very different than in the middle of the pandemic, except we can see more of our peeps who are vaccinated.
I am never going back to pre-pandemic life. It was chaotic, it lacked intentionality and authentic joy. I want to be pickier in general about how I and we spend our time. That said, until my kids are vaccinated we are going to keep laying low. Safety first, we can have a heck of a summer with sprinklers, bubbles and some less visited hiking spots.
I definitely feel torn, esp because my 6yo isn’t able to be vaccinated yet. I also am not in any rush to do all the things. My job is chaotic enough without my personal life trying to compete by doing all the things. I do think we will start to do some things but I will definitely prioritise things much more than I had previously.
We hosted the pod school all year and during that time I lost my mom to COVId and a month later was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. If there was ever a time I needed friends and family around me, it was this year, but a global pandemic and a weakened immune system was not a great combo. I got vaccinated in February and I finished my chemo treatments yesterday!!! My kids are doing ALL the camps this summer and yesterday my husband and I booked a trip to Vegas. I am ready to see friends, family and fun places again. While I will miss the slower pace of last year, I don’t think it’s gone forever. We will ebb and flow like we do on all things in life. For me, right now is not the time though.
We live in Bali, where life is pretty good. There are Covid-19 restrictions of course, including masks and limited capacities in most venues. But the tropical climate and outdoor lifestyle has made it possible for us to continue to enjoy company with friends and outdoor play dates for most of the pandemic. Most of our adult expat friends are vaccinated now, including us. But no one under 18 is eligible yet, and variants of the virus are hitting parts of SE Asia hard, including the capital city of Indonesia. So while we are watching the Western world and developed nations begin to open up and return to normal, we are still a long way away from that. I don’t mean to sound ungrateful, but that’s hard. We canceled our annual summer trip home to California where we spend 7 weeks soaking up family time with cousins and grandparents bc we didn’t want to deal with the hassle of long-haul travel and long quarantines in Indonesia on the way back. So we are trying to make the most of a relatively tourist-free Bali, and visiting famous spots here to support the local economy. We still have a lot of close family time and I’m definitely grateful for that, but feel sad to have had to forego so many fun summer traditions that we always look forward to.
Last summer was hard on my family. No camps to break things up. That being said, we were able to travel to Yosemite and it was EMPTY. Something that will likely never ever happen again. It felt like a special silver lining to a hard year. This year, however, we are on the move. Cabo, Mammoth, and Hawaii. And camp. I’m so happy to be back in the world of the living and so appreciative to science for getting us here.
Yes, I'm absolutely feeling the exact same thing! We have lots planned but it's still nowhere near what we normally would plan/do during a "regular" summer. I used to have a camp planned for the kids every week and we would go on a few trips but this year I'm still not doing too much. When I see my calendar start to get too full I scale back and don't say yes to as much. I miss the ease of last summer but at the same time I also want to go and do things. Instead of a couple big trips, we are just doing a couple long weekends. I am also taking the kids each on a one on one trip separately. There's something to be said for one on one time with each of your kids. They get your undivided attention which is so rare during the business of regular school/work life.
We are visiting the sea at Hopeman in Moray, Scotland. It takes us about 4 fours in the car to drive there which is a lot less stressful since our twins (7) and older boy (10) can watch their favourite movies on their tablets!
I absolutely understand the torn feeling. We are still taking it quite slow. I’m really thankful for our lessons learned. But, it’s also a conscious choice now and a new learning curve on less is more without the default settings of last summer. I am super excited about the few very small trips we have planned close to home. My girls are at a Christian sleep away camp for the week right now. Yay alone adult time!!! I don’t think I’ve been alone since last March.
Agreed completely. I’ve always been someone with a calendar chock full of plans. Shelter in place eliminated going out on the town or to parties. My partner and I adopted a cat and really just settled into a small, relaxing bubble. We cook and listen to music and watch movies…. It’s been a very calming time and also a nice time to get to know each other. I feel like our relationship is so much closer now
We're taking a trip to visit my brother that was cancelled last year and I am so excited! I've been home with my kids since March of 2020. I was laid off for 5 months and then opened a home daycare. I loved the slowness of last summer and spending so much time with my family that I didn't typically get. So I miss that but am also excited for a real vacation.
I definitely suffer from FOMO and want to do it all and see everyone!
I have signed my two up for three weeks of day camp here in Ontario and I'm thrilled that I will get a break.
My husband and I are celebrating 10 years this summer and we always planned on being in Maui for our anniversary. That has not panned out so we are trying to decide what to do in Ontario to make it something special.
I want to get back to some kind of happy-medium from pre-pandemic and post but I'm not sure what that looks like yet.
I'm not a people person so my circle is very small regardless of covid. The biggest change is all the other people coming back out. I liked going on hikes and seeing everything with just my family.
We just got back from a week at Universal Orlando. This was the most people we have been around in about 18 month and I’m not going to lie - it was stressful! We had fun and really seemed to be some of the only COVID concerned people in Florida. It was nice to know that we can safely do fun things again! Our family realized last year that we like downtime rather than being constantly busy and have been trying to limit our commitments. We have stuck to hanging out with a small bubble, and have enjoyed so much less drama! We are headed into day camp, swim camp, and a total kitchen renovation so things are only going to get more hectic!
I feel the same. As much as I’m happy to be out and about again, I liked the down time too. Our summer is quickly getting full of a lot of activities. All fun but it seems like a lot suddenly. I need to find the balance and ease my way back to “normal”.
I agree with this. I intentionally made less plans this summer since I loved last summer and yet here we are almost into July and feeling like I have so much going on. But we are also loving being able to do things and see people so we are walking a fine line between taking it slow and doing all the things.
I am probably the only person who was not upset by quarantine. I LOVED having everyone home all the time....having older kids it had been a while since we were all on the same schedule. I am having a very hard time now that my "baby" is 14. She is off to high school in the fall and there isn't a smidge of little left in her, unless she's hurt of course...thankfully she still loves to hug and snuggle. Summer plans are just some volleyball for the girl and playing with my 2.5 yr old grandson in the pool after work!
Being a stay-at-home mom with two little kids in a new town sure made it hard to meet people even before the pandemic! Then add in a lock-down and any budding friendships we had started were going nowhere fast! We were fortunate to have some family nearby to be our "bubble", but it was hard wondering if the rest of the world was secretly gathering without us because no one knew us well enough to include us. But I'm happy to say that even in our isolation, we were able to find common ground with so many in our town and are now entering society again feeling less alone! And really picking up where we left off a year ago with so many!
Even though life seems to be back to normal for many, we are a little hesitant and plan to keep our plans small this year. Sticking to events happening just in our town and taking only a couple of road trips to visit close family and friends.
I just think back to all those memes that told us to remember the slow times ... and I don't think we have! I'm excited to do all the summer things that we missed out on last year but I really miss the lazy weekends with no plans. I'm hoping I can try to recapture some balance toward the end of the summer but it's not looking good!!
In what I'm sure is a #firstworldproblem, my daughter had picked up horseback riding right before Covid. The barn was only closed for two months, so as soon as it opened back up we were there ALL THE TIME. We started leasing a pony full time and she rode constantly. Virtual school made this so easy because there was so much down time. So we put off sending her back for quite a while, but she's a social kid and needed it.
Also, it feels so good to HUG PEOPLE AGAIN! I live in a very high vaccination area.
Things are certainly picking up around us too. I just had a baby (our 3rd) six weeks ago so we have a good excuse not to feel bad missing out on things. No big trips for us this summer. But my 8 year old and (almost) six year old are attending several camps. And we hit the pool several days a week.
Finding a way to balance both -- what we had last year that we loved, and what we had the year before and the year before that but also loved. Last year only let us do very limited, local trips to neighboring cities/states which involved lots of nature, cooking, and family time. Years before 2020 involved hopping on a plane every month to visit new spots, and some old faves (we missed New York last year SO much!). This year is a balance. A plane ride here or there, eating out, having fun, but weaving in the local family road trips with lots of chill together time. :) Trying to find that balance!
We already took a road trip the week of Memorial Day. Our daughter is in full time camp during the week. My son is working at his first official job outside of working for my company. We are planning a beach weekend, but that isn't anything big since we only live an hour away from the ocean. I have a girlfriend coming into town in July.
I can already feel the panic that school isn't far off though. Being that my company was deemed essential, my day to day never really changed during the pandemic. However, our weekends were a lot slower and I sincerely miss that. In fact, I miss it so much that I have told my husband this upcoming weekend I do not want to plan anything and just hang around the house. Hopefully, I will be able to keep my family to that plan. ;)
We have no major plans for the summer. Our daughter has a one week overnight camp but other than that we are planning on taking it as it comes. Do some fishing, camping, swimming but not setting definitive plans. The school year always seems so go-go-go and my hubs works long hours in the summer so we like to just go with the flow and see where it takes us. Sometimes that's just hanging at the house watching TV. [shrug emoji]
We leave next week for the beach! It’s been 2 years and my almost 5 year old doesn’t remember it well from when he was 3, so it’s al he’s talked about for a month. The kids (9 and 4) aren’t vaccinated, so we plan to mainly stay on the beach and make our own food and eat on our beachfront patio. We purposely got a condo that takes us right to the beach from our sliding door so we don’t have to deal with people on elevators, stairwells, etc. And no public pool yet for the kiddos Until they are vaxed. But it’s just the boys and me and the spouse, so this will help us get back to the times when it was just quiet times with our household during the height of the quarantines, but on the beach! A good compromise we think!
We’re traveling to Boston and taking the train to NYC. I’m excited for cooler weather since we live in Texas, and showing our kids what a real city is like!! Any advice for must do’s with kids in NYC?? They’re 7 and 10.
We are making up for lost time travel wise. My husband is a teacher and goes back to school Aug 9, so I always feel rushed to cram things in. We have already been out to California, then camping in WI this week and a road trip to CO and UT next month. The road trip is something he always did as a kid with his dad and his dad is getting older and slowing down, so we are trying to do a vacation with him while we can. But I get wanting to slow down. I liked being unplanned and less busy during pandemic. My friend who lives in same town as me just texted to see if we are avail to hang out, probably haven’t seen her in 8 mo. But we are traveling then she is. It’s hard sometimes to even see your inner circle. But we are trying to make the best of life while we can.
I am not really feeling like that because the coming back to normal is not a reality in my country, I'm from Brazil. Everything is opened, but because it never really closed. I wish I could live where things were going back to normal, but to be honest, I don't really know when this is happening for my country. Although, I'm happy that a lot of countries are starting to have a normal life.
This summer will look a lot like last summer. We are going to keep being cautious until our kids can be vaccinated (10yo and 7yo).
I’m a teacher so summer break has always been my time to rest and recharge. We have been out of school for a month now and I’ve been reading a lot, taking a daytime yoga class I usually wouldn’t be able to, going hiking and swimming with my kids, working out more, wandering the farmer’s market and Target freely, and overall just relaxing. My kids have some daily sports things but no camps and we didn’t plan a vacation since we weren’t sure what this summer was going to look like- looking to plan one for our 15th wedding anniversary this fall instead!
I do kind of miss the forced slower pace of last summer, but honestly this summer isn’t super different for me, other than the kids activities and being able to go to more public places. I’m CHOOSING the slower pace this time!! And really focusing on releasing that which no longer serves me. It’s really freeing!
I am headed back to the us with my kids to see family after two years. Then my eldest is going to sleep away camp for a month while the youngest and I hang out along the East Coast. Europe has handled the pandemic differently than the US, so im not exactly sure what to expect this summer. My goal is to keep up the stricter protocols so I don’t lose the habit for my return in August…but who knows? Maybe once I’m somewhere less strict, I may lessen by rules.
Trying to keep it somewhat low key with my granddaughter coming to stay with us for a month which she could not do last year. We did not plan our week at the lake with our family due to COVID and not wanting to expose our young unvaxed grandson. Still slowly getting back to new normal and missing my down time. I learned that I enjoyed alone time and liked reading and painting too more than I realized. I am an empath and have learned how to
value that gift along with how to
protect myself from burn out. Simple and easy along with meditation are my mottos!
We’re in week 5 of summer in Louisiana. It definitely feels more like summer 2019 than summer 2020. My husband and I both work, so childcare for our 6 and 4yos is a must. 4 is going to daycare; 6 is riding the day camp carousel. He has six different camps over eight weeks, with a week off a the beginning, middle and end of summer. For travel, we are doing lots of weekends at my parents house on the Mississippi coast - it’s a kid’s dream. And we have somehow settled on Disney World the first week of August. I don’t really know what we are thinking with that. Between crowds and heat, we will be done in. The kids also re-started swim lessons for the first time time March 2020. So I think you could say we are about back to normal, but with masks in public places.
I feel you! We have a family road trip to Yosemite next month and I’m so excited. Staying at Rush Creek Lodge, will spend the days outside and evenings just relaxing. I’m a little wary about a hotel and being near people. What I haven’t been doing is contacting friends and going out, not sure why but putting things on a calendar is stressful.
The podcast Ologies just did one on Quarantine-ology and it’s a must listen. They talk about this odd place we are in and about the different experiences of grief everyone has gone thru. One of her best episodes.
I definitely feel torn. Last summer was actually pretty amazing for my kids, but I am happy to resume traditions like a big gathering with my "soul sisters" from college and our babies. Family trips out of state. But it actually already overwhelms me that the summer seems so "full" already.
I thought I felt like getting out there, but somehow it just doesn’t feel the same for some reason. Tonight I was excited to go to Nordstrom’s for some new makeup, one of my fav things that I’ve missed. It felt great, mask free, and trying new colors, but still not many people in the store. Of course I have no plans to go anywhere to wear it, when I used to go to a lot of concerts. My son is coming from Charlotte this Friday so we’ll be going out to eat a lot. I too liked, much to my surprise, the laid back quiet ease of last year, relishing in the peace my home gives me, and not being a part of the rat race anymore. It made me realize I didn’t really need to constantly be on the go, and didn’t miss it as much as I thought I would. Just listening to the birds sing, long walks outside, and enjoying my animals makes me want to escape to the country. I don’t miss traffic, crowded noisy places, or stress from work anymore. I retired in December just before the pandemic hit, and wouldn’t ever want to go back to the office. The simplistic life really is what it’s all about. Here’s to love, family, and close friends.
Already did a road trip from RI to DC, took advantage of school being done 2 weeks before the public schools... that's it though, we'll be local for the summer, no big parties. When they open vaccines up to under 12 then maybe we'll feel better about travel and large groups.
Definitely feeling torn but mostly good. The day camp our city runs is following the CDC recommendations so that is comforting. Plus they do a great job engaging the kids so it reduces my mom guilt for how much I am working.
In Alberta, we are completely opening up next week. Im still hesitant and will be careful, I'll probably still wear masks as well. No camps for the kids this year, but we have a couple trips planned to BC where my parents have a cabin and we have a trailer that we will take out for a a bit.
I think we are carrying forward our lessons learned. We learned the power of investing in fewer friends but loving each other deeply, of choosing what we really love to do, of having downtime. We are trying to ensure a couple of days a week this summer with absolutely nothing on the calendar. We let our kids quit a couple of their traditional activities and just keep doing what they are really passionate about. What we are enjoying most is just having things feel “easier” - lounge chairs back at the public pool, cozy chairs for reading back at the library, chatting with other moms before ballet class. Happy summer!
Definitely feeling torn, as well! Things outside are picking up, we just moved into a new home, my 18-year-old is getting ready to start his first full-time job and my husband was force-retired during covid. But our 2 daughters (16&9) are ready to get out. So it's a WEIRD mix of emotions here between the CRAZY of moving, wanting to settle in and trying to get adjusted to all of the changes, NEEDING a break from it all, but refusing to leave because we have a fresh new house to enjoy! Haha! I'm not sure where to land.
My mom has been doing childcare for my 6y/o since March 2020. I’m glad he had such good bonding time with her but next week is her last full week! He has 2 weeks of summer camp and we have 2 visits with his cousin who we haven’t seen since 2019. I’m very nervous about the travel but excited to see family and so happy that my kid will be able to play with kids his age this summer.
It’s definitely a busier time than last summer but I’m ready to have more plans than finding a different nature park to hike in (although I enjoy it and it will stay in our rotation of things to do).
Looking forward to getting back to normal. We are heading to Baltimore this weekend for a lacrosse event. Super excited for this. Then going to PA to visit family and while there, son will attend PSU lacrosse camp. There is definitely a theme 😊
Then in August we are flying to St. Thomas to visit family for about 10 days. We are so happy to get back to the islands. My husband has saved all his vacation for it since we haven’t been down in 2 years.
I’m a teacher, so this is the summer of relaxing, floating in the pool, and reading all the books 📚
I just went on my first large group dinner with friends from the neighborhood and it was weird - I was enjoying just seeing a friend or two here and there and now suddenly we’re in this loud restaurant all together! But I have to enjoy it while I can, as we’re getting ready to move overseas in a few weeks and it will be a very long time before I get to do that again.