Acceptance of Summer Guilt


 Acceptance of Summer GuiltLet’s start by calling this what it is: May is a hot mess of crazy!

Projects, recitals, end of year parties, hat day, critter day, summer camp planning, teacher gifts, field trips and programs. Whew! Our school is seriously the best around and yes, it is wild juggling all of these activities, but I enjoy every minute of it! As a working mom, this crazy schedule and the 473 activities help me feel involved in the daily routine that I often feel excluded from working my 9-5 job. It’s also fair to mention that I have become addicted to being busy, which is another discussion (issue?!) we can revisit on another day.

Jack Bullfrogs
poetry recit Lusardo
Mom C&J Bullfrogs

Don’t get me wrong; my kids “big puffy heart” love their school and will tell you in a red hot second how proud they are to go there, but when the dust settles, the backpacks and uniforms are hung up, in front of me stand two kids, another year older, with a whole summer of new found freedom.

This image is what kicks off my unwelcome, yet anticipated, summer guilt.

Summer brings this wonderful welcome break for them, but my schedule remains constant and intact. They are anticipating swimming and swinging and hiking and all the joys of warm summer days and, if I am being honest, I selfishly think about how I will miss a good portion of it. It’s a tough pill for me to swallow. We are unbelievably blessed with family and camps that fill their summer with love and fun, but minus a vacation and a few days here and there, their summer days will be sans Mommy. I have begun to ask myself if I am truly ok with that.

I promise I am not whining. I am grateful for my job and all it provides our family. I’ve worked hard to succeed in my field and it makes me uncomfortable to think that the “job-life” I worked so hard to achieve might not be exactly what I am being called to do.

Most of the year, they go to school and I go to work. All is well in my structured world. So naturally, I suppress this guilt. It’s always there of course, but it gets ignored most of the year. As summer approaches, the suppression of guilt gets harder and the questions I ask myself magnify:

  • Am I doing what is best for them?
  • Is a 9-5 job still my best option?
  • Having a career has always been important to me. Is there another way to do it and have more time available for them when their schedules free up?
  • Am I still doing this mom gig right?

As a mom, I am constantly evaluating my life situation and trying to be sure I am fulfilling this season in the best manner. This time of year forces me to answer these questions and sometimes the answers make me feel like I am just not quite tying it together.

Our pastor said something on Mother’s Day that struck me hard. He made the true statement that life should be about more than getting up, going to work and going to bed. I am not being dramatic here. Of course my life has many more joys and details than just that, but the core principal of settling for basic acceptance was being directed straight at me…called out in church! #betterlistenup

I started this trend of just accepting that once summer rolls around, I am going to feel guilty. I acknowledged that and moved on. It never occurred to me to change it. If (a HUGE if) I am not too scared to re-evaluate the situation, is it too late to make a change? I don’t want to accept this guilt as just another season of life. There are plenty of hard seasons that must be weathered, but if I can say with some certainty that the path I am currently on isn’t my purpose, shouldn’t I change it?

Every family has hard seasons. For some it’s summer, for others it may be back to school and for some it may be holidays. Whatever time hits hard for you, focus on it. Don’t just accept that it has to be a hard season. Maybe it does and if that’s the case, I’ll pull up my britches and weather that storm, but we owe it to ourselves, as strong women and mothers, to at least consider a change. Your conclusion might not only surprise you; it might just change everything you thought you knew was right for you and your family.

You might even fulfill your purpose and isn’t that what we are all being called to do?

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Erin Martin
Hello! Erin here! I was born and practically raised in Chattanooga, minus a few years as an Army brat. I graduated from Bryan College with a degree in Accounting/Business and currently work as corporate accountant. My husband, Michael and I live in Ooltewah and have been married 8 years. During this time, we have had some serious fun, hard discussions and added two pretty spectacular kids to the mix, Charlotte (5) and Jack (3). I love Jesus, books (so.many.books), coffee, coffee (not a duplicate) and TN Vols football! As a family, we love animals; farms, fishing, aquariums, zoos. If it’s got animals, we are there! Charlotte and I are travelers, but we are slowly getting the boys on board. We camp with friends and family (full disclosure: in a camper!), and I have been known to encourage dancing in the rain and splashing in mud. It’s good for the soul! Happy reading, friends!


  1. Erin, this is a heart-felt, thought-filled passage. I pray that God guides you to a decision that is the absolute best of you and each member of your family.

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