Perhaps you've seen that meme going around Facebook and Instagram recently telling parents to embrace the chaos that is summer vacation because, "we only have 18 summers with our kids." Perhaps you've even shared it in hopes of giving some other parent some perspective as their losing their minds from whining kids yelling "I'm bored" non-stop only one week in to summer vacation.
One mom is tired of it and doesn't want to hear it anymore. Nikki Pennington writes the popular blog From Grief to Hope and she's tired of people telling her to enjoy her 18 summers as if she's a bad mom if she doesn't enjoy every single minute of summer vacation.
The mother of three recently wrote her own Facebook post about that meme and it has definitely resonated with a lot of people.
"Stop telling me I only have eighteen summers with my kids. Stop telling me I only have nine hundred and forty Saturday’s with them. Well that number is a lot lower for me now. Stop telling me to soak it all up and enjoy every moment. Just stop," she writes.
Like many moms, Pennington seems to be over having other people tell her that every moment of raising kids is meant to be sunshine and roses and that sometimes parents miss out on things. Because raising kids is hard and we don't need the extra added pressure of being told that we should be savoring every moment instead of simply being human.
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"You know what’s stressing me out in motherhood? Blogs and posts and books that are telling me all of those things," Nikki wrote, echoing the feelings of many other moms.
"Stressing me out so much I can’t enjoy it because I’m too busy stressing and doing the math to find out how many Saturday’s or summers or enjoyable moments I have left or how many I’ve already missed out on."
The blogger spoke to Babble about how memes like this can really be hurtful to some parents as well, because not everyone is in the same situation.
“Working parents, divorced parents — their time is cut in half or they don’t get that time at all,” she says.
Her post is a reminder that we're not guaranteed anything with our kids, so people should stop telling us how to spend our time.
"Y’all some parents were only blessed with one Summer with their baby, some don’t enjoy every single minute or moment because they are the proud parents of a screaming toddler or a teenager that they don’t even recognize right now. Some parents never even get one Saturday with their child because they never made it that far."
Pennington writes that she's simply tired of people and memes commenting on how she should be parenting and wants people to just stop.
"So stop telling me what I’m missing, stop telling me how many summers I have or Saturday’s and that it’s all so limited and stop telling me I’m a bad mom if I don’t enjoy every single flipping minute of motherhood during those Saturday’s or summers."
Pennington's post has been shared over 1000 times and many comments from other mothers in different situations who couldn't agree more with her sentiment.
"I’m no longer counting and you shouldn’t either," Pennington wrote to conclude her heartfelt post. "Instead I’m soaking up every minute I’ve been given in the here and now."
Those are words most mothers can agree on.