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Mom to Mom: Why I hate taking my kids places

Having four kids is overwhelming. Having three out of those four be boys is brutal. I am loath to take my children anywhere as a box set because I have a hard time keeping my eyes on all of them. My solution? We don’t go anywhere. 

My teenage (and only) daughter complained that we don’t “go and do” over the summer. Well, chica, let me spell it out for you.

●              It’s expensive. While going to a water park is fun, taking four kids costs about as much as Christmas. And they want to do stuff all the time.

●              I’m outnumbered. When four kids go in four different directions, I can only follow one. I usually choose the one most likely to get himself severely injured. I don’t even take kids to the grocery store because of this.

●              Nobody wants to do the same things. Two teenagers, one 8-year-old and a 5-year-old never want to do the same activity. The teens are bored with the youngest’s ideas and the younger two aren’t big enough to do what the teens want to do. 

●              There’s fighting. Whether between the girl teen or the boy teen, the younger two boys, the middle two boys, etc., it happens. The only two who get along are the teen girl and the youngest boy. 

●              Someone ends up crying. Typically, it’s me. Because of any of the aforementioned things.

I see what some of you are saying. It’s my fault for having four children. I should have been prepared for the cost and my own lack of extra arms and eyes. Yep. I know. I fully realize that. But as an only child myself, I wanted my kids to have built-in playmates and someone to lament with when they’re older and I’m long gone. The benefits, in my humble opinion, outweigh the short-term complaints of lack of seasonal fun or family trips to Target. 

I can only do my best and hope my eye-rolling teen daughter appreciates what we did do this summer. We took two trips (one with family, one with her Girl Scout troop), she spent two weeks at summer camp away from her brothers, and she got to sleep in. All in all, she doesn’t have much to complain about.

Now, back to school, kids!