Depressing Summer

I think I’m officially depressed about the way our summer is going. I was really looking forward to spending time with the kids around the house, taking them to the pool and park, and just being with them after the long school year. I started out with a positive attitude, and really tried to connect with them.

But as it’s progressed, they are being really hard to be around. No matter what we do with them, it’s never good enough. Take our vacation, for instance: we went to the beach and they didn’t get to swim in the pool. We stayed at the pool, and they wanted to dig in the sand. We got them ice cream, but it didn’t have candy on top.

We went to a huge 4th of July event, with food, music and fireworks, but they wouldn’t be quiet about not having any glow sticks!

They have a house full of toys and they’re bored. They have a huge yard and playset, but it’s too hot. Yesterday I took them to Chick-Fil-A because I had a business meeting, and they could play while I talked. They complained because they didn’t get ice cream, they wanted more mints, they wouldn’t stop pulling on me for something else I just had to do for them, and my two year old ended up slapping me in the face.

Yesterday, I decided they were just really spoiled. We came home, went to bed, and I took every toy out of their room. If they wanted to color, they could use a pencil. I told them that if they wanted to complain about everything, I’d let them feel what it’s like not to have anything. The sad part is that even without any toys, they have more than most kids in the world will ever see. We talked about being thankful for what we do have rather than always complaining about what we don’t.

I was hoping they would earn back at least one toy today. But no.

Today we were going to go to the grocery store, but after complaining about lunch again, and completely ignoring everything I asked them to do, I took them straight home, and put them to bed.

I’m just really sad. I love my kids, and I want to enjoy being with them. I’ve tried every approach, and now, I just want to give up. I feel like a failure, and I don’t really like them. And the summer is almost over.

I really don’t want any advice, I just want to vent and express myself. And to ask for prayer.


About Sarah Pinnix

I'm a mom, blogger, vlogger, libertarian. I love Jesus, and my husband, too. Social Media Strategist for a Non-Profit (All statements here are solely my own)


  1. Deb - Mom of 3 Girls says:

    I think kids are at a loss in the summer – especially once they’re in school since the summertime’s so much less structured. I know my kids are much whinier and complaining more than they usually do too. I’ll pray for you – that you can have the kind of summer with them that you hoped to. 🙂


  2. Hi Sarah! Praying for you- and the kids 🙂


  3. Childlife says:

    Sarah — I just want to affirm that you’re a great Mom. I know it feels like failure right now, but you are standing your ground and laying the foundation for future success — and it really is a beautiful thing to witness.

    You parent your children with love and consistency and your efforts will win out because you aren’t doing this by yourself — you’re lifting the matter up in prayer. And I’m joining you my friend. Many heartfelt prayers for you today — and cyberhugs.


  4. Jordan (MamaBlogga) says:

    Sarah, I think you’re absolutely right here. I know you don’t need any advice, but as I read, I kept feeling like they needed to learn a little gratitude. You’re doing a lot for them and they’re not happy with what they have (a lesson all of us could use, I’m sure).

    I think you’re right in taking away their toys (didn’t appreciate them anyway). I think you could go a step further and look into opportunities for service in your community, especially if they really could serve underprivileged kids and learn how incredibly lucky they are to have the ocean and the pool and the ice cream–and YOU.


  5. Prayers sent that God gives you the patience you need (sounds like you already have the wisdom!) and that He opens their hearts to what you are trying to teach them.


  6. Coma Girl says:

    Just proves my theory that summer vacation is too long! Kids get bored and sick of their parents.

    At least yours is almost over. We don’t go back until after Labor day.

    My step-sons complain when we go away because we won’t let them take friends and “it’s boring with just us”. And then when their friends go on vacation, they complain that we don’t go on vacation. We can never win!


  7. Don’t doubt for a moment: You are a GOOD Mommy. ((((hugs)))) to you.


  8. My son has acted terrible this summer as well. It is his first summer after attending school, he was in PreK this year and only attended 1/2 days but he still has missed it. He is often bored, tears up things just to have something to do and makes huge messes. It is annoying. So I can relate!


  9. It breaks my heart to think of your smiling face so sad! I’ll be praying for you and your kids.

    I agree with your approach. Hopefully, the lesson will become clear to them sooner rather than later.


  10. Sarah, You shouldn’t get down on yourself. All kids go through these kinds of fits and stages. For me I just decided that when our kids get this way, that everybody goes on lock down. And I don’t take it personal that it had to be done. Yes I want to bless them and give them things I didn’t have. But more important than that, I have told them over and over again, as long as I am their daddy, they will do the right thing. You are a great mom, don’t sweat it. They will appreciate it when they are older.


  11. Thanks for the encouragement everybody! It helps to know I’m not alone. I just really need a long-term vision, and to realize it’s not always going to be like this.

    John, I like your “lock down” idea!

    A friend of mine is a missionary in the trash dumps of Peru, where people actually live. I think I’m going to print out some of her pictures and show them.

    Jordan, that’s a great idea about community service. I’ll have to check out some opportunities.


    Lisa M Reply:

    just wondering if you ever printed off any pictures of people who live in the dump.

    if so…how did your kids react/what did they say!

    Love you girl! 🙂


  12. Kim @ Through My back door window says:

    Although I don’t know you. I’ve been ready your blog and this one breaks my heart because it’s so close to home! To close.

    Girl, I’ll be praying for you and the kids.



  13. Classic MaMa says:

    You are a good Mom. 🙂 Being one is just really hard sometimes. I just prayed for you and your family.


  14. Crystal D says:

    It sounds like you need a nice easy win. One night where everything just goes right. Try pancakes for dinner, or dinner with no veggies or even just a eat what ever you want night. Follow that up with bath or no bath what ever is easiest. Then a extra half hour of stay up late time if they promise to go to bed without a fight. Whatever it is make it easy with low expectations.
    Since we have been home from vacation my girls have just been, well sort of awful. But tonight I did just what I said above and they went to bed happy and I feel more relaxed. Maybe tomorrow will be better. Maybe not. But I needed the break from being upset and they were better because of it.
    I only offered this advice (after you asked for none) because I cried last night in the car on the way to the grocery store and I just prayed for patience. So I will say a quick prayer for you too, because none of this is easy and we can’t do it alone.


  15. Liza's Eyeview says:

    Oh I (we) go through this every now and then. Here’s one post I did before:

    You’re a good mom and your kids are good. We have so much here in the US – sometimes kids (and even us) forget.

    I am glad you felt safe to vent here on your blog. That’s what the “blog support system” is here for. You’re surrounded with wonderful moms (and dads also) who understand.

    (((HUGS))) tomorrow will be better.


  16. Hey Sarah, I read this last night and was just overwhelmed for you. I have been praying but let me say this…you are sooo not alone. I think this is a struggle all of us face (if we care that our children are becoming materialistic)in our very materialistic society. If we are honest, we as adults have to fight it all the time too, we just have the reality of a paycheck to keep us in check. Just wanted to say hang in there, they will value you the lessons you are teaching them one day. You are an amazing mom.


  17. Lessa...... says:

    Oh Sarah, I love you. This made me cry. Please let me know if there’s anything I can do. I would be happy to come hang out with the girls while you did something for you. You are a fabulous mother and I still don’t know how you do it. Why don’t you join us Saturday morning for MMI? We’d love to have you! *hugs*


  18. sarah, although its usually carey who posts (actually always carey who posts =) comments, i cant help but respond to this entry. the scripture came to mind “no temptation has seized you except what is common to man” (1Cor.10:13)
    i want you to know that your children are not unusual, this is an all too common malady of childhood! (not to excuse it) remember, they are in training. you and your husband (are we allowed to use first names here?) are doing an outstanding job as parents. i just want you to know that. much love, pat


  19. Caroline says:

    Must be something in the water. (Or all this rain!) I feel like I’ve stayed very busy with kid stuff lately, but he can’t get enough. Pretty soon I’m going to blow when I hear the whiny “I want”. It was nice too see you and chat at the fireworks.


  20. You’re definately not alone girl! Mine has been complaining about being bored since school got out. Thankfully, we were at the beach for 10 days and that helped. But this week it’s been a little whining about nothing to do. Maggie will be going to year-round school – which starts NEXT WEEK (praise God), so she’ll be busy soon enough. Hang in there, you’re doing the right thing.


  21. Milehimama says:

    My kids are doing the same thing. Breaking longstanding house rules (like jumping off the bookcases). Fighting. Whining. Whining because I won’t let them fight.

    I’m seriously thinking of schooling year round on a 4 day week because apparently being at loose ends is bad for their character. But I don’t want to have to schedule every minute of their day!


  22. My girls tended to be lost in the summer. I tended to take the “idle hands, devil’s tool” approach and when they would get into a complaint streak, I would make sure to fill their time work. And they mostly loved it when they were young. I took the opportunity to ‘teach’ them how to sort laundry, iron, empty dishwasher, wash the car. Our mornings were spent doing necessary chores and then we would plan a fun activity for later in the day. Crucial to the success was discussing the chores that needed to be done before fun.
    But truth is, still there were days when my kids acted like spoiled brats and I felt like a failure.


  23. Sab Mad says:

    I have been feeling the same way lately about my own sweet darlings!

    Thanks for being real!


  24. You are all so sweet and encouraging. God used you all to provide just the perspective I needed! Thanks so much for your comments!


  25. Melissa Markham says:

    I so can relate to what you are saying…I love to buy things for my kids. I had plenty growing up (though nothing like what kids have today) I had several dolls, bunches of board games, barbies, and all the books I could ever want. But I get so frustrated when I get them something and then they ask for something else. I know this is my fault, but it seems like I can never remember the occasional aftereffects when I am feeling all warm and fuzzy about getting them something.

    And then there is the whining…I am hoping it is because we are away from home for an extended amount of time, but my 8 year old is driving me crazy! Seems like she has a melt down two or three times a day and it is 99% of the time over absolutely nothing!

    But, I have something that might cheer you up! Come check out my book giveaway


  26. Well you know what I think.. Beat em’ w/ a wet noodle! ;o) JK

    You are a great mother and its obvious you children adore you. You are a great leader and fantastic encourager. Your kids suffer from what a lot of kids do and I don’t think you overly adorn your kids. Its sad and my home suffers from that same disease of un-contentment. I do it all to often myself. I get to go the beach to visit family but didn’t get to go out on the ocean. Ugg.. I’m a brat. Thanks for the reminder that we all find our contentment in Christ and our children should learn the same thing. ((HUGS)) Love ya!


  27. Good luck. I hope this turns around for you. I do think that most children in this country do not understand just how much they have. There are other children in this country and other countries who have so little. I think it really helped open my older kids eyes to how good their lives are once they saw the life their brother had been living in an orphanage. They complain so much less now.

    I will pray for your family.

    Kim @ TheBitterBall


  28. Jo-Lynne (Musings of a Housewife) says:

    Oh girl. I know I’m late getting a comment in on this, but here’s a (BIG CYBER HUG). Kids ARE spoiled today. I wish I had an answer. I hope you’re feeling better.


  29. Prayers to you still as I know exactly what you mean – I am THERE. We’ve taken toys away too – when they won’t clean their room we clean it – with a garbage bag – makes me want to scream!!!!! Hang in!


  30. The Young's says:

    I am so glad you posted about this. I am SO feeling this way with my kids too. They seem SO spoiled and ungrateful…and I just don’t think we have raised them to be this way!! They just have WAY TOO MUCH STUFF!! I may follow suit with what you did. Has it worked yet?!?! I’d love to know if you’ve given them the stuff back yet!! Thanks for your honesty!!



  1. […] was pretty down last week, when I wrote about my disappointing summer with the kids. I was overwhelmed by the support and prayer from everybody, and we definitely turned […]

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