What I Learned (While My Kids Were) At Camp


My kids come home from camp in about 48 hours. How 40 days went by so quickly I have no idea.

This is by far the longest I’ve been away from my kids, ever. It gave me a whole new perspective on some things, and reinforced what I thought about other things. I’m sure I won’t realize the full impact of them being gone until they’re back again, but here are my observations.

Milk stayed fresher longer. Seriously. I noticed that change about half-way in. Without two kids opening the fridge and hanging out until inspiration struck them (or they spotted where I’d hidden the brownies), milk stayed tasty way past its expiration date. (Well, not this most recent batch, but that had nothing to do with the kids.) Also, we’ve had no moldy cheese since they’ve been gone. Coincidence? I think not.

They wear a LOT of clothes. I barely did any laundry while they were gone, and while the laundry room (and the room next to it) are still a disaster, the situation didn’t get any worse. So I’m going to blame the laundry situation squarely on them from now on.

They are not why I’m so messy. I really had convinced myself that if I weren’t dealing with kids and their logistics, I would have the energy to have a sparkling, organized house. Um…nope.

My husband and I still like each other. I admit it, I was worried that after eleven years of so many things being done and said through the filter of having kids in our lives, The Ass and I would find ourselves with nothing in common and nothing to talk about. I know it happens to a lot of people when their kids go off to college. But thank goodness, we didn’t have that problem. We really enjoyed each other’s company. I’m going to miss having him all to myself.

The Kids DO cause us to fight – sort of. My husband and I got along so well while the kids were gone that in my head I was starting to blame them for the way he and I fight sometimes – that being around them was changing our dynamic. But then we went to see the kids on visiting day, and got into a fight in the car on the way back, once we were alone again. And we’d had a totally pleasant time with them, so it’s not like we were in bad moods.

I think we both just have a finite amount of patience, and once it’s used up, that’s it. Whoever is around bears the wrath. And while on the surface we’d had a great time with the kids, just being around them added a whole new dimension of things to deal with. I don’t generally have to tell my husband to be careful because we’re in a parking lot, or prod him to stop playing with the juke box and figure out what he wants to order. It’s very low-level stress, but it was stress all the same. And we weren’t used to it. Now that I’m aware of how much dealing with that stuff constantly affects my patience, I’m going to do my best to chill.

We spend more money with the kids gone. Somehow I thought that with the kids gone we would save money, day-to-day (we’ll just ignore the exorbitant amount of money we’d already paid to put them in camp in the first place). We could go out without sitters! We’d be buying fewer groceries! We could go to the movies without spending $80!

Instead what we found was that we wanted to go out to eat all the time, and we went away twice on weekend getaways. The kids actually keep us home and (relatively) frugal.

The house is so quiet without them. And…even though I do miss them…I will miss the peace and quiet after they get back.

Major events meant less without them here. I would have loved watching the Olympics with them, or the Mars rover landing. I have no idea how much of the outside world penetrated their camp life. Maybe I can find some videos and relive some of those events with them after they get back.

We cant wait until next year. It was such a nice break. I highly recommend it.

Originally posted on Selfish Mom. All opinions expressed on this website come straight from Amy unless otherwise noted. This post has a Compensation Level of 0. Please visit Amy’s Full Disclosure page for more information.


  1. says

    We also had all three of our boys away for a month and I agree with everything you said, especially the part about spending money and going out to eat more. I hate to cook and with no kids to have to feed, I was happy to eat out for every meal! We also went away on 2 weekend getaways and have the credit card bills to prove it. And yes, with 3 bored and fighting kids at home now, most of all, can’t wait till next summer!

  2. elissapr says

    I so heawr you re talking with your spouse….I find that we talk less about the Kid and talk more about us, the future, the present..whatever. It’s amazing how much of a filter kids’ puts on adult conversation..

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