Family at beach
Mark Rand Photography

Five years and one million lifetimes ago, I was the “18 summers” mom.

Oh, how naive I was. When I read that blog post now, I cringe. The woman who wrote it is not the woman I am now. A few more years of experience and several major traumas later, I am now a much more empathetic version of myself, giving myself and the moms and women around me way more grace than I once did.

While I thought I had it all figured out as a part-time working mom of toddlers, today, as a full-time working mom of elementary-aged kids, I have enough self-awareness to share with you that I, Meghan Block, have nothing figured out.

However, today I deeply understand the tired mom who laments over an unstructured summer. I relate closely to the mom who wants a minute to herself. And perhaps even more notably, I feel sad for the Meghan who thought the love those moms had for their littles was somehow wrong or inferior. How wrong she was.

As we look toward summer time, I feel a familiar pang of panic. I’m wondering how in the world I’m going to create a magical summer while also maintaining a home and a job. Our calendar is packed with summer camps and childcare and exactly zero time for myself as I juggle it all. Unlike “18 summers” Meghan, I am not looking forward to sandy feet and slow days — I’m trying to scrape together some joy and allow myself some grace. I’m leaning heavily into the fact that THIS summer doesn’t have to be perfect. That we’ll find moments of peace and joy and happiness, and when my kids reflect on their childhoods, they’ll scrape together all the good memories, too.

If we’re counting down, I only have seven more summers with my oldest son at home. But I’m not counting down anymore. I’m soaking it in. I’m leaning into it. I’m enjoying him, while he’s here, under my roof, but I’m also no longer afraid to look forward.

I, along with every mother on planet earth, know how fragile this time is. I’m done lamenting over it. Nobody needs to remind us, and we definitely don’t need to hear from other moms and women every single summer to forget about how hard a summer with kids at home can be and instead embrace it because it’s one of only 18.

I’m creating a home that I hope my kids will always want to come home to. The clock isn’t ticking, and this work I’m doing will be important long after “summer 18.”

During my son’s 19th summer, I hope he’ll come home from college with stories to tell. I hope he’ll fold his tall frame into his small twin bed. I hope he’ll humor me with game nights and mom-son dates.

During his 20th and 21st summers, I hope he’ll find an internship or a job that continues to open the world for him. I hope he’ll join us for family events and maybe even some nights at home in his old room.

During his 22nd summer, I hope he’ll have post-graduation job plans but will travel somewhere amazing. Maybe our family will meet him at his destination! I hope he’ll let me help him decorate an apartment (if that’s what he wants). Maybe he’ll learn to cook me dinner.

During the summers of his 20s and on, I hope he’ll spend time with friends and find a hobby he enjoys. I hope he’ll be living in New England (that’s my selfishness speaking), and I hope he’ll bring friends and partners home for me to love on and feed.

Every single summer of his life I hope he’ll know that my home is his home. My door is open to him and to everyone he loves. My phone is on, and I will come to him with a moment’s notice. I hope he’ll meet me at the beach and toss a football with his siblings and I’ll get glimpses of the little boy who used to be mine.

My heart and home will always be theirs, as it was during the 18 summers we had together. 

Summer family at beach, "18 summers mom"
Stephanie Harding Photography
Meghan Block
Meghan was born and raised on the South Shore and attended college in Boston. After college, she married her high school sweetheart and followed him to Charleston, SC, and Groton, CT, where he served as a submarine officer in the United States Navy. Military life was an adventure, and after six crazy years of service (and two babies later!), the pair decided to move *home* to the South Shore in 2016 and put down some roots. Meghan is the proud owner of Boston Moms and work-at-home mom to William, Benjamin, and Caroline, born in 2013, 2015 and 2019. She loves meeting new people, encouraging moms, celebrating motherhood, and supporting small businesses.