Sommar med barn - om skuld och acceptans

Summer with children - about guilt and acceptance

There are countless articles, posts on social media and lots of info online with tips on how to create a nice summer with children without it having to cost anything. Many resorts/cities have free events for children almost every day during the summer holidays.

My idea is to direct the focus away from all such tips for a while and think a little about acceptance and guilt. Because the guilt often comes, when "everyone else" has the opportunity (to go abroad/have a summer house/swim every day/buy endless amounts of ice cream/hang out with the children, etc.) and acceptance is in many cases necessary - to have a nice summer based on it own situation.

The well-known Serenity Prayer contains the words "give me peace of mind to accept what I cannot change, courage to change what I can and understanding to see the difference" and of course it sounds wise and beautiful but how do you find that peace of mind, that courage and that understanding when very of what we experience around us suggests that we should feel the opposite?

Maybe the acceptance sometimes comes, like a streak of calm - "I'm doing ok, we're ok". Maybe guilt knocks just as often - "Why can't WE" or "I should do better".. Is guilt ever constructive (in cases where mistakes were not made)? (Is it getting us anywhere?) And is it possible to accept a situation (for example, limited finances/no vacations/time off) while wishing it were different?

How do we talk to children about all this? (Why can the neighbors but not us (or the other way around)?) "Life is unfair" is still an easy platitude to lean on, when the arguments are raging? Is it enough? If not - how do we give them tools to understand? (Sometimes you may have to start with yourself).