Summer of Independence Check List

Momservation: Promise me you will not let the teenage years be the marker for how well you’ve raised your kids.

☺        ☺        ☺

I’ve decided this summer will be the Summer of Independence. I’m going to resist the temptation to make lunches that hit every major food group, pick up wet towels off the floor, and remind people to brush their teeth.

And in “people” I mean my teenage children who should really be further along on this independence thing.

I blame myself though. I’m a helicopter mom who worries that if I don’t feed my children they will starve or if I don’t hover over them with sunscreen they will sustain third degree burns.

This summer I’ve decided to save them from me and a life of never knowing that clean clothes don’t just magically appear on your bed folded and ready to put away.

Just to let you know—it’s not going well. At least by my standards. The kids think they’re ready to move out. I’m ready to abort the mission or flee this hazmat site.messy-room

I didn’t think I was asking too much on this first test launch of independence. But obviously, putting a new roll of toilet paper on the toilet paper dispenser is setting the bar too high.

Let’s look at the checklist of things that would define a successful Summer of Independence:

□ Get up at a reasonable hour and feed yourself breakfast

black check mark in box_small(If by reasonable Mom meant after noon and by food she meant Chex Mix for lunch)

□ Brush your teeth and brush your hair

black check mark in box_small(Jumped in pool and chewed some gum)

□ Get dressed in something besides what you wore yesterday (and the day before)

black check mark in box_small(Throw favorite outfit in dryer and spray with Axe or Taylor Swift perfume)

□ Make sure you put on sunscreen and to reapply

black check mark in box_small(Try to look like a Coppertone model, complain about burned/blotchy skin, not learn lesson and repeat next day)

□ Make sure you eat something for lunch

black check mark in box_small(Skip lunch then come in with friends like a swarm of locusts and eat everything except what would constitute a healthy lunch)

□ Make sure to pick up after yourself

black check mark in box_small(Turn the house into a garbage heap)

□ Pick up the dog poop in the backyard before your friends come over

black check mark in box_small(Laugh at your friends who step in poop then get mad when you have to clean poop out from between toes and bottoms of shoes)

□ Have you and your friends use same pool towel all day

black check mark in box_small(Grab a dry towel every time then leave wet towels all over the yard, house, and in every chair so there are no dry seats to sit in)

□ Have your friends help you clean up before they leave

black check mark in box_small(Say you’ll do it yourself later and then never do)

□ Do regular chores like setting and clearing table, unloading dishwasher, and making your bed without being asked

black check mark in box_small(Must not have to do them because Mom’s not nagging me!)

□ If your clothes you want to wear or need are dirty wash them

black check mark in box_small(Complain about no underwear and nothing to wear. Continue to be mystified by two square, metal, machines in laundry room)

□ Help make dinner

black check mark in box_small(Get invited to a friend’s house for dinner or be conspicuously absent and unreachable until food hits table)

□ Go to bed at a reasonable hour

black check mark in box_small(If by reasonable hour Mom meant falling to sleep after midnight with my phone in my hand, headphones on, and nothing interesting on Instagram, Twitter, or SnapChat)



  1. Elise says:

    I’m a huge failure, too. I should take a picture of the piles of laundry waiting to be washed on the floor of my family room. Also, according to my 14 year old, “We don’t have any food in this house.” Translation: I keep opening the fridge and nothing jumps into my hands, already fully assembled. When I asked her what she thought we didn’t have, she said, “We need stuff to make salad.” Funny thing, the produce drawers were overflowing.

    • kellimwheeler says:

      Ha! I HATE it when my kids say there’s nothing to eat! But I guess that’s payback for doing it to my mom (apples and carrots didn’t count as something to eat).

      Let’s both agree not to take any photographic proof of our failures Elise!

  2. Dad says:

    As the father of this article’s author, and in the defense of my perfect grandchildren, as a teenager their mother’s bedroom looked strikingly similar to the photo above and she didn’t turn out too bad.


    • kellimwheeler says:

      Let it go on record that you empowered my disasterous room, Dad. Why would anyone let me have a path through my filth from the door, to my bed, to my stereo only to let me figure out it was no way to live (or how embarrassing it was when my friends popped by)?

      Ok, fine. It worked. 😉

  3. Deedee says:

    Oh yes. Sounds just like the Hintze House. I told kids I will NOT be doing their laundry this summer. They are home all day. They have more time then I do. I haven’t seen them load the washer but 1time this summer. And we have been out if school since May 30. Lol! Thanks for sharing Kelli!

  4. kellimwheeler says:

    To be honest, I’m still enabling my kids with the laundry because I just don’t feel like being mad about it. Plus, they would just stay in their bathing suits all summer and that just grosses me out. 😉

    Thanks for stopping by Deedee!

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