Middleagedmum.com: Summer in the city


A subtle hint on the fridge door from Amanda!

For the last three months, our kitchen floor has been home to a constant stream of tents, rucksacks and bags of disgusting washing, as one or the other of the teens returns from yet another holiday or festival.

I have given up trying to get involved in any of the arrangements and as I’m not required to know any details, my role appears to be reduced to providing assistance (lifts) and funds to enable their “best Summer ever'”.

Daily texts include “where’s my passport and would you mind getting me two disposable cameras and £200 on your way home from work’? and “do you fancy a shopping trip to Westfield’? – which basically means – can you traipse round Top Shop for three hours to find me the perfect festival wardrobe – and then pay for it?

Since when did the summer holidays become a “thing”? Nowadays the average teenagers summer starts around May (when the exams are over) and are more action packed than a Lucy Clayton debutante doing her first season, or the cast from TOWIE’s PR schedule! They not only expect a full on family summer holiday (no biggie – just three weeks in the US, or a villa in Tuscany), they also need to pack in at least three festivals, a couple of girls/boys weekends and some more low key, local events – Wireless, Lovebox and maybe the odd house party – for it to be considered a successful Summer.

SS (succesful summer) images and hastags include #parklife (think – huge gang of teenage hipsters, drinking Red Stripe and BBQing in an East London Park), #lovinlife (view of a pool, palm trees and beautifully manicured feet), #girlsontour (six girls in tiny outfits, drunk and clubbing in a European city) and #wavey (group shot of beautiful slightly worse for wear, boys and girls with plaits, wearing tiny denim hot pants, vests and Hunters, with tepees and a huge stage in the background)!

Call me old fashioned or #nan but I remember spending my teenage summers working in mind numbingly boring jobs, daydreaming about when my life would start. I stopped going on holiday with my parents as soon as I could (two weeks in a caravan in the Highlands, wasn’t for me – although I’d love it now!) and the nearest I ever got to a girls holiday, was a week in B&B in Scarborough with my best friend!

Maybe we had lower expectations then, or the fact that we didn’t have social networking, meant we weren’t aware of what we could have been doing – if we weren’t working in a fish finger factory or local supermarket! FOMO (fear of missing out) has a lot to answer for in the life of the contemporary teenager!

To be fair my teens have both paid for most of their adventures with their own money, funded from their part time jobs – which is as it should be – as quite frankly I don’t see why I should work seven days a week to pay for them to live like the Kardashians.

Maybe I’m just a little bit jealous, as my August hashtags aren’t quite so exciting………..

#Londontransport  #hotandmenopausal #10hourday #needaholiday


  • Tiffany says:

    Where can I find that poster? Kid 1 has turned from a relatively pleasant – if taciturn – 16-year-old into a rude, lazy sod. I need to attach that to his bedroom door, pronto.

  • Amanda says:

    Tiffany, middleagedad picked that one up at out local reuse and recycle centre…someone had chucked it out. In our house Youngest son, who is having a brief respite this week from the type of summer Jane has just explained, said on Monday ‘mum i’m so bored, no one is having any house parties until FRIDAY’…..A

  • Patricia says:

    I just love this post. It’s so funny… and I don’t even have teenagers. Yet.

  • Jane says:

    Brilliant……following daughters SS (successful summer) 2013, post GCSE’s – her first A level essay was barely out of the printer before we started hearing rumblings of plans for summer 2014…..which include all of the above ++

  • Hell's Granny says:

    I bought that slogan on a card published by Gathered Images to send to my son while he was still a teenager, and he had the grace to laugh, so it’s not all bad! Apparently it’s also available as a T Shirt – or it was then.

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