kids playing summer breakWhen I say I hate summer vacation, I expect the sanctimommies to pile on and tell me I'm a bad mom for not loving the chance to spend time with my daughter. It's not true. I DO  love having my daughter around because, believe it or not, I miss the little rugrat when she's in school. I just hate that summer break is so darned expensive!

I thought it was just me. Until I saw an analysis of the true cost of summer break for American parents. Did you know we're spending $16.6 billion every summer? BILLION!

That's all the parents in America added up, of course, but according to the run-down on the costs of keep our kids busy while school is out over at Mom.me, the average kid costs their parents $1,116 each summer.

This is why I hate summer break (OK, that and the inevitable daily fight over sunscreen). Watching my bank account be drained slowly but surely during the summer months is stressful!

I'm not talking about doing anything exorbitant here. My daughter will spend one week at soccer camp. We signed her up early so we could take advantage of an "early sign up" cost break, and we justified the check we wrote because we won't have to pay sitters most of that week.

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All the rest of her summer fun, like hanging with my in-laws when they come to visit or a week with her cousins, will be free. Heck, it's planned in no small part to help ease our biggest cost of summer vacation -- the biggest cost for a fair amount of working parents: childcare.

I'm a work-at-home mom, but contrary to the myth, that doesn't mean I sit around baking brownies and watching movies with my kid.

I work.

All day long.

My only child is pretty good at keeping herself occupied, but she is only 8. She still needs help making lunch and unfreezing her Kindle when it freezes up. Not only that, leaving her to her own devices to be ignored all day long just wouldn't be fair.

So I have two babysitters who come to my house and play with her, two sitters who have become more like family but who still cost me money.

Quite frankly, I don't see anywhere I could cut.

So while I will delight in seeing my little girl running around our backyard with the dogs at 10 a.m. on a Tuesday morning this summer, love having her come up to me at 1 p.m. with random kisses, I reserve my right to love my kid and hate summer vacation at the same time.

Do you take a financial hit during summer vacation? Is it anywhere near that $1116 figure?

 

Image by Jeanne Sager