Summer Survival for Moms: Hilarious Moments with Meredith Masony
Join Jen and buddy Meredith for some candid and relatable conversations about surviving the chaos of summer survival with our kids. As they navigate the wild rollercoaster of parenting, they share their stories, commiserate with fellow moms, and offer a sympathetic nod to the struggles moms all face. From juggling sports camps and senior pictures to the constant worry at the beach, Jen and Meredith understand the joys and challenges of motherhood all too well. So, grab a cup of coffee (or maybe a glass of wine), and let’s find solace in the fact that we’re not alone in this crazy adventure called motherhood.
Surviving Summer | Meredith Masony | MomCave LIVE
Summer Survival with Kids and Busy Schedules
Jen: See, it says “live.” It says “live.” We’re completely live. Welcome to MomCave LIVE, where we may have lost our minds, but we haven’t lost our sense of humor. Tonight, I’m live with my buddy Meredith. You might know her from “That’s Inappropriate.” All things that are inappropriate. We’re just doing great. Are we halfway through summer?
Meredith Masony: I think so. Well, my kids go back to school on August 10.
Jen: So you go back to school much sooner than us.
Meredith Masony: Yes, Florida goes back, but we were out on May 25.
Jen: Oh my god. Okay, so we’re just shifted. It’s the same thing. I’m trying to make us go live on all the platforms and go live on Instagram. Let us know if you’re watching. Leave a comment on Facebook. Say hello. We’re going to talk about how we survive with kids during the summer. So, Meredith, do you have a busy summer?
Meredith Masony: Well, let’s see, my kids are 17, 14, and 12. My oldest just got back two days ago from seven days at a pole vaulting camp. When my daughter leaves, he leaves again on Friday for another pole vaulting camp. My daughter leaves on Sunday for a week at a camp in Tennessee, which isn’t even in the same state as we are. And then she comes home on Saturday, and I get to wash all of her clothes, repack everything, and then drive her to her next camp the day after.
Jen: Oh, wow.
Summer Survival With Busy Schedules.
Meredith Masony: At that camp, she’s going with my youngest. Today and tomorrow are the only two days this summer that all of my kids were home at the same time. So we decided to make a quick staycation out of it, just so we could spend some time with them. It’s been brutal with sports, camps, and everyone’s activities. I tried to take some time off from work, so I didn’t schedule too much in July and August, but it’s been nonstop. And then today, I had a total meltdown in my car because I had to sign up my firstborn for his senior pictures.
Jen: Oh, that’s so sad. And it’s good that you guys all get to be together because soon he’s going to be flying the coop and leaving the nest, and you won’t spend much time together.
Meredith Masony: I know. It’s been crazy. I wish we would have planned an actual trip, but I say that knowing that if we had spent thousands of dollars to take them somewhere, they would have fought the entire time. So I was like, we can have a staycation for free. And they can fight all they want because I won’t spend any money.
Jen: Free fighting. It’s fine. It’s paid by the same fighting that you do at home, right?
Meredith Masony: They always say that’s what vacation is for a mom. It’s just parenting in another place. You’re just doing the same things.
Jen: Yeah. They always say that’s what vacation is for a mom. It’s just parenting in another place. You’re just doing the same things.
Meredith Masony: But with more laundry right now.
Navigating Work, Family, and Unstructured Time with Kids.
Jen: Oh, great. On your sinking ship. So, hi, Amy. Hi. They’re popping in the comments and saying hello. Tell us what you are doing this summer and how you’re surviving it with the kids. Yeah, we’re having a weird summer too. We decided not to make any plans whatsoever. There’s no camp, nothing. It’s just us and our wonderful family time together. As you can see, that’s not going great and not helping my summer survival.
Yeah, my husband and I both work from home, and my kids are a little younger. My oldest is the age of your youngest. So I have a 12-year-old and an eight-year-old who just turned eight. I made a list on my phone of all the cool activities I was going to do with them this summer and all the fun things that were really creative and had nothing to do with the internet or video games. I don’t think we’ve done one thing on the list.
Meredith Masony: I mean, that’s brave of you.
Jen: It’s not like I made a choice, really. It was two things. Firstly, I was way too busy at the end of the school year with all the baseball and dance classes and everything. I just couldn’t handle any more commitments during the summer. And secondly, I’m broke and can’t afford to send them to camp. So not only are they not attending any camp, but I’m also working hard to make money while they’re not in camp. It’s been crazy.
Meredith Masony: Yeah, it’s tough because I love having some unstructured time where you don’t feel pressured to go to the next event or activity. But as they grow older, that becomes less of an option because they develop more interests and engage in various activities.
Jen: That’s normal development, right?
Embracing the Hectic and Cherishing the Moments during Summer Survival.
Meredith Masony: Absolutely. I would say around middle school or even eighth grade, everything starts to get really busy. They don’t realize yet that they can’t drive or that they have no money, but they make all sorts of plans. You’re right at that stage where things are going to become super hectic. Every phase and stage is different, and that’s totally normal. However, it’s still nice to have some days in the summer when you wake up and don’t have anything specific to do. Although, when I say “nothing,” I mean cleaning the house, doing laundry, and all the usual mom stuff that makes you feel like you did nothing all day.
Jen: But you still have to do those things.
Meredith Masony: Exactly. Those days were rare for me because I had to be up for horseback riding or basketball camp or take care of other things like getting my kids’ oil changed. There were moments when I just wanted to drink coffee in peace without anyone talking to me, but those moments eventually come to an end.
How Much Coffee is Too Much?
Jen: I don’t think having too much quiet or too much coffee is an option. But like we always say, “It’s just a stage, and this too shall pass.” Many years from now, we’ll be the ones missing those days and having too much quiet and coffee.
Meredith Masony: Yeah, it’s all a part of the journey. Everyone means well when they offer advice or comment on situations, like when I posted about my kid’s senior photos on the thread. I wrote, “Don’t mind me. I’ll be in the corner rocking back and forth and snorting lavender because my firstborn is getting senior photos.”
Jen: That’s a realistic and healthy reaction compared to what some people do when they’re stressed. Good for you.
Meredith Masony: The comments were supportive, for the most part. There’s always that one comment that says, “Wait until it’s your lastborn,” and you’re like, “I know,” and it hits you hard because the woman says, “I’m on my lastborn’s senior year, and I’m falling apart.” It’s like, “Oh my God.” They mean well, but those comments make you feel gutted because you didn’t even think about that.
Parental Worries and the Constant Juggling Act.
Jen: And it reminds you that it can get worse.
Meredith Masony: Exactly. It brings to your attention that it’s going to get worse. I was already in a tough spot, and that comment made me dig deeper into that hole. It hasn’t even crossed my mind yet because my child is only 12. He’s just starting to grow armpit hair and is currently obsessed with “Friends” because of Jennifer Aniston. We’re just getting into that stage. But soon, I’ll be sending one away, not to prison, but out into the world. When someone points that out, even with good intentions, it’s like, “Oh…”
Jen: Yeah, let me deal with one catastrophe at a time. One catastrophe at a time.
Meredith Masony: Exactly. That’s how it is, and I was thinking about it today when we were at the beach. I don’t like it when the kids are in the water because I feel like I have to constantly keep an eye on them. I can’t even remember the last time I truly relaxed and exhaled. It was always a summer survival kind of thing.
Jen: I know, right? The beach should be a relaxing place, but as a mom, you’re constantly counting the children. God forbid you sigh or try to read a book or do anything else.
Meredith Masony: My kids are older now, 15 and 12. They were boogie boarding and trying to go a little further out to catch some waves. The whole time, I couldn’t help but worry, hoping there wouldn’t be a fin or some catastrophic event. My husband told me to relax, but I replied, “If only I knew how.”
Jen: Exactly, it’s hard to relax when there’s always the fear of someone getting eaten by a shark. Who else is watching out?
Balancing Safety, Summer Survival, and Enjoyment at the Beach.
Meredith Masony: That’s what I think too. It’s the immediate assumption. I’m so neurotic that I made us sit next to the lifeguard tower. It seemed like a great idea to me. I kept my eye on my kid to ensure the lifeguard was watching.
Jen: It’s just an extra precaution. My family always tells a story about when I was a kid at the beach. They thought my little sister got lost. She just vanished. They were searching, and the lifeguards were elbowing each other, asking if they were looking for a little blonde girl. She kept going further down the beach, and when they asked if she was lost, she said no because she had been told not to speak to strangers. Anyway, since then, we’ve always made sure to be near a lifeguard station and establish a home base. We do what we can.
Meredith Masony: It’s just overwhelming, always coming from every direction.
Covering All Your Bases During Your Summer Survival.
Jen: We have to cover all the bases.
Meredith Masony: That’s exactly it. I’d love to be more flexible, but I feel like it’s not an option for me.
Jen: No, I don’t think I could relax even if I had the chance. I’ve been on watch for so long that I wouldn’t know what to do or what not to do.
Meredith Masony: Yeah, that’s how it feels. So, what do you do for fun? Share with us in the comments. What activities do you enjoy?
Honestly, I can’t remember the last time I sat down and thought, “Let’s do this for fun.” I have no idea what I would do for fun, to be honest. When I’m not on the road with the comedy show, I’m working on the podcast or the next big project that I’ve been planning for over a year, which we’re hoping to launch soon.
Jen: There’s always something else I’m doing.
Meredith Masony: It’s my fault because I start these projects. Maybe starting projects is my idea of fun. Maybe that’s it. I just start projects, and right now, we’re organizing a community cruise in October. That’s going to be fun.
Finding Freedom, Summer Survival, and Parenting Milestones on the High Seas.
Jen: That sounds very enjoyable.
Meredith Masony: Yes, I’m incredibly excited about it. We already have around 60 people signed up. It’s a small group, and we decided to do a community cruise. Everyone is bringing their kids, so they can all hang out.
Jen: I’m a big fan of cruising. People don’t understand that it’s the perfect vacation when you have kids because most cruises offer free child care and help with summer survival as a mom!
Meredith Masony: Exactly.
Jen: And the kids love it. They beg to go, and the childcare stays open till late at night, like 12:30 or so.
Meredith Masony: And if you don’t pick them up by a certain time, they can charge you. But I have to be in bed by 10, so…
Finding The Perfect Solution With Babysitting.
Jen: It’s just the perfect solution. You can have some alone time without worrying about arranging a babysitter. So, it’s great that you’re doing that. I realize you have older kids now. It reminds me of our last cruise when my son was about to turn 13. I didn’t realize that at that age, the kids’ club no longer keeps track of them. You don’t have to sign them in and out anymore. They can come and go as they please. For the first time, he had full freedom on the ship and made friends, some of them were girls. They all had phones, and they were off doing their own thing, wanting nothing to do with their parents. I know you’re way beyond that stage of parenting, but it was a big moment for us.
Meredith Masony: Yeah. But that’s also great that they’re able to do that. You know that they’re not going to go anywhere. Our rule was always, you know, if you go off, you go altogether. If you know, and my oldest probably won’t do that this time when we’re on the cruise because he’s not going to want anything to do. I will saddle my daughter with my son, right? They have to go together. That’s our child care, what Kid Care says. Do you go together? Yeah, because, you know, I don’t trust my 12-year-old as far as I can throw him.
Balancing Sibling Age Gaps, Work, and Limited Family Support.
Jen: For us to be able to do siblings, mine are just too far apart. They’re five years apart. So like, that doesn’t always work because she’s not old enough. She has to be in the little kid’s place, and he’s in the big kid’s place.
Meredith Masony: Well, and that’s, my oldest and youngest are five years apart. So Sophie and Brian are 18 months apart. So I smoosh them. They have what she gets all the time. I’m like, Nope, you go with your sister.
Jen: That’s what sisters are for. I’m a big sister. And that’s what we do. Okay, so we’ve determined that you don’t have any idea of how to have fun.
Meredith Masony: No.
Jen: You’re a workaholic?
Meredith Masony: Yes.
Jen: What about, do you have any grandparents of your children in proximity to you?
Meredith Masony: No.
Jen: No grandparent help?
Meredith Masony: No, no, we are kind of on our own. All of our family, we moved during the pandemic. Right. So in 2020, we moved from the West Coast of Florida to the East Coast of Florida. It’s not close. It’s a five-hour drive.
Jen: Oh, that is way too far.
Meredith Masony: Yeah, that’s not like, let’s take a day trip.
Parenting Realities of Navigating Life without Family Support and Embracing Empathy
Meredith Masony: So we are literally all by ourselves here. So we don’t have any family help. It’s not like you can be like, we’ll just go away for the weekend. So you can stay with the kids. There’s none of that. So we haven’t taken a trip, just the two of us. I couldn’t tell you the last trip we took that was just the two of us. No, maybe I can. Yeah, maybe it was 2019.
Jen: Mine was pre-pandemic, for sure. It was my 40th birthday. We did a trip.
Meredith Masony: Yeah, we went to New York City. Oh, fun. Yeah. I think I can’t remember. I’m trying to think now. And I’m like, I don’t know. I don’t know.
Jen: We don’t know. I had envisioned us having lots of helpful tips to tell people about things to do and how to deal with kids over the summer, but because it’s us, we just don’t. Just sympathy and empathy.
Advice-ish, take it or leave it.
Meredith Masony: Yeah. Honestly, I’m not a tips and tricks or hacks kind of gal when it comes to summer survival. I mean, that’s why I like the name of our podcast, “Advice-ish,” because you probably shouldn’t take it like it’s the best advice. So we just, I think sympathizing, empathizing, and knowing you’re not alone is probably the most comforting thing in motherhood. When a stranger who you don’t know, who’s a mom, can look at you like today on the beach, I watched this woman run a zone defense. And I think she had four of the five kids there. I think one was a friend of the older kid.
She was just zigging and zagging and catching kids before water and here and there. Here and the whole time I’m thinking, I remember being you and like scooping up kids and grabbing and saying, “Don’t put that in your mouth.” And you know, and then she’s got an older one too who was running down the beach and not listening to her. I was just like, “Oh, I remember that.” I feel for you because it’s all the same stuff, different day, different decade even. It’s the same stuff. We all go through the same stuff.
Surviving Summer Without Structure and Savoring the Unstructured Moments
Jen: That’s when you just make eye contact with that other mom and like you don’t know each other. You’ve said nothing, but it’s like, “I’m with you.”
Meredith Masony: I gotcha.
Jen: Totally, yeah. Well, Meredith, I’m with you. I’ve gotcha you over the internet. And please just pray for us that we make it through this summer.
Meredith Masony: Look, I feel you. I really do. It is so tough when you take away all the structure and all the schedule because you just feel like there are no boundaries. There’s nothing holding it together. It’s just all flippity-floppity. There are good parts of that, too, because you aren’t pressed to get somewhere at a specific time. You don’t have to be out the door. You don’t have to do those things. But then the moments in between where they’re jumping on the couch and screaming and throwing stuff at the TV.
Jen: That’s no good. Yeah, it is what it is, Meredith. Tell everybody about when you’re going on tour next when they can see you, and all that good stuff.
Meredith Masony: So I am doing Charlotte, North Carolina, on July 18th.
Jen: I just got back from there. My family’s there.
Spreading Laughter and Validation: Meredith’s Comedy Tour and Finding Joy in Connecting with Moms.
Meredith Masony: Oh, yeah. So I’ll be there at the Comedy Zone on July 18th. And then, I go to Greenville, South Carolina, on the 19th. Then I come home, and a couple of days later, on July 25th, I’m in Gainesville. On the 26th, I’m in Orlando, and on the 27th, I’m in Tampa. And then I have a couple of down weeks while we get the kids off to school and back together. And then I am gone every week until the end of the year. Wow. So, you can find tickets and shows at MeredithMasony.com/tour. And right now, on the schedule, I think I have 35 shows between now and the end of December. And we’re booking out 2024.
Jen: Impressive. Okay, well, you don’t have time to do anything for fun because that’s what you do. You make people laugh.
Meredith Masony: But I love it. So it is fun for me because there is nothing like being in a comedy club with a bunch of moms who are all yelling at the same time. Yes, that is me. Yes. Hi. And there’s nothing more validating than knowing that your story resonates with somebody else, right? So that is what I do for fun.
Where to check Meredith Out On Tour.
Jen: That’s so cool. You guys, go check it out. Check out the tour. Thank you for hanging with me, Meredith.
Meredith Masony: Of course, anytime.
Jen: Yeah, I’m gonna go grab the feral. I haven’t fed them yet. So I’m gonna go do that. Welcome to my world. This is my summer survival.
Meredith Masony: Macaroni and cheese and hot dogs are a completely okay dinner. Don’t let anybody tell you differently.
Jen: You’ve put frozen peas in the mac and cheese water when it’s boiling. And it’s like healthy food.
Meredith Masony: That’s what I told them. I already had a freezer pizza today and tacos for dinner. I’m gonna take them for ice cream right now.
Jen: All right. All right. Enjoy your ice cream, you guys. Enjoy your summer. Just come laugh with us when you need to cry with us. Whatever you’ve got to do, I’ll see you soon, Meredith. I hope you enjoy your summer survival!
Meredith Masony: Bye!
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