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  • Writer's pictureAmanda Zwanziger

"I Miss Camp" Syndrome

For all the mommas with kiddos in the house

I’m in a total funk today. Maybe some of you are thinking the same thing.

I’m quite sure that it’s “I miss camp” syndrome.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, I’m referring to that feeling that you get when a totally cool and awesome experience has come to an end.

Like camp.

Remember how amazing it was?! A whole week without parents, meeting amazing new friends, flirting with a crush, and nothing but fun on the schedule! Oh, and let’s not forget our complete disregard for bathing and changing our underwear. We just didn’t care! There was too much fun to be had! I loved camp!!! But I absolutely dreaded the day that it would end. Cause I knew that’s when my “I miss camp” syndrome would kick in. And it sucked.

So today, I find myself suffering from “I miss camp” syndrome. The only thing I could think of earlier was because Mother’s Day is over. Because let’s face it, there are simply not enough Mother’s Day’s in a year. We deserve more. To wake up being waited on hand and foot, to be shown appreciation and love, and to get to choose, for one day, whatever we want to do…it’s simply heaven!

Yesterday, I packed it in. I was served breakfast in bed. I had a coffee with a dear old friend. God gifted me with rain and a cancelled baseball tourney. I drank a Bloody Mary. I had an awesome lupper (lunch + supper) with my kiddos and my fine hubby. I napped. I played around the world basketball with my youngest. I ate a chocolate malt. And then I stayed up till midnight watching Harry and Meghan love story on Lifetime. Seriously. It was simply a perfect day.

And then Monday started. The fairytale day was over. Back to being the server, not the served.


No wonder I have “I miss camp” syndrome. Right?

Here’s what I realized this afternoon though. Being back to the grind is not the reason I’m feeling this way. It’s not the reason for my woes today. Nope. For all the reasons that I thought I was celebrating my day yesterday, I was really mourning it. I may have been happy on the outside yesterday, but there was something deep down inside of me mourning. And today it all hit me.

As I was sitting across from my boys yesterday, all I could see were these young men who will be leaving me before I know it. My oldest, Jake, is all but out the door. My youngest, Ethan, although still a kid in the face, is about to grow as fast as his big bro and be on the way out equally too soon. Yesterday I found myself looking at these two faces that I’m not done with yet. I have so much to do and I feel I’m running out of time. The list is long!!! There’s cooking I haven’t taught them. Financial management advice to give. Tips on how to be a good husband and a good dad. Heck, I don’t know if they even know how to use power tools! I’m freaking out!


I’m dreading the day that my shaping them will end. I fear that I will regret leaving so much out. I’m terrified of my heart breaking when they walk out the door.

Truth is, my “I miss camp” syndrome is kicking in, long before my mama camp is over.

I never thought a Mother’s Day would hit me like this, but it did. And there’s a big part of me that wants to stay in this poopy pity party. But I can’t! I need to suck it up. Because that’s all that God wants. He doesn’t expect perfection. He just wants us to just do our best. To not have regrets. To enjoy every moment. And to just be loving, wise, amazing women for our children.

So, to all you mamas who are feeling the same way, here’s your hug and butt-kicking all in one. And to those of you who aren’t here yet, here’s your chance to take advantage of that head start. And to everyone of you, just know, regardless of how much you feel you still have left, you are all amazing mamas and your kids are blessed!!!

“Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she can laugh at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and loving instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the activities of her household and is never idle. Her children rise up and call her blessed; Her husband also praises her: ‘Many women are capable, but you surpass them all!’" Proverbs 31:25-29
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