I started this summer off in a panic. I kept hearing other moms talk about their big, elaborate bucket lists of awesome adventures and activities they were going to tackle. I read lots of Facebook posts about schedules and how everyone had “so many awesome things planned!”
And I was just over here like....ummm, yes, yes, me too.... ? (while sweating.)
I was also silently making notes in my head that included:
- Research amazing local age-appropriate activities that my kids will love
- Pick specific days of the week to do certain things/outings, then schedule them out
- Set a budget for spending on activities for the summer
- Consult friends to see if they already had anything planned
I may as well have added “have a panic attack” in this mental to-do list, because that’s what it felt like as I was thinking through what our summer “needed” to look like. ?
It made me feel like I had to take to the drawing board and come up with my own summer spectacular of sorts. What was I going to plan for my kids? How was I going to make sure they were having the most fun ever?
Basically—how hard could I mom this summer?
Well, after coming to my senses and realizing I am in my third trimester with my third child, have a 3 year old and an 18 month old and don’t want to go broke this summer—I decided to take the perfection-planning-pressure off completely. ?
So, I ditched the bucket lists and the scouring of the interwebs. And I decided to take the summer camp-swim-club-baseball games-outdoor craft-family vacation Facebook chatter with a grain of salt. Nobody’s summer is going to be totally perfect no matter how many vacations they plan.
I decided it was okay to do our own thing.
I mean—you do you, mama. Seriously. I really mean that. If scheduling and keeping everyone busy and moving and going works best for you—have at it. If you know that’s what’s going to keep you sane this summer, then do that.
(Always do what makes you feel most sane in this crazy world of motherhood.)
But it was giving me very real anxiety to think this way—to force myself to plan every moment and feel like I had to fill every day with activities outside of our home or making plans to see friends or spending money on FUN FUN FUN.
I reminded myself that my kids are going to have an awesome, exciting summer filled with learning and adventure and love—no matter whether I have a laminated special summer calendar on the kitchen wall or not.
So, here’s what I’m focusing on this summer with my kiddos. This is our minimalist ‘non-bucket list’ bucket list.
Eat ice cream
Play in our backyard
Splash around in our little baby pool
Meet friends at the park when our schedules align
Pick vegetables from our garden
Go strawberry picking
Accept invites to swim in friend’s pools
Visit with family
Splash in the lake
Feed the ducks
Dig in the dirt, say hi to the worms
Go to a local baseball game
Run outside with our cousins
Go to the beach
Go on a picnic
Color on the driveway with chalk
Run in the sprinkler
Go to an outdoor movie
Have lazy mornings in our pjs
Most importantly, we’re going to kind of ignore the clock this summer. If I’m being honest, the clock only holds so much clout around our house, anyway. We try to be aware of what time it is and always try our best to be on time—but somehow, we rarely are actually on time. It always makes me feel guilty. (And drives my husband insane, but that’s another story for another day...)
But I am never intentionally trying to be late. It can just be hard for me, for us, for whatever reason. So, I am lessening the time-guilt this summer so we can focus on enjoying the moment. On slowing down. On choosing joy. On appreciating what we have around us. On finding happiness in the small things life has to offer.
On having an amazing summer—our way. ?