Our Summer Bucket List (Yes I am That Mom and Here's Why)

I know, I know…

You’re reading this and thinking how crappy that another mom is out here talking about her summer bucket list when all you’re worried about is surviving the summer heat and hoping you don’t hear your kids say, “I’m bored.”

Don’t worry, this summer bucket list isn’t about, “Look at me, I’m a Pinterest Mom!” Because really, if I made myself get out there and DO things just to feel like I’m extra special, then it sounds like I need a friend or something.

Here me out…

I started creating summer bucket lists back when my daughter was around one year old, and yes the idea came from social media. That’s the beauty that lies in the feeds of the social networks - you find inspiration.

And when it takes a village to raise a child, I consider that inspiration as part of my village.

Through the years our summer bucket lists have become fun and exciting, especially for my oldest. She remembers them yearly now and looks forward to the things that we will do. Here’s the thing, I don’t need a bucket list to make me a good mom. I don’t need a list to remind me to take my kids somewhere and I surely don’t need a list filled with tons of activities that will cost tons of money.

But what I do need, what each and every mama needs is a reflection on being intentional. Let’s face it, modern moms are running around like a chicken with their head cut off most of the time. Many of us work, many of run home businesses, others are trying to manage the home. But what piles on top of that is the modern norm of so many extra curricular activities for your children (guilty here too). Dance lessons, soccer practice, church classes, bible study, baseball and so on… These activities wonderful and beloved as they are, leave us modern moms feeling a little overworked (as well as our children sometimes). Add in the excessive homework loads that many children face today and the school year is a bit busy.

So what does creating a bucket list have to do with this? I mean, the last thing we need is anyone or any thing telling us what to do and where to be!

But a bucket list puts down a pattern for the summer that reflects the intentional moments we will have together. Period.

How many times have you thought, “Oh darn we should have made a trip to the museum this summer?” Or “Dang we haven’t had a family movie night in forever!” Or you hear another mom talking about bringing her children to arts and crafts at the library and you realize that the idea of doing so never even dawned on you. You didn’t even know such a thing existed.

It’s okay. We’re human and we are just trying to do the best dang job we can.

But here is what we can do, we can be THAT mom creating that silly ole’ list. That list that is filled with mostly free or inexpensive activities that involve being together, being intentional, being free and letting your child be little. A summer in front of the screen is no summer, but a summer filled with activities, even as mediocre and plain jane as ever, is a lifetime of memories.

Picnics at the park, trips to the museum, summer reading at the library, bike rides by the beach, movie nights as a family, dinner on the patio, homemade ice cream…these things are timeless. They are often the forgotten moments in the millennial world and they are the moments that sometimes get pushed aside by kids as they get older. But these, these are the memories that make summer magical.

Summer isn’t magical just because of fancy vacations, huge condos or your first neon manicure, it’s magical because of the memories that are embedded in the long, drawn out days of summer. It’s memories of children running barefoot through the sprinklers, playing hide and seek with the neighbors and selling lemonade down the street. It’s picnics together, fireworks popping and ice cream melting days. It’s a blow up pool if that’s all you have and having all of the neighborhood kids come play and eat cookies and drink juice. It’s snow-ball stained shirts and dirt stained hands. It’s everything they need to be children…

It doesn’t take much to make a magical summer but what it does take is togetherness.

So mama I encourage you to sit down and write that silly ole’ list. Be that annoying mom just for once and create a summer that is magical, yet slow and simple. Let them relish in the memories of just being wild and free. Let them be little. Let them be inspired. Let them be sweaty. Let them get dirty.

If we only get 18 summers, then give them 18 bucket lists of fun and memories woven into a lifetime of sunny days and warm hugs. You won’t regret being that silly ole’ mama.