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Our Summer Bucket List That Never Happened

Right about now the better moms are finishing up their summer bucket lists. Social media says so.  They are spending their final summer days baking pies, constructing fairy houses and making one last trip to the beach to fly handmade kites.  Good for them.  They rock.

I however am not doing any of those things right about now.  In fact I’m kind of not doing shit in these final weeks of summer.  Yesterday I wore sweat pants all day long and didn’t put on a bra or a lick of make up on.  Oh yeah.  A real picture of beauty over here ya’ll.   You see I stopped relishing in the glorious, long, hot dog days of summer about two weeks ago.  That is when I realized that September was coming.

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It takes me the entire month of August to get this family in gear and prepared to re-enter the world of civility.  Aside from buying our four children new shoes, clothes and backpacks we have needed to get haircuts, make trips to the dentist and the doctor’s office.  I have to locate hair brushes, cut down dirty fingernails and force my kids to read some books (better make sure they still got it!)  If their brains have been fried from an entire summer of sugar and U Tube videos I would feel better knowing it from the get go.  I don’t have time to wrap up bucket lists, I don’t even have time to properly wipe my own ass!

The problem is I always forget about my hatred for summer bucket lists and by the time the next summer rolls around I make them without fail.  I lurk around Pinterest and stumble through hundreds of blogs written by innovative and energetic parents with superior summer ideas.  I write activities and excursions down and swear I will execute them with the girls.  It will all be glorious.  We will frolic through fields of gold, feast on juicy berries and make pies for the entire neighborhood!  We will fly kites, construct sand castles, fairy houses and forts fit for a king.  We will straight kick summer’s ass!

Then one week into summer I mentally burn the list to the ground.  No freaking way is this stuff happening.  Summer sports rule our lives and the kids want to lay on the couch and vegetate.  I can not say I blame them.   My summer bucket list outings take three hours to prepare for and by then the kids are ornery and I hate everything, but mostly myself for even attempting this unicorn of a summer bucket list.

I give up.


I surrender.

We spend our days at the pool (arguing and whining) and trolling Target.  We ride our scooters around the neighborhood and jump on the trampoline with the neighbor kids. We make forts, but they are the crappy kind that you make with a sheet and a few dining room chairs.  The kids play with eachother because quite frankly they have no other choice.  I yell, “go play!” every seven seconds and guess what?

They go play.

They use their imaginations, their siblings and their toys and they find a way to enjoy June, July and August without summer bucket lists of grandiose measure.  They seem fine, good actually!  And it is because of this observation that I am letting myself off the hook for this most recent mom failure.  I have no more room for mom guilt, so the summer bucket list that didn’t get done is not getting a spot.  There are plenty of other things that I seem to be doing right with the girls.  The school shopping is done.  The four thousand forms due by August 28th are completed…early might I add!  We are signed up for fall sports and I have even managed to make all pertinent dentist and doctors appointments.  Go me!  So my summer parenting isn’t glamorous and it definitely is not Pinterest worthy, but I think I am still doing some solid mothering over here.


I’m calling the Summer Bucket List Fail an ironic win.

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32 thoughts on “Our Summer Bucket List That Never Happened

  1. This summer didn’t happen for us either…None of the pictures I was planning on adding to our family history materialized (except for some of food, without any family members in them). In the end – you are right, your healthy kids are growing with a mother who takes care of them every single day. I can point to many, many less fortunate families and that always sobers me up. Really sad that the best way to feel grateful for what we have is to make yourself aware of the misfortune of others, but seems to hold true…

  2. Aye, I hear ya! I swore to make this the summer of dreams as it was our last one before Youngest starts school. I didn’t do any of the pinterest things I planned but the children still had a fab summer. They started summer hating each other and are finishing it being able to be civil to each other. Winning. Now I need to get us ready for school. No more cake for breakfast otherwise they will be writing that in their summer diaries on their first day back! #FridayFrolics

  3. I really don’t buy summer bucket lists. We had great summers when we were little and all we did was play outside or at our friends’ houses for a whole 6 weeks. I think children are sometimes more resourceful than we give them credit for! I bet your kids have had a great time! #fridayfrolics

  4. I love this!! The only thing on my bucket list this summer was “Don’t have a nervous breakdown” I’ve been close, believe me!

  5. Sounds like me dreams of what I’m going to do but never do haha! Fab read Thank you for linking to #ThatFridayLinky Please come back next week

  6. We always try to write and follow a Summer bucket list, but come the second week oh holidays it’s always forgotten about! Instead, the kids spend almost every day outdoors or playing games together, which I think is just as good, if not better than my plans were!

    Thanks for linking up to #Blogstravaganza xx

  7. Ha ha, I’m exactly the same! We managed a weeks holiday for the first time in two years and a solo trip to the beach and that’s it. I’m yet to sort out all the back to school stuff though so you are way ahead of me x

  8. Haha, we haven’t done too much this summer holidays. A lot of playing in the park, seeing family and meeting friends for a play. Thanks for linking up to #ThatFridayLinky

  9. Yes to this! When I was a kid, summer meant riding my bike with my brother all summer and occasionally having friends over to play too. My mum sure didn’t make a bucket list, and we still loved summer. Having said that, I do love taking my kids out on trips and I’m a sucker for a list…but not if either of those things are going to cause stress or mum guilt when I don’t manage them.

  10. This is so great! I have a neighbor is “super mom” and plans a gazzilion trips for her two kids and maps out the entire summer. I watch her pack her mini van and drag the little ones from one event to the next all sumer when I think they would much rather be playing in the dirt in the yard or frolicking in the grass.

  11. I had such a plan for summer. So many activities to do, things to make, places to go. I think It disappeared in to thin air right around day 3…

    Thank you for linking up with us on #FabFridayPost

  12. I love this! What a refreshing read. It’s all about resetting our view sometimes, and playing with siblings, neighbours and friends can be as good as (and is arguably more relaxed than) making rainbow cupcakes and having grand days out 😉 #TriumphantTales

  13. I love planning nothing and doing nothing, my kids love PJ days so it’s pretty easy to vegetate, we had our 3 week winter holidays and thats what we did, we are yet to see what this summer will bring us besides Christmas and New Years. #anythinggoes

  14. so with you! I had a plan….after 10 days into the holidays it’s was clear it wasn’t going to happen. I feel the pressure to be great when I see bucket lists on fancy chalk boards that a being checked off one fantastic activity at a time! We haven’t done much we’ve played, we’ve slobbed around, we’ve met with friends and family and they’re FINE. so like you say that’s all that matters #fridayfrolics

  15. Amazing. My insta feed probably tells a much more exciting story than my real life. I’m thankful for blogging for allowing me to take my kids to festivals other wise they’d pretty much have vegged out for the whole 6 weeks (like they are doing right now). Sarah #fabfridaypost

  16. As my boy isn’t at school yet we don’t really do bucket lists for summer, but I always have in the back of my mind a few things we’d like to do. Then in the blink of an eye the summer is over and maybe we’ve been to one place. I just don’t need the stress of another list of things to complete. #BloggerClubUK

  17. I felt guilted into creating one 4 weeks into our 6 week holidays as I spent the first 4 on the sofa after an operation. I actually got the kids to write it and expected trips to the moon and jungle expeditions to feature highly but actually they just listed all the stuff we do most weeks anyway so that has been a win in my opinion! Sounds to me like you’ve nailed it at summer! Thanks for linking to #DreamTeam x

  18. i always thought a bucket list was things to do before you die, not a way of entertaining kids during the 6 weeks summer break, so i never had one for my kids and pretty much had the summers you described as the norm, as did nearly everyone else i knew #triumphanttales

  19. Love this. There’s nothing wrong with expecting to kids to actually use their imaginations instead of filling every day with planned activities
    Thanks for linking up to #AnythingGoes 🙂

  20. If we do this right, the momma’s with bucket lists will start having f*$k it lists, like us! Revel is your lack of pinteresticity! It makes you even more special hon! Oh, and I’m 100% with ya! #stayclassymama

  21. I love this post! You know what this has proven – you are just a normal mum winging it! Like the rest of us! Social media and the like make us think that we need to have these amazing things every single day but sometimes it’s just good to be normal and fail! I see it that as long as the kids are happy and healthy, that’s all that really matters! Thanks for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday

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