There is No Summer Bucket List Competition


The Summer Bucket List Pressure

I have a feeling some of you need to hear this: The value of your child’s summer is not dependent on how many places they visit on their summer bucket list and how busy you stay.

Phew. That feels better, right? 

With summer break comes lists on lists of fun things to do. We live in a bustling city and there are activities galore. Every week I’m checking my favorite sites (oh hey CMB!) for ideas as I plan our week, but sometimes the planning, the preparing, the traveling, the socializing, the doing becomes too much. Personally, I tend to be an experience junkie, but even for me- the pressure to pack our weeks with summer bucket list items can be overwhelming and leave momma tired, defeated and grumpy. 

You Have Permission

Hey momma- my name is Chelsea and you might not know me, but I’m giving you permission to chill.

I’m giving you permission to say “no” when you need to. I’m giving you permission to have relaxed days and to let your kids use their imagination and exploration for fun. I’m asking you to let your kids discover something new in the backyard or make up a new game at home. I’m giving you permission to go a whole day without posting about a new place on social media.
I’ve spent plenty of time defining my worth in unhealthy ways and one of them is keeping up with staying busy. When my daughter was born immunocompromised in the late fall, we had a long winter of staying home. For context, I also have a 2.5-year-old who is active in every sense of the word. The thought of being home so often brought me to tears- a lot. It was a long winter, but we survived, and we all grew tremendously because of it.

Lesson Learned: Taking it Slow Isn’t So Bad

My son and I both learned some very important lessons during this quick change of pace:

  • I realized that my worth as an individual and specifically as a mom has nothing to do with how many things we do.
  • My son created so many imaginative play games in our home.
  • My son’s personal interest became more clear to me, giving us the opportunity to nurture and pour into those things. 

Your family and experience will undoubtedly be different from my circumstance, but the bottom line and the lesson learned remains the same:

The value of your child’s summer (and overall childhood) is not dependent on how many places they visit and how busy you stay. 

It Doesn’t Define You

Don’t let social media, bucket lists or any other internal agenda mislead you. Take enough time to slow down when you need it and remember that “no thanks” is a totally acceptable answer to an invite or activity.

Your kids love their time with you- and that’s not directly tied to a number of activities. 

You may also enjoy Why My Kids Won’t Have an Enriched Summer or The Summer Balancing Act