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Have a Successful Summer With Your Kids With a Bucket List That Actually Works

Summer is here and while it’s fun to make a bucket list of activities- most families get to the end of summer and forget it. We end up a little overtired or a little bored not having checked off many things on the bucket list. I’m going to share 4 ways to get you and your family ready for a summer that you savor. A summer where the bucket list gets checked off and you actually have fun while doing it.

While most of us are usually ready for a change of pace, we can also find ourselves halfway through the summer wondering when school starts up again. Even if your kids and family enjoy the summers, do you? Or do you end up at the next school year worn out and sick of everyone including yourself? When you don’t spend time figuring out what you want you can end up feeling resentful or like a failure. We often start with the best intentions but then end up spending or wasting the time away. Or end up tired of the yelling and bickering not just from the kids, but ourselves.

Want this summer to feel different? Do you want to savor the time with your kids, even if you don’t love every minute? Here are four ways to create a successful summer.

  1. Step 1: Figure out YOUR season.
    Let’s say this summer you wanted to road trip to Disneyland and I give you directions from my house. You aren’t going to make it to Disney with my directions. You need directions from your house. When you are trying to figure out what you want and how you want your summer to go, you need to use the same concept. You don’t just need to know where you want to go, you have to know your starting point. It’s important to recognize what’s going on around you and in your family. Are your kids in a lot of summer sports? Do you have littles with nap schedules or maybe you have both napping kids and kids in activities? It’s important to figure out the season you are in so you can set realistic expectations. Your summer does not have to look like mine or hers. It should look like yours.
  2. Step 2: Make your bucket list fun for you!
    You don’t just need fun and crazy activities. There are some other important things to think about. What are you actually needing and craving? Are you wanting a super scheduled summer where there are fun activities each day? Or are you craving rest and having more freedom and flow? What are the standards of self-care you need? What things do your kids need so that you can enjoy the items on the bucket list? It’s easy to get caught up in what we want to do. We forget what we need to BE in order to enjoy the moments. It’s easy to look at the online bucket lists and get caught up in what you or your kids think summer “should” look like. This is your summer too. Savor it and spend time identifying what you are craving and wanting. Give your kids space to share the things they want too. In the printable’s here, I give you some ideas and areas to brainstorm as a family. Give each person a page and then see what overlaps! It’s important as a mom that you also acknowledge what you are wanting and needing. Unmet expectations breed resentment, disappointment, and feelings of failure. That doesn’t sound like a fun summer. Take time to think about what will not just make this an enjoyable time for your family, but you. A happy momma makes everything more fun!
  3. Step 3: Take steps one and two and see where your season meets your bucket lists.
    The alignment between the two is your realistic bucket list to have a successful summer. Be sure it includes some of the practical things that keep the family functioning. Consider the chores, home care, rest, self-care, and connection for each of the members of your family. It’s also time to see if you need a little more grit or a little more grace this summer. We often box ourselves into two categories as moms that leave us completely unbalanced and overwhelmed. Type A has everything perfect mom or the Type B hot mess mom who doesn’t care. We all have our strengths and personalities and while it’s vital to be aware of and proud of our natural tendencies, we also usually need either grace or grit to balance us and our families out. If you tend to be more Type A and find yourself grumpy and overwhelmed trying to control everyone and yourself, you likely need some grace to enjoy the summer. If you always wing it and find yourself feeling more mess than not, it’s likely you need a little grit to bring balance to your free spirit. When it comes to putting things on the calendar or planning we need both structure and flexibility. The nature of kids means we need to be willing to have flow, and also have some predictability and routine. Use this part of the guide to help you decide what you need more of in order to make this bucket list something fun and not another to-do list that feels like something you should or have to do.
  4. Step 4: Is what keeps this from being just a bucket list to actually being the plan.
    It creates a vision for the summer. Then you make it practical so you get to the end of summer and know that you soaked up all of it. Even though there will be hard and frustrating moments, as a whole, the goal is to get to the end of summer knowing that in the moments and things that mattered most you got to connect and enjoy your time this summer. So what is step 4? It’s creating a morning and weekly check-in to stay present. Maybe it’s printing a quote or affirmation that reminds you of what you want. Having a supportive friend or group of moms to help each other through can make all the difference (join us in the Free FB group). Find a way and create a trigger to remind you WHY these things matter. Get these things on the calendar and make check-ins to honor any changes. Honor the reason you are doing this over the actual plan. At the end of the day, and the end of summer, what will matter is that you savored and soaked up this time.
summer bucket list

These four steps will set you up to create not just a successful bucket list, but a summer with your kids.

Take intentional time to make a family date and do this all together or break it into a couple of times. Make it a new tradition to be present in the moment and season where you are. The free email challenge will walk you through each step in greater detail as well as printables for both you and the kids to do this all together. Get the free printable to help you build your family’s summer bucket list here.

Are you going to join me in savoring and soaking up the summer by making a realistic bucket list and then making it happen? Let us know on The We Spot FB page what items are on your final bucket list and share the process so we can all help each other! Want some more reading to help get you ready for the summer? This blog by our very own at The We Spot can help you get mentally and emotionally ready: Summer Fun or Summer Bummer? 5 Steps to Help Summer Overwhelm. Is your body image and the way you look in all the summer clothes one of the things that is bumming you out? Learn how to heal your body image here.

The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the writer and do not necessarily represent those of The We Spot, it’s employees, sponsors, or affiliates.

Rebecca Dollard

Rebecca is passionate about being a momma, wife, mentor, and friend. She believes in the power of vulnerability, community, and changing our mindset. Rebecca loves to see women break free from their rulebooks that are keeping them stuck and empowering them to grow without guilt and live with grace and grit. Rebecca and her husband Jay have been married over 10 years and have two awesome kiddos Riley 8, and Jake 5, and recently welcomed in Abby (17) who now has become part of the family. The Dollard’s enjoy living in their native state Colorado and being close enough to spend lots of time with their families who are (mostly) still local. Rebecca loves the work she does as a mentor helping moms to grow without guilt using personal growth tools partnered with empathy and connection. As a mentor she runs a monthly membership community, hosts workshops, and mentors women 1-1. Becca is a personality and personal growth junky and spends her free time reading, working out, and spending time with her people. She loves memes and humor as much as a good Brene Brown quote and believes that growth should be as fun as it is effective.

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