Pinterest. Facebook. Instagram. Google. The things that make mom-ing in the 21st century “easier” are the very things that make it oh-so-clear how I just don’t seem to measure up to the “good mom” status — and this summer is the summer I am declaring to simply not give a crap.
I caught myself browsing Pinterest a few weeks ago looking for fun summer activities to do with my kids. My Hobby Lobby list began to grow exponentially, and I began to feel my heart racing faster and faster as the pressures of adequately stimulating my children took over. I hopped over to Facebook, and what do you know? The first thing I saw was a shared post titled “No Boredom this Year. 20 Creative Summer Crafts for Kids.” Naturally, most of the activities included elaborate planning and/or parental guidance. The Internet seemed to be screaming at me that if I wanted to be a good mom this summer, I needed to have a list and supply stash for rainy day crafts, along with a day-planner filled with camps, projects, and outings. It made cringe at the thought of summer, and WHO CRINGES AT THE THOUGHT OF SUMMER?!?!?!
I finally turned off my phone, closed my eyes, and laid there thinking about who I really was as a mom.
I’m a mom who likes spontaneity.
I’m a mom who enjoys the monotony of summer paired with the excitement of a spur-of-the-moment play date.
I’m a mom who encourages her kids to make a bow-and-arrow out of things they find in the backyard.
I’m a mom who likes to read as many junky novels as I can while working on my tan by the pool.
I’m a mom who likes to toss the rules out the window for a few hours every now and then, and just have messy fun.
I’m a mom who likes to forget what day of the week it is because it doesn’t matter anyway.
I realized that there isn’t much room for Pinterest crafts or thoroughly thought out scavenger hunts in my summer plans when all I really want to do is hear my kids say “Mom, my fingers are pruney, but can we swim a little longer anyway?” I realized that by the current standards of America today, I’m a mediocre mom at best. And guess what? That realization brought me so much peace.
So, here I am, friends, a proud Mediocre Mom, bringing you my Mediocre Mom Summer Bucket List. Remember: There are no rules, there is no shopping list, and you can cross as many or as few things off the list as you want (because, let’s be real, sometimes Mediocre Moms forget to look at the Bucket List until the last week of the summer).
A Mediocre Mom’s Summer Bucket List
- Mud. Lots of mud. Followed by being washed off by the garden hose.
- MYO lunches (Make Your Own Lunches). There are no rules to these lunches, except that mom can have no role in helping fix said MYO lunch.
- Play in the rain. And no, you don’t need to put on your bathing suit. Maybe ask me to join you, too?
- Watch TV. Some days, watch too much TV.
- Eat a lot of watermelon and cherries, then have a contest of who can spit the seeds/pits the furthest.
- Climb trees and skin your knees and be proud of your war wounds.
- Get bored. Often. Then figure out how to get unbored. (And don’t ask me for help.)
- Play in the creek. Yes, I know the water is somewhat stagnant down there. Just don’t drink it. You’ll be fine.
- Swim until your whole body feels like a prune, then swim a little more.
- Eat an entire batch of Jell-O in one sitting.
- Fall asleep on the couch.
- Make random art projects with whatever you can find in or outside of the house. Only requirement? I buy nothing.
- Make a fort out of every sheet and blanket you can find.
- Read. Get lost in a world that isn’t your own, and then tell me all about it.
- Ride your bike and hydrate from the hose. I’ll leave some snacks on the porch for you.
One thing I need to point out before wrapping this up: The things on this list are more about what will keep ME sane as a mother rather than what will provide my kids the “perfect summer.” If scheduling your summer out so your kids have an activity every week is what you need to do to stay sane, DO EXACTLY THAT. If you want to use the summer as a time to tackle all those fun projects you have pinned on Pinterest because you get joy out of doing that, CRAFT AWAY! Just don’t do those things because you think you need to. Do them because you want to, and be proud of your Pinterest Mom Status. The only rule is simple: Don’t feel guilty about the summer you choose to have.
You do you, I’ll do me, and we can join each other praying that neither of us screw up our kids too badly.