Our Family Summer UNbucket List

My kids have been back in school for a week now. I'm relieved. I miss them. *All the things we're supposed to say go here.* I still have a toddler at home so the chaos still ensues without the morning bell. 

I have this thing where I like to think back fondly on special occasions. I replay them in my head paying attention with my minds eye to all the details over and over again. I also do this with all my mistakes or confrontations. It's a good time. 

While the kiddos and I are adjusting to early mornings and long days, I've been thinking back to our summer. These are the times of my children's childhood. The summer stories they will remember and retell as adults sitting around my Thanksgiving table. I anticipated reliving all the crazy and exciting times we had this past summer until I realized... we didn't. 

Sure, there was a trip to the zoo, a beach day, and an overnight stay at a hotel. But other than that, I wasn't flooded with a summer camp schedule of fun to recall. 

At first, I felt guilty. You know mom guilt is always roaring and willing to pounce on you unexpectedly at the slightest mediocre mothering moment. I quickly did mental inventory of the posts I saw online all summer that some other mom's provided their children. Play dates, and theme parks, lemonade stands, and plane rides to destination vacations hailed in comparison to what happened on this side of social media. 

For the two months of no school in this household we did a whole lot of the opposite of all that. There wasn't a schedule or many plans. I didn't force reading time to keep up from the school year or even require daily showers. The chlorine in the abundance of pool time is totally the same, right? We watched a whole lot of movies while eating popcorn, played recklessly with a mess of toys and forts, went on a slip n slide with friends, and we're bored quite a bit too. 

That may not be everybody's cup to tea, but after a while of thinking about it. I really liked our summer. It was the summer of the Un-Bucket List. You know how Pinterest swarms us with adventures and lists to set out to complete within the two months from school bell to school bell? Our summer was like that but full of NOs from of all things we didn't want to do, and I kinda sorta love the thought of it.

Our Family Summer UNbucket List.png


  1. No set plans

  2. No waking up early

  3. No bed time

  4. No long car rides

  5. No coordinating outfits

  6. No need to get out of pajamas some days

  7. No rushing

  8. No constant entertainment

  9. No abundance of camps

  10. No schedule

  11. No stressing out over things to do

  12. No big projects

  13. No rules on screen time

  14. No organization

  15. No structured play dates

  16. No wrong time for the pool

  17. No shoes needed

  18. No fuss

  19. No expectations

  20. No being on the go


All in all, I think a summer of less was good for us. The kids and I really enjoyed our physical home. So often our schedules get so busy we forget to relish in the beauty within our own four walls. Most days we never even left our house. The kids turned into fish in the pool and played in every inch of each room. They played barefoot in dirt while exploring the yard, playing in the creek, and climbing trees. Because I didn't entertain them 24/7, they were forced to use their imaginations and work together to come up with games. 

Speaking of them playing together, there was a TON of fighting considering we didn't have the distractions of a busy schedule to keep the bickering at bay, but it served us well. I was able to be in the midst of it more patiently because I wasn't rushing us or worried about where we needed to be. I also could afford to put kids in time out if needed or give them time to work it out together. I also could go mom-crazy on them because we were behind closed doors. 😉 

If your family checked off your summer bucket list before heading back to school, that's awesome! But this summer, I'm sure glad we took the pace we did as well. Every day slowly rolled into the next while we made sure to cross off all the things on our UNbucket list too.

Candace GutierrezComment