I’m a winter girl at heart. I love the snow and the cold, the coziness of sweaters and boots, cute hats. But, since having a child I’ve grown an appreciation for the warm weather. It’s way easier to get out of the house when you don’t have to bundle-up, you have to think less about drive time and weather conditions, and there are so many fun events and outings.

But, all those things to do in summer are totally stressing me out! I feel like we have 3 months to pack in every single warm weather activity known to man. And if I’m not making summertime happen for myself or my child… then I’ve failed at summertime.

There are county fairs, festivals (for literally everything you can think of…cherries to the U.S. Coast Guard) and parades, berry picking, outdoor concerts, fireworks, and sidewalk sales. There is just going to the beach, and better yet kayaking, paddle boarding and hiking. And, we Michiganders must get our lake time in.

We’re past the midpoint of summer, and I’m really assessing if we’ve truly lived during the summer of 2018. And what the hell else do I need to pack into these last weeks of warm weather and sunshine? We haven’t been to the zoo yet! Or the gardens! We haven’t been to that new park, or hiked that trail! We’ve missed every single Touch a Truck event that the library has hosted. I haven’t been to Lake Michigan yet (egads!) or gotten an ice cream cone and walked the pier. I’m slightly panicked just thinking about everything we are missing. Carpe Diem, right?!?!?!

The funny thing is, other than the pics that he may or may not look at one day, my 2-year-old child won’t remember that we didn’t do everything under the burning, summertime sun. You know what makes him happy, sitting behind the wheel of my car pretending to drive, bumbling around our yard, spending 20 minutes inspecting an ant hill or watching an airplane fly overhead. He also is deeply engaged in avoiding bedtime, but that’s for another blog post.

I’m the one that puts this pressure on myself to do everything. I’m the one that feels like we have to pack it in every day or we are missing out. I see all the fun my friends and their families are having and think to myself, “Oh, Molly took Timmy to a splash pad… we haven’t done that yet… I’m failing as a mother!” I’m all for teaching my child to make hay while the sun is out, to choose adventure, to say “yes” to every opportunity, but also think there has to be some benefit to just being idle. Ugh, I suck at being idle.

I went to the internet for some ideas on how to manage the to-do list for the remainder of summer, or the start of any season (because, hello autumn and your pumpkins and apple orchards and hayrides and color tours, you are right around the corner!). My goal is to find a balance between all of the fun things we can do and taking some time to just be, preventing the guilty FOMO feeling.

  • Make a reasonable bucket-list of what you are going to do and stick to it
  • Make a list of what you aren’t going to do
  • Embrace simplicity – not every event has to be amazing or extravagant or social media post worthy
  • Planning can keep you from scrambling
  • Note events that you aren’t going to do this year, but want to remember for next year (an electronic note app like Evernote is perfect for this)
  • Set a budget for paid events
  • Decide what can slide – Maybe it’s not critical to have a perfectly weeded yard or a laundry room floor so clean you can eat off of it.

Most importantly, be grateful for the time whatever you do. It’s not about missing out, it’s about making memories. I’m grateful we live in such a vibrant community with so many events, places, and communities for families to enjoy. I’m lucky we are able to enjoy so many things together as a family.

How to manage your summertime to-dos?

2 thoughts on “The Stress of the Summertime To-Do List

  1. It’s funny, we do less and WANT to do less in the summer because as of September we’re in school/hockey season which lasts till at least April and then May and June is full on baseball so….July and August is more of nothing. Or very little. Some swimming. Maybe some camping. Some day trips. Allowing them to plug in more than during the school year. Puttering. Reading. Before we know it, school is back on and so is hockey. 🙂

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