I love seeing people’s “Summer Bucket List” ideas floating around social media. It’s a really fun way to get a glimpse into people’s hobbies and parenting ideals. The lists definitely inspire me to make more of the good stuff happen in our family life. I most enjoy mothering when I’m being intentional and really engaging with my kids. We call our list a “Summer Wish List” simply because I feel less obligated less like I have another to-do list added to my plate. Also because it makes me feel like I am some sort of tutu-wearing, wand-waving, glitter sprinkling, wish-granting, mom-fairy.
The only problem is, by the time the dog days of summer roll around and the Mississippi heat reminds me of the time I fell asleep in a tanning bed, I’ve spent so much energy hosting the neighborhood shaving cream war and getting my kids to run “their” lemonade stand, that I’m pretty much over it.
Well, this year, along with a good ole fashioned, “Mom’s Gonna Make All Your Summer, Summer, Summertime Dreams Come True List” (P.S. Thank you Will Smith for your lyrical genius that will forever provide all children of the 80’s a killer song to blare in our minivans so we can ‘hustle to the mall to get mini-me a short set.’), I’ve implemented a “Mom’s Summer Loving List”. That’s right. A list of refreshing indulgences I can use to enjoy a smidgen of mom time amidst the slip n’ sliding and fort building. Because, I love these things, but I know I need to take time to fuel my soul if I’m going to be the mom God intended me to be.
I’ll give you a peek at my list. But because different things energize and nourish different people, maybe you would benefit from jotting down a few “Summer Loving List” ideas as well? Here are a few questions to get you started.
What did you love to do when you were 10 years old? Could that be a clue about a hobby you might pick up again?
When you have a Saturday to yourself, what is your default?
What are you jealous or resentful of when you see other people’s lives? Could this give you insight into something your soul is longing for?
What’s your favorite thing to do outside?
What things bless others that also bless you?
What’s one fun book you’ve been meaning to read?
What’s one goal you’ve been hoping to accomplish?
I use my list as a helpful go-to instead of mindlessly scrolling on my phone or wasting my life re-organizing my kids’ closets for the 80th time…do I really think this is going to refresh and energize my heart? So, here’s my very own “Mom’s Summer Loving List”; may it inspire you to care for your soul as you’re shepherding your precious little, medium, and big ones.
1 Wake up early go sit outside. Listen to nature and pray as the sun rises.
2 Write every day–even if only for a short time.
3 Read every day–a single page is closer to a finished book!
4 Have dessert under the stars after the kids go to bed.
5 Host a photo-book-making night with friends.
6 Buy new pajama pants and foot cream. (And remember to use it!)
7 Zero out my inbox. (This may actually be worse than cleaning out my kids’ closets…but it sounds nice in theory.)
8 Get a good haircut.
9 Initiate intimacy with my husband. (Definitely better than cleaning out my kids’ closets if you know what I mean.)
10 Take nourishing meals to families in need.
11 Offer to keep a friend’s kids for the afternoon.
12 Collect fresh flowers from the yard each week.
13 Find a pair of cute, comfortable, summer shoes.
14 Get my nails done.
15 Try one new recipe each week.
16 Take a bath with bath salts in the middle of the day.
17 Exercise alone three times each week.
18 Eat good chocolate and have some quiet prayer time.
19 Listen to podcasts while I do the dishes and fold laundry.
20 Take extended time with the Lord (a micro-retreat) once each week.
Just as self care is not selfish, neither is motherhood a martyrdom of your desires and enjoyments. Creating space to connect to your own soul and to God will create abundance for those within your care. You might even consider putting the items on your list into your daily planner and make a weekly “self care date” so that you prioritize it the same way you would an appointment with a friend.