10 Things I Won’t Be Doing with My Kids This Summer

summer bucket list
Image via Amanda Rodriguez

Some people like to make a summer bucket list.

Personally, I think a bucket list is more powerful than anything you can enjoy in 10 weeks of summer, so I don't do them.

Or, I call them something else.

Something with less of a must-do connotation and more of an if-we-feel-like-getting-out-of-our-jammies connotation. I don't like pressure in the summer. That's what the rest of the year is for.

Plus, having experienced tons of summers with kids in tow already, I kinda know better than to make too many commitments, and plan too many things, and set my sights on actually doing anything more relevant or demanding than sitting on the beach in my neighborhood (we live on a lake and we can walk to the water).

So, because I can't be bothered to commit, here's my not-a-bucket-list featuring things we won't be doing this summer.

virginia beach
Image via Amanda Rodriguez

Going anywhere all of the other families are going. Personally, I don't believe in summer vacation vacations. You overpay for everything. Every place you want to go is packed to bursting with all of the other families who want to be there too. And, it's hot. Really, freaking, hot. We take our annual vacation shortly after Labor Day. The kids miss a few days of school, but the weather is usually less offensive, the crowds have mostly died off for the season, and the prices are back to being close to reasonable.

boys having fun
Image via Amanda Rodriguez

Summer workbooks. Save your money kids. We have a stack of barely written in workbooks clogging up the corner of our playroom. Always I am ambitious, rarely do I ever feel like following through. Get them some fun, educational apps to work on instead and make them do them in the car while you're heading to wherever you're heading this summer.

riding bikes
Image via Amanda Rodriguez

Camping. I hate camping. I know from experience; hundreds of camping trips with my parents and one camping trip with The Dudes. I hate camping. Plus, we live on a lake in the forest. There's really no need to give up my wi-fi for them to have the “outdoor” experience – they just go outside for a few hours and leave me to enjoy my indoor plumbing and electricity in peace.

{ MORE: Want to Enjoy Summer to the Fullest? Set Some Summer Goals. }

ice cream for dinner
Image via Amanda Rodriguez

Over-thinking what they eat. Yes, I really do serve them ice cream for dinner. At least three times every summer.

playing in the sprinkler
Image via Amanda Rodriguez

Over-scheduling them. The school year is exhausting. I do everything in my power to ensure that summer is not. One exception: exhaustion due to fun.

holding hands
Image via Amanda Rodriguez

Micromanaging their experiences. We live in a really safe neighborhood. We have lots of community connections and all of the parents sort of look out for all of the kids. I love that about where we live, because it allows me to feel really safe telling my 9 and 12 year olds to not let me see them until sundown when I toss them outside with their water bottles and a bag of snacks for the day. I want them to have adventures and practice making good choices without me and be away from my face so I don't lose my mind listening to all of the reasons why they are bored.

water balloons
Image via Amanda Rodriguez

Listening to them say they're bored. I have a list of chores that need doing and they are fully acquainted with what will occur if I hear, “I'm bored” in this house. I keep an unfolded basket of laundry in my basement at all times specifically for this purpose.

Image via Amanda Rodriguez

Waking them up early. Sure, it has to happen some days (they're on the swim team and have to practice everyday), but I want them to get exactly the amount of sleep their bodies crave. I miss being able to do that myself.

amanda and her boys
Image via Amanda Rodriguez

Letting them skip nap time. Yep, six, nine, and twelve, and we still have “nap time”. It's a quiet hour of separation that come afternoon we all desperately need. They swear they won't fall asleep, they nearly always do anyway.

running in the lake
Image via Amanda Rodriguez

Complaining. Not about the heat or the constant togetherness or any of it. I am making it my goal to fully appreciate this summer because I know how few I have left where there is truly nothing more to do than force my eyes to stay open so no one drowns at the lake.

{ MORE: Wintertime at the Playground? Have Fun and Stay Safe }

What WON'T you and your kids be doing this summer?

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10 Things I Won’t Be Doing with My Kids This Summer

Amanda has been wowing the Internet since 2008 when she launched her pretty-much-useless guide for parents, parenting BY dummies. As it turns out, her parenting advice is not generally useful for more than a good laugh, but sometimes that’s exactly what you need! Amanda spends her offline time (which is embarrassingly limited) running a photography business, working as a social media director for a local magazine, writing freelance articles about stuff she loves, wrangling her 3 little Dudes ... More

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