The Working Mom’s Summer Bucket List


It happens every holiday, 100%, without fail. I tell myself, “This year, I’m going to let it go.”  It will be ok to let this holiday pass without putting up decorations. I’m not going to get my husband a gift for this Hallmark holiday. Or wish for a gift. 

And yet.

Two days before said holiday? I freak out and suddenly must put up decorations on every door and am scrambling on Amazon to find the perfect gift to be delivered in less than 24 hours. 

I have no explanation for the sudden change of heart. But I do this. All. the. time. It’s tiring, because I am perfectly capable of planning ahead. Add kids to this equation and I’m dealing with loads of mom guilt. 

What “holiday” do I currently find myself stressing over? Summer Break. This is our Little Man’s first “summer break”, and as a working mom there really isn’t much that is different for us. We still have to wake up early. We still have to get everyone out the door. We still have to work until the clock strikes 5….or 6. But I am quickly realizing that I really would like the summer to feel different for our family so that the school year feels different for everyone too.

Maybe you’re in the same boat as me? Unable to complete summer bucket lists full of day trips and outdoor activities. But you’re determined to make it a fun summer for your family anyway? A few extra minutes of planning will go a long way.

Here are my tips for a Working Mom’s Summer Bucket List:

  1. First and foremost, keep this super simple so you’re not overwhelmed if you end up working late and missing an activity. And don’t worry at all if it gets pushed to tomorrow or the weekend.
  2. One night a week, find a pool, pack up the fam, and just go. Sunday night, make sure swim suits are washed, beach towels are dried, tote bag is packed. The night there isn’t any traffic and you show up at home 15 minutes early, make that the night you go. A little splashing and a little laughter will do you good. And the best part? The kids will play hard and sleep well!
  3. If you can swing it, take one PTO day each month and go do something fun with the kiddos. Plan to make a day of it in Grapevine at the DMB Scavenger Hunt and then spend time at the LEGOLAND Discovery Center! At the end of the summer, take the kids for some back to school shopping and check out the Pianos on Parade at Waters Creek. (Can’t think of any ideas? Check out our DMB Community Calendar for more activities!)
  4. Keep a few fun treats up your sleeve: popsicles for lunch; a dinner picnic on the front lawn; pick up some glo-stick bracelets for your 4th of July party; get away from your desk and have lunch with your kiddo at their summer program.
  5. Celebrate the end of summer and put a definite break between it and the start of school with a picnic at the park or dinner on the patio, a pool party with friends or trip to the splash pad. 

There is just no way I can create, or complete, a summer bucket list 50 activities long.  But I can make sure our family has time together and a few treats to make it a little more fun.  Only 16 summers to go!!


  1. I love this post! I’ve had a love/hate relationship with all of these summer bucket lists I’ve seen around (mostly geared toward at-home moms), and this definitely helped the idea of making summer different seem doable. Thanks!


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