April Jeppson: The summer bucket list hanging in my kitchen
Every Little Thing by April Jeppson
My current set up: Laptop on the kitchen table surrounded by unopened mail, my caffeinated Crystal Light and a bowl of leftover pickle dip from a party I went to last weekend. With a mouthful of dip I can hear the TV in the other room playing “Ninjago.” I’m only slightly depressed that I know the characters and theme music to every popular TV show geared at children ages 3 to 12. I think the pickle dip softens the burn, masking the reality that we are already halfway through summer break and our magical summer bucket list still has most of the items still on it.
I try so hard to be the awesome mom that creates cool experiences for my children, but honestly, I’m tired. I’m tired of regulating a summer schedule down to 15-minute intervals. I’m tired of me asking, repeating, then yelling at my children to do chores. I’m tired of saying, “Hey, be nice! Stop fighting!” I’m tired of making breakfast, snacks, lunch, snack, bonus snack, dinner. Every. Single. Day. But seriously? Do these kids ever stop eating?
So right now, at this moment, I’m done. It’s taken me a few years to understand that summer break and being a good mom can co-exist. You know why? Because being a good parent who loves and cares for their child has nothing to do with filling their schedules up every day. It has nothing to do with creating fancy fun lunches and treats all the time. My worth is not based off that bucket list that hangs in the kitchen.
You know what my kids love the most? They love a happy mom. A mom who hugs them, snuggles them, cooks with them, reads with them and watches their favorite episode of “Nailed It.”
It’s not easy to let go. Elsa wants us to believe that you just breathe in and let it go and all of sudden you’re wearing this fancy dress and your hair looks awesome. Quite the opposite, really.
Letting go of the pressure means that my kids might run to the grocery store with me looking slightly homeless. It means I might look slightly homeless. In fact, you may recognize me from the latest episode of People of Walmart. It means that I allow myself time to make breakfast and enjoy it. It means that right now at this moment I wanted to document my thoughts and I said, “Go watch a show,” and I didn’t feel guilty. Like zero guilt. Zero. I’m a dang good mom and so are you.
Take a deep breath, momma. I hope you realize that it doesn’t matter if your kid spends an entire day watching YouTube videos. No judgements. Whether you work out of the home or from the home, we all have days that don’t turn out as productive as we planned. Just roll with it. Make their favorite cereal for dinner and just enjoy the time you have with them.
I’ve been so busy lately that more than our bucket list has taken a backseat. I’ve been trying to mow my lawn for three days now, and at this point I’m hoping a stray goat finds its way into my backyard. You know, I believe in manifesting my future, visualizing the goal, positive affirmations and all that. A stray goat will, no a stray goat is currently trimming my grass. Yes, it is happening. I can see it now.
Albert Lean April Jeppson is a wife, mom, coach and encourager of dreams.