The Mommy Bucket List

I first heard of the term “bucket list” when the movie came out (The Bucket List, starring Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson). The term means a list of things you want to do before you die. It’s both exciting and scary at the same time for a bunch of reasons I won’t get into. It sounds so… morbid, almost! But tonight I came up with a new definition, a tweaked version. I was thinking, why not come up with a mommy bucket list that isn’t full of things you want to do before you die, rather, it’s a little list of things that make you feel good about yourself. I’m not talking about crazy, off-the-deep-end things that will burn a hole in your pocket. I mean little things that you can do to rejuvenate your mind, body and soul. You know that feeling you get when you walk out of the hair salon with a fantastic new hair cut/style that looks absolutely fabulous? It makes you feel like walking down the street and flinging your hair around like on the shampoo commercials? That’s the feeling I’m aiming for.

That's me with my son and my fab new haircut this summer!
That’s me with my son and my fab new haircut this summer!

All too often, us moms put our own needs and desires on the back burner. We take care of the needs of our children, and our husbands, first. We do this because it’s in our nature to be giving and nurturing. But we don’t realize that it’s important to tend to our own needs, too. If we are not feeling our best, if we aren’t on top of our game, how can we best take care of others? It’s ok to ask for a little time to ourselves now and then. It’s not selfish – although I’m betting most of us feel that way!

So here’s the challenge: make a list of about 20 things that make you feel good about yourself, like a human being, like a woman. Things that don’t necessarily take a lot of time or money. It can be something simple, like taking your favourite book out to a park and enjoying reading for an hour or two; it can be going for an aimless drive; it can be baking, walking, a girls night out, getting your hair or nails done, doing a craft with your kids, looking at old photograph books, planning your next vacation, drawing up your dream home. Even taking a nap. It doesn’t matter what it is – there’s no right or wrong answer here, and everyone’s list will be different.

Now, take your list, and post it somewhere. On a fridge, on a cork board, at your computer desk. Put it somewhere that you’ll see it often.

About once every week, do something on your list. Put effort into making it happen. Tell your spouse that it’s a must – it’s as simple as that. If you want to be on your A-game, you need to feel refreshed, rejuvenated, alive, important. You need to matter, too. I can promise you that when you feel good about yourself, you’ll smile more, your tone of voice will be more pleasant, your shoulders will feel more relaxed, your mind will be clearer. Your good mood will rub off on others, and it will make running your family smoother.

To make it fun and more exciting, cut strips of paper or use card stock and write out each item on a piece. Even decorate them if you want to. Get an old bucket, or a mason jar – go ahead and decorate that, too! Make it just the way you want it. And when you get to your carved-out time for the week, pull a piece out and do whatever it says! You already know you’ll like it, because these things are on a list that you created. Things that you know will make you feel good. Great. Alive.

Sounds good, right? Sounds simple. But I call it a challenge for a reason. It’s not always easy to carve out time for ourselves as mothers; but that doesn’t make it any less important. Sometimes I get stuck in a bit of a rut, and stuck in the house with the wintertime blues, and I have to literally force myself to go out. But when I get that little bit of me-time to rejuvenate, it’s always so worth it!

So – who’s up for the challenge? What’s on your mommy bucket list? Feel free to share thoughts and ideas!

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