You belong on a hammock with a cold drink in hand;

you belong in a field of sunflowers, fragrant and grand.

– Rachel Macy Stafford, Only Love Today

 

Confession: every summer I get a little bit giddy.

I love slow days where “success” is measured by whether or not my three kids have swapped their pajamas for swimsuits and then back to pajamas before (late) bedtime.

I love making rainbow pancakes for dinner.

I love the piles (and piles) of chapter books that we collectively move through.

However, there’s another side to summer. With all of the time spent creating family memories, it sometimes feels like there’s not much time left for me.

 It doesn’t have to be this way.

 

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One thing that I’ve learned throughout the years as my kids’ schedules and calendars have grown so very busy, is that if I want something to happen, I have to carve out the time for it.

Just like I choose to create the time for rainbow pancakes, I can choose to create the time for me. Not only is choosing self care important for you as a mom, your kids actually benefit from this choice as well.

In an article on Psych Central, associate editor Margarita Tartakovsky M.S. wrote, “sacrificing your needs for your child serves neither of you.” Citing the work of Ashley Eder, LPC, a psychotherapist in Boulder, Colorado, Tartakovsky wrote, “It is better for your kids if you have periods of unavailability that increase your presence later on, than for you to be partially available at all times.”

I take this as a cue to choose self care, guilt-free.

So what does that have to do with that hammock?

I’m a huge fan of Rachel Macy Stafford’s message of Only Love Today. Her book is a part of that chapter book pile that I told you about in the beginning of this article.

Her point is simple: choose love, her format is busy mom-friendly (you can read a short section per day), and her message is insistent: everybody counts in the Only Love Today message.

I’m taking that to heart.

“Only Love Today” is segmented by season, and right in the middle of the summer section is the gem about hammocks and how you – and I – belong in them.

I like to think that Stafford carefully and purposefully placed it there so that even the most self care-aware moms among us would get this specific message loud and clear mid-summer, right when your weeks are thickly bookended by sunscreen days and bug spray nights.

Even though there are piles of laundry to tend to, sprinklers to run through, and ice cream to scoop, there’s still time for that hammock. Choose to carve it out, you deserve it.

Here are 21 summer “bucket list” ideas for you so that you can get started today. (And yes, hammock-sitting is absolutely on this list!)

1 | Read a deliciously fluffy book, cover to cover.

2 | Sit on a patio.

3 | Host a girl’s night.

4 | Call an old friend.

5 | Turn up that 80’s music and sing along at the top of your lungs.

6 | Date your partner.

7 | Take a nap.

8 | Take a bubble bath.

9 | Spend a few minutes leaving compliments on social media.

10 | Don’t share your dessert.

11 | Go to that yoga class.

12 | Wear that dress.

13 | Buy new sunglasses.

14 | “Make” cheese and crackers for dinner.

15 | Go hear live music.

16 | Move that Amazon item from “Wish List” to “Cart.”

17 | Ignore the dishes.

18 | Create something that makes you smile.

19 | Try something new on the menu.

20 | Compliment a stranger.

21 | Sit way back in a hammock, of course.