Prioritizing My Mommy Bucket List: So Much To Do, So Little Time


I began compiling my mommy bucket list when I was pregnant with my first child six years ago. My idea was to have a list of experiences I’d like to have as a family before my wee ones became adults.

When you’re pregnant, of course, you think you have all the time in the world to do everything you want with your kids. You aren’t worried about not accomplishing everything on your mommy bucket list. Once your first baby is born, however, you start realizing how little time you actually have. Not to mention, how quickly it flies by.

Recently, I saw a meme on Facebook that gave each stage of ‘childhood’ (newborn through teenager) and how many years you have with your child in each stage. It made me panic a bit; my son is finished with the newborn, infant, toddler and preschooler stages already and my daughter’s toddler days are numbered. These thoughts made me revisit my mommy bucket list and start prioritizing.

The one big thing we’ve crossed off the list is camping. We’ve gone the past two years successfully, and continue to plan at least one or two annual summer weekends dedicated to camping. This past spring, we also crossed off one of my bucket list day trips when we went to the Montshire Museum and the King Arthur Flour store.

I know that within the next year, we want to visit Boston with the kids, along with spending time at Hampton Beach next summer.

Then, I started to look farther ahead.

The following list contains the top ten things I want to do or experience as a family beyond what we’re already planning in the near future.

  • Teach my Kids about Music

    I’ve already begun this venture, as we are constantly singing, but I still feel like there’s so much more I want them to know. As they grow, I want to introduce them to so many kinds of music. This includes the music my parents grew up with and the music I grew up with.

    I think having some basic skills in reading sheet music is an important skill. I was a flute player from 4th grade until I graduated from high school. Music was a huge part of my life growing up. If neither of my children ends up being musicians, that is okay. However, I want them to have the opportunity to be exposed to instruments. I want them to try to play something if their interest is piqued, even if it doesn’t work out. I pointed out all the instruments I saw in the marching bands in our local Memorial Day parade and made a big deal of the instrument exhibit at the Montshire Museum.

    We also have the keyboard I had growing up. While I am not proficient at playing songs with chords, my kids have been exposed to how it is played. I would love to play my flute for them sometime soon once I can find a place to give it a professional cleaning.

  • Teach Them a Sport

    I don’t necessarily have a particular sport in mind, just one they may take interest in. It doesn’t even matter to me if they just want to watch or if they want to play. My son is taking some interest in baseball so he played t-ball this past spring. He has also decided he wants to try tennis this summer. My daughter seems enthusiastic to try anything at this point. I am excited to see what they pick.

    T-ball; Learning a sport is on my Mommy bucket list.

  • Have Them Pick Something to Build, and then Build it- with their Dad

    I say they need to build it with Dad because, quite frankly, I am awful at building anything. Power tools and I do not mix. Well, hand tools and I don’t even mix a lot of the time. The picture frame I made in seventh grade technology class was not meant to be the rhombus shape it came out to be. I’d like my kids to have the experience of building something with someone who knows what they are doing so they can learn a thing or two. Who knows? Maybe they’ll discover a hobby in woodworking in the process.

  • Give Them the Responsibility of Having a Pet (Preferably, something that is not a snake or some animal that terrifies me or anything I am allergic to.) 

    I don’t care if the pet is a fish. But I feel my kids should have the experience of caring for another living thing, even with something as temporary as a fish.

  • Run a Race with One of my Kids

    Admittedly, this may not happen if my kids aren’t interested in running. If that is the case, I will just have to give up this idea. Personally, I’m a three-season runner. I won’t run in the snow, ice or cold weather. I’ll never complete a marathon, but someday I hope to finish a half. My goal is to convince even one of my children to run a 5k or 10k with me. Judging from their personalities at ages 5 and 2, I think I may have a better prospect in my younger child for this bucket list item. She is more persistent and energetic than her older brother. Time will tell, I suppose.

  • Visit as many Aquariums as Possible

    We have all been to ECHO in Burlington, does that count? The Biodome in Montreal has some fish exhibits too. My kids have seen those, but they haven’t been to a ‘big’ aquarium. I went to the aquariums in Niagara Falls, Boston, and London (UK) pre-children. My kids have yet to go to an aquarium of that caliber though. Both of them seem to love watching fish and my husband and I enjoy aquariums. I think we will all enjoy working on this goal!

  • Visit Washington, D.C. 

    I’m the only one of the four of us who has been a tourist in D.C. for more than a day. I went once with my family as a teenager and once on a high school band trip. I’m itching for the day my little family can go together and the kids are old enough to appreciate the history there. From monuments to Smithsonian buildings, to numerous other museums, there is no shortage of things to do in the Nation’s Capital. I want my kids to experience as much of it as possible.

    Mommy Bucket List stop; Washington, D.C.

  • Take a Trip to Niagara Falls 

    I am a bit partial to the Canadian side. I’ve been there a couple of times too, but I’m excited to see the looks on my kids’ faces when they see this natural wonder in person.

    Niagara falls is on my mommy bucket list

  • Go on a Boat Ride

    I’d love to bring them on a Cape Cod Whale Watch. My husband and I did this on our Cape Cod honeymoon. If I go that route, I’ll need to find a better remedy for the seasick feeling I get when they kill the engine on the boat. (I slept through the second half of that whale watch, sadly). I will keep working on that. There are some other options here though. There are plenty of touristy boat rides in the northeast to choose from, from the Spirit of Ethan Allen locally to the steamboats in Lake George, NY. They might be a good starting point.

  • Take a Cross Country Trip

    This is a ‘bucket list’ item that both my husband and I agreed upon a while ago. We figure we should take 2-3 weeks one summer when our kids are a little older, and attempt this. We still need to agree upon what landmarks we’d like to see and what route to take, but the brainstorming has begun!

  • Something Each of My Kids Wants to Do (Within Reason)

    I do have limits here. For example, I will not jump out of a perfectly good airplane as I know my fear of heights will trigger an immediate heart attack. There are certain experiences that would cause my ultimate demise. However, if there’s a place my children want to go that is not on my list, or a concert they’d like to see even if it isn’t my style, I’ll go! I do want them to feel like this list is just as much theirs as it is mine.

This list may evolve as my children grow older and I discover what other interests they have. For now, I have some family goals. That is exciting to me. The only thing I have to figure out is when we’re doing all this within the next all-too-short thirteen years.

Do you have a Mommy Bucket List? What kinds of experiences would you like your kids to have before they become adults? Are there places you’d love to visit with them?


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