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Challenge: Stretched Too Thin

Our summer bucket list is filled with the word NO

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“Mayday! Mayday! Mayday!” Aren’t those the universal words for distress? You know. The time in the movie when the ship is sinking, someone gets on the radio, and then voices out the emergency call for HELP!

That’s how I feel right now. But my words are more like, “Mayday, Mayday, the MAY days sunk ME.”


Feel me, Mama? Come June we are all about MAYday’d out. So I’m getting on that lifeboat called S.S Summer and waving bye to the sinking ship called busy.
As a mom of four the past three months of school and ALL the things have firmly kicked my tush. I’m tired. I’m exhausted. And I’m ready for days filled with margin instead of days filled with mayhem.

This summer our family bucket list is filled with the word NO.

No to baseball practice, but yes to sunsets playing catch.
No to ballet class, but yes to dance parties in the kitchen.

No to reading logs, but yes to checking out our public library.
No to eating in the car on the go, but yes to meals eaten on the front porch.
No to driving the mom taxi, but yes to splashing in the pool.
No to homework, but yes to running through the sprinkler.

No to alarm clocks, but yes to sleeping till whenever.
No to basketball uniforms, but yes to afternoons playing one-on-one.

No to end of school projects, but yes to crafts at the kitchen table.

No to memorizing spelling words, but yes to family stargazing.

No to early bedtimes, but yes to chasing fireflies.

No to soccer fields, but yes to sand castles.

No to organized activities, but yes to seizing the spontaneity of the day.
The pace called frantic wore us all plumb out. Did it you?

Let’s leave that crazy ship behind and instead set sail to a place where our kids can discover, explore, create, and just BE.

“No” to plans is my summer mantra. And my kids aren’t complaining one bit. In fact, they seem relieved that we’ve pulled back on the acceleration of our day to day living.

It turns out that this summer lifestyle I’m happily forcing upon my family has major benefits. According to Harvard Health, unplanned time is actually a way to build up pivotal learned skills in our children, “skills,” says Dr. Claire McCarthy (who is a Harvard Associate Professor of Pediatrics) “that make all the difference in life.”


Yes, you read that correctly. Unplanned time can help make our children more successful as adults.

What is unplanned, free time? According to the article it is time when kids get out the art supplies and just make. Or go into the kitchen and bake. It’s time spent hiking and playing outdoors. Time where children can use their imaginations and build with legos and blocks. Time to swim in the pool. Time for boredom to occur so children they can figure out how to amuse themselves. McCarthy posits that unscheduled time helps children build important skills they will use later in life.

It’s time where parents, coaches, or any other adults get a bit out of the way and let our kids play.

I like the sound of that.
Unplanned time sounds like pure perfection this summer. Boredom is not bad; it's actually the groundwork for the miraculous.

It’s kinda like this Harvard professor just answered my Mayday! call with the best answer possible. I now have Ivy league advisement which proves I’m making the best possible choice this summer…I’m letting my kids be kids.
And in turn, I’m regaining my mama sanity.

If you need me I’ll be knee deep in art supplies and meandering through the day with my kiddos this summer.
No is the best type of yes for us this summer.


Connect on IG: Sarah Philpott

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