It’s cliché but you know how everyone says that kids grow up so fast. I’m going to say it too. I still vividly remember the day when I had a tiny 4-pound baby handed to me to take home and how shocked I was that they were going to trust me with something so tiny. That miniature baby is now a huge 10 year old who loves to wake up and cook himself 2-3 fried eggs for breakfast and can outrun me in a race.

My youngest is still only 17 months but I’m realizing that I’m going to blink and find a teenager staring back at me. That scary realization, and the fact that I know my days are limited before my 10 year old wakes up and realizes that I’m just really not cool, has gotten me thinking about the things I want to do with my kids before they grow up.

parenting bucket list

So I’ve made a list. It’s my parenting bucket list. And it’s going on my fridge right next to (or maybe even above) my to-do list. Here are just a few of the things on it:

Have a Lemonade Stand

How crazy is it that in 10 years of parenting we’ve never done a lemonade stand. Lemonade stands were a weekly occurrence during the summers growing up and a great way to learn about money and entrepreneurship. Today’s world requires a bit of creative thinking so I want my kids to have the skills they need to set off and do their own thing if they need to in the job market. What better way to prepare them for the possibility of self-employment then a well thought out lemonade stand?

Visit Washington D.C.

I grew up in the suburbs of Washington D.C. and whenever we had guests visit we’d take the mandatory tour of the Washington Monument and the Air and Space Museum. I always complained I was bored. I’d seen it all a hundred times before. Now I can’t believe I ever thought that way because I know my kids would love to tour the endless museums that D.C. offers. We went back when my oldest was a toddler but haven’t been back since.

Get a Dog

I talked my way into a puppy when I was a kid by writing a ridiculous pity party in a poem that tugged at my dad’s heartstrings so I remember what it is like to want a pet and feel like it’s never going to happen. We had a dog when my oldest was a baby but my younger kids don’t remember having a pet and they ask for a dog daily. I have a rule that I only potty train one thing at a time but I recognize that I’ll need to give it at some point because my kids really need to experience the love of a pet while they are still young.

Make a Fort out of Living Room Furniture

I loved making forts as a kid and I was great about doing that when I only had one child. Now that I have 4 I’m much more inclined to tell them to clean up a mess then make one. I need to get over that. They are only kids once and they need some living room forts in their childhood memories.


I have an enormous list of books that I want to read with my kids before they are grown. The books I love can share far more of the things I want my kids to learn about life than I can on my own. A love of reading will serve them better then just about any gift I can give them.


What’s on your parenting bucket list?


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