My Mindful Summer: One Mom’s Hamptons To-Do List…

My Mindful Summer: One Mom’s Hamptons To-Do List

I am so excited for summer to begin that I’ve found myself fantasizing about just sitting. Not even doing anything. Just plunking down on the oversized white, comfy couch in our Water Mill rental, the warm summer sunshine streaming in through the giant glass sliding doors, the light breeze tousling my hair. I see myself reading a great book or flipping through a local issue of Hamptons magazine or pawing through an oversized newspaper, the rustling pages dancing towards the floor as I toss them aside.

This scene is the opposite of my life with four kids in New York City. Here on the Upper East Side, I am in constant motion, racing across town to pick-up, running down the street pushing a stroller, talking quickly, typing emails fast-fast-fast on my phone as I walk down the street, barely pausing to look up. (I know, I know! I should stop texting on the street!)

I’m beat. I need to slow this show down.

Last weekend, realizing that the end of school was fast approaching, I decided to make a list of all the things I wanted to do while in the Hamptons, where my family will spend the summer. Instead of letting the season just fly by in a haze of kids’ activities, camp drop-offs and backyard baseball, I vowed to approach the season with intention. Mindfulness. Isn’t that what everyone says is so important? Mindfulness? I can do that! In addition to all the work I’d be doing like writing articles, finishing my book and hosting my podcast, “Moms Don’t Have Time to Read Books,” I wanted to fine-tune my time with (and without) the kids.

I opened up my laptop and emailed myself a giant checklist of everything I love doing “out east.” Then I read it to my husband and my kids over lunch. I called it: Mom’s Mindful Summer To-Do List.

“Will you all help me check these activities off my list?” I asked them all, looking around the table.

“Totally!” My husband, Kyle, replied, delighted that I’d put twilight drinks alone with him in Montauk on the roster.

“Yes! Can we do the lemonade stand first?” My daughter asked.

“Or let’s go to the Palm!” My younger daughter said. “That’s my favorite restaurant! I love the pasta there.”

“And I love the doughnuts,” my three-year-old boy added in his serious mono-tone voice.

“Great!” I said. “Let’s go to the Palm tonight. But first, let’s stop by Amagansett Square to run around.”

Check! Check.

And just like that, I’d started our summer adventure.

I don’t know if I’ll be able to cross everything off the list, but I do know that I won’t let this summer just slip by with nothing to show for it. I’m approaching my favorite time of year, a time I crave and feel I really earn, in a mindful way. Even if that means just sitting sometimes and staring out the window. I can’t wait.

Moms’ Mindful To-Do List:

Dinner at Vine Street Cafe in Shelter Island

Dinner at Nick & Toni’s in East Hampton

Fridays at 5 pm author series at the Bridgehampton Library

Lunch at Sunset Beach with the kids

East Hampton duck pond with kids

Bike riding

Stand up paddle boarding

Run on the beach

Harry’s Farm stand

Horse back riding for kids

Sunday night beach bbq

Dinner at the Palm

Ice cream and play in Amagansett Square

East Hampton Library


Go to an event at Guild Hall

See an author reading at Bookhampton

Do a walk or run race for charity

Have a lemonade stand

Play mini golf with the kids

Play 9 holes of golf with Kyle

Do the ladies’ tennis clinic

Do 3 Dance Body classes

Try one new exercise class

Host a dinner party

Host a kids party

Go for frozen yogurt at Buddhaberry in Sag Harbor

Go out on a boat

Have a houseguest

Finish writing my book

Go for crispy sushi at the Topping Rose bar

Go to Montauk with Kyle for twilight drinks

Buy veggies, flowers and fruit at a farm stand

Check out some open houses

Take kids for dinner out at World Pie in Bridgehampton

Go to the playground in East Hampton

Have the kids take a golf lesson

Cook an amazing dinner from the Barefoot Contessa cookbooks

Sit and do nothing


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Zibby Owens

Zibby Owens is a writer and the host of popular podcast, “Moms Don’t Have Time to Read Books.” A mother…

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