For some reason freshly-sharpened pencils, blank notebooks and new underwear say New Year to me far more than a ball dropping in Times Square.
I have always loved the beginning of a new school year, and it feels like a fresh start for mom, as well as for the kids. It’s time to get organized and be a better person.
I have spent the whole weekend cleaning and organizing the house. I went through all the kids’ drawers and closets pulling sizes that don’t fit, either to be passed down or given away. Then I organized all their remaining clothes. I cleaned out and reorganized the basement and have a car load of baby accoutrement to take to the St. Vincent de Paul Society! I cleaned bathrooms (even under the sinks) and washed clothes. There is much more to do, and I’m on a roll.
I am feeling inspired by the kids’ new school year and have created my own New (School) Year Resolutions! The list is not in order of importance, just in order of how they logically lead to one another.
A Mom’s TOP 10 New (School) Year Resolutions
1. Clean the house more frequently and better - I’ve had a housekeeper come twice monthly since Walsh was born and Rose was 2. It was too hard with a baby and a toddler to do all that deep cleaning myself. Now that the kids are older we want them to take responsibility for the house with us so we have given up that service.
So how will we make sure the house gets cleaned and this isn’t a broken resolution? Sunday afternoons have become our dedicated day for the whole family to work together to clean the house. I have cut back my work hours some for the blog so I have more time to clean during the week as well. I’ve also noticed that since I know no one is coming to clean for me I’m taking care of small problems before they get bigger.
2. Stay organized – This is a super tough one for me and for most moms. I think with the whole family cleaning together there will be less clutter, and it will be easier to stay organized. I’ve created dedicated space in wire Elfa baskets in the laundry room to store Rose and Walsh’s school work. I also have hung dedicated bulletin boards for each child to organize notices. I am working on cleaning out two slots on my desk for things I need to remember to do for them.
3. Use more coupons - I don’t have a plan yet for this and would love some ideas on how to make coupon usage a reality. Also I would like advice on how to use coupons to buy the things I want not just what I have coupons for.
4. Eat better - I am currently fatter than I have ever been and not been pregnant! Since getting back from our trip I have been working hard at making better food choices, working out and tracking my calories and workouts. I found a great free Web site, Livestrong.com, where you can figure out how many calories you can eat and lose your goal amount each week. The site lets you input your foods and it pulls up the calories for you. You also input your workouts, and it subtracts those calories and tells you what you have left to eat that day and still reach your goal. It also lets you track water. The nice thing is since it’s on the Internet you can fill it out at work or at home.
5. Use my Crock Pot more – This is a small goal in the scheme of things. However, I think it would help me have a calmer day to have my dinner already prepared before the crunch hours of 5 to 7 p.m. when the kids are cranky and homework has to be done, and we have no Daddy around to help.
6. Don’t over-schedule myself - I am very good about not over scheduling the children and always respecting my baby’s nap time. However, I tend to over schedule myself. There’s a project I want to do for our school, but I’m going to wait until I see how much time I really have to devote to it before I commit.
7. Work during the day so I can spend more time with my husband at night - Cutting back my hours on the blog means I really can get my work done during the baby’s nap time so I can actually spend the nighttime with Michael. Usually it’s me at the computer in the living room listening to him laugh at the TV in the den. Very depressing.
8. Read more books, watch less TV - I have trying for about four months to convince myself to give up my DVR in our bedroom. (It would save $25 a month on our cable bill!!) I haven’t quite been able to do it and Michael let me off the hook saying he can’t get the TV in High-Def without it (I can’t tell a difference so not really a reason for me to keep it.) However, I have been making a big effort to check out books from the library and read at night. I finished three books on vacation and have three novels on bedside table now, plus three cookbooks I wanted to peruse.
8A. Corollary resolution - To only use my library card instead of Michael’s because I finally got hooked up with the Library Elf system so no more late books and no more late fees! The system emails you when your books are due and gives you a list so you won’t forget to turn them in. the service is free in Gwinnett and may be in other counties.
9. Get to bed earlier every night - When I watch TV before I go to bed, I just can’t turn it off. I just think about all the shows I want to catch up on and how I’m finally getting to watch something I want to watch instead of what the 2-year-old wants to watch. So I end up staying up way too late. Books lull me to sleep, hence I fall asleep earlier.
10. Exercise 5 days a week at least one hour a day- In theory if I’m going to bed earlier, I won’t wake up dragging and could actually walk before getting the kids off to school and/or will have a better workout at the gym. Which should in turn lead to feeling better about myself, having more energy and getting all the things above done.
Do you feel you like the new school year is a fresh start for you too? What are your New School Year Resolutions?