A Mom’s TOP 10 New School Year Resolutions!

Just some of the junk I cleared out of my basement this weekend as part of my fresh start!

Just some of the junk I cleared out of my basement this weekend as part of my fresh start!

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.

Just part of the baby stuff that is going Bye-Bye this week!

Just part of the baby stuff that is going Bye-Bye this week!

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 moreThis 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?

56 comments Add your comment

lynn

August 11th, 2009
4:07 pm

Since we had cool days all the way through April I didn’t get my Spring cleaning done until May. Same will go for fall cleaning, once the weather changes out with the old and room for the new.

Patrick

August 11th, 2009
4:54 pm

I once called the local Chick-Fil-A and talked to the manager and complained that I was given the wrong order at the drive-thru. I didn’t realize it until I got home, and it was a good 20-minute drive from my house to the Chick-Fil-A. I told them that we’d eat what I ended up with, since it was something else we liked, but told them to tell their drive-thru folks to double-check the orders when sending them out the window. The manager apologized, and took down my name, phone number, and address. A few days later I received coupons for free Chick-Fil-A sandwiches, free chicken biscuits, and free ice cream cones. My roommate and I ate for free for a couple of days for both breakfast and supper.

Another time I received a whole box of free goodies from a parent company that makes a lot of brand name products. I had bought one of their products at a local store, and didn’t realize that it was spoiled until I got home. The store I went to was 30 minutes away. It looked like the product had been damaged in shipping, so I called the company, they apologized, sent me a check for the retail value of the item, and a week later I received about $40 worth of free stuff from them, including dry soup mixes, tea bags, salad dressing, peanut butter, jelly, and a few other items. I gave some of the stuff away to friends, neighbors, or my parents. I gave the salad dressing to a restaurant I frequented at the time, because it was a flavor they didn’t carry, and were always asked for. The restaurant gave me a free meal for that.

I do try to praise as much as possible. I may not always speak to the manager and give kudos to a particular employee, but I do show my appreciation in other ways. When it comes to restaurants, if the server is polite and apologetic for not getting to me when he or she has an entire portion of a dining room to cover, then I show some compassion and leave a slightly bigger than normal tip. My parents did the same thing for a server at a Ryan’s because she ended up taking over another server’s tables (including ours), as well as having to cover a large party in the back. I remember some friends of mine and I leaving another server at the same Ryan’s a very generous tip, because she was apologetic, and tried as much as possible to tend to us while at the same time having to tend to two or three large birthday parties. She was looking quite flustered, so we asked her if she could just leave a pitcher of tea and Coke on our table and we’d take care of ourselves. I think she looked like she wanted to both cry and kiss us. We told her it was no trouble at all, left her a generous tip, and told the manager about her.

Even though they may not seem like they care, restaurants and other businesses built on serving the community do care about what their customers think.

One restaurant that really cares is Cracker Barrel. A few months ago a lot of the store managers from other nearby locations were at the restaurant near my home, because it had received the highest customer satisfaction rating of all the locations in the entire country. So the managers were there to take notes on what this store was doing that theirs weren’t. The district manager was there, as was the manager of another location I frequent. I told him that he should have brought the entire staff from that store to this store, because they’re so slow, half of them were rude, and if there was one thing I could count on, it’s that by the time I got out of there after eating supper, traffic in Atlanta would be very light. He apologized, told me that next time I showed up to ask for him and he would give me a free meal (which I never did…forgot), but the next time I went to that location, it had improved big time. Like the saying goes, the squeaky wheel gets the grease.

DB

August 11th, 2009
8:24 pm

I love handing out compliments to wait staff, because I suspect that they don’t get that many of them. If we have someone serving us that is just above and beyond great, sometimes I’ll ask them to call the manager over to the table. That almost always gets a slightly worried look, and usually the manager comes over with the server hovering anxiously behind — at which point we tell the manager how great the server was and how much we appreciated (whatever). Everyone relaxes and smiles at that point :-) Occasionally, we’re offered a free dessert, but we always turn it down — I appreciate freebies when a company has screwed up, but I don’t want them to question the sincerity of the compliment by thinking I was fishing for a free tiramisu!

fk

August 11th, 2009
8:44 pm

DB, that’s really nice. My husband is in the hospitality business, they get few complaints, but even rarer is the compliment. I bet the servers and managers recognize you upon your return visit.

motherjanegoose

August 12th, 2009
6:57 am

DB…me too! I always make it a point to find the manager of a hotel or restaurant if I had a great experience. Those folks need a few kudos too and the management needs to hear that they are a valued employee, especially in these times of lay offs.

I have called the various elite lines of the hotels that I frequent and let them know what fine employees they have. I try to make note of the name somewhere so that I can refer to it in the conversation. I know how much I appreciate positive feedback and thus try to do my turn with others too! I have also received letters back from management, thanking me for my compliments.

I heard from Theresa but not with your e-mail…we will see.

JJ

August 12th, 2009
3:24 pm

Patrick, you reminded me of a time, long ago, when I was almost side-swipped by an Etennemans (sp) Bakery Truck. My daughter was a baby, in her car seat, and this truck ran a stop sign and darn near hit me.

I contacted the corporation, and low and behold, about a week later, the driver of the truck came an knocked on my apartment door, with a HUGE box full of bread, rolls, etc. He apologized and told me he was the driver, but didn’t remember the near accident. He was very apologetic and kind. However, there was no way I could have eaten all that bread, and I was getting ready to go out of town for a week.

I took the bread to a local shelter and handed it to them. They were so happy!!!!