If you are anything like me, your New Year’s Resolutions went out the window approximately 7 months ago. Like, right after the last box of Christmas was put away.
Have no fear… all is not lost for those of us that fell off the bandwagon… I am proposing a new thing!
This year, I am setting New School Year Resolutions. See! Fresh start for everyone! Yay!
Care to join me?
Here is my list:
- Take better care of myself
As the mom, I make sure everyone has a balanced diet, goes to regular checkups, and makes it to practice on time. However, when it comes to taking care of myself I can really let things slide. There are mornings when the best I can do is to grab a granola bar on the way out the door, knowing I won’t be able to eat again until later that evening. There are annual exams that I have been years late to schedule. I will skip the gym and make family things the priority. The reality of it all is that I would never dream of sending my kid off to school with only a granola bar, or miss the last 4 annual check-ups, or make him miss his game so mom could do something for herself (as if!). I am just not wired to naturally put myself first. Often it’s a gift to my family, but when mama is spent… it’s not a good thing. This year, I want to take better care of myself FOR my people. When I eat right, get some exercise, sleep adequately, and keep myself healthy, I am prepared to be a better mom/wife.
- I will say NO, a lot
I have done pretty well with this one in the last few years, but if I am not careful, commitments creep up on me. With my oldest, who is now 13, I volunteered for EV.ER.Y.THING. It was just bananas. Then I became a baby factory (had 3 more kids in 4 years) and was barely able to shower. Therefore saying no was easier because, ya know… survival.
That said, I still have two littles, we just moved, and my support system here is non-existent… although I am eager to meet new people and help ensure my kids are attending the finest educational facilities a PTA can foster… there will probably not be much coming from this lady this year. When all 4 are in school all day we can reevaluate, but even then… maybe, maybe not.
- Wake before the children
In the morning before I become a short order cook and a taxi driver I need some time to gather myself. In order to accomplish this somewhat painful goal of early rising, I need to get to bed at a decent hour and have the self-discipline to avoid the snooze button. From past experience I know I am a better mom/person and we all have a better start to our day when I get my quiet time. I typically use that time to savor some coffee, do some reading, and map out the day… nothing too fancy but I get to use my brain all to myself.
- No more nagging morning mommy
A few years ago I made a morning checklist for the sweet morning creatures that would barely crawl from their lairs and start demanding food… the list has come and gone, but it’s back and in full force for 2017-2018. As in, don’t even try to ask if you have some sort of free time until everything on that list has been executed!
I hate being the morning routine drill sergeant… “Brush your teeth! Make your bed! Pack up your backpack! For the love, please make sure you have your socks and underwear on!” (this is a legitimate issue in our house and I for the life of me cannot tell you why my children have such a dislike for undergarments.)
Anyway, you get the point… I just refer them to the list and I don’t have to nag. There is such freedom in a good list. Freedom or sorcery… either way, I am bringing it back!
- No more “hurry up” or “we are going to be late”
This sorta goes hand in hand with #4, but by the end of last school year it felt like I was herding cats into my car every morning while frantically stressing to them about how late we were. Not exactly the way I want to send off my little humans every morning. “Hurry up! Get out! You’re going to be late! Oh! And I love you! Have a great day! But really, hurry, go! Make great choices!”
Hopefully the overly precise list will eliminate the need to run back in the house a bazillion times for things like shoes and backpacks! But in case it doesn’t, I also want to leave a little margin in our departure time. Real life happens and I want to have a little buffer. I want them to leave my home and car with a happy heart each day not a nagging voice ringing in their ears.
- ONE, and only one, get out of jail free card
I instituted this rule many years ago and I love/hate it. Kids will be kids and life happens, things are forgotten and mistakes are made. I will gladly bail you out ONE time for a forgotten item, but after that… too bad, so sad. As their mama I try my best to prepare and equip them for each day as well as their future. (Clearly, I am not going to be there to bring their paper to the college lecture hall.) Therefore, if I am constantly running forgotten homework and gym clothes to their school, I am not doing my job very well… essentially I am enabling them. This one hurts me every year, but it has also proven to really develop a sense of responsibility within my people. I would rather them learn these lessons while the consequences are small.
- I refuse to be the student… i.e., it’s not my homework, essay or science project
Again, with the responsibility stuff… I already finished elementary school, middle school, and college for that matter, and I have no desire to do it again. If my name is not going on the top of the page, I am not doing it. I don’t care if my kids project is not Pinterest worthy, it will be done by him and to the capacity he is able. I want kids that can handle and manage tasks as life throws them their way. Again, these are lessons I want them to learn while they are under my roof and I can guide them through the life consequences of things like procrastination or work ethic.
- I want to savor
Time is flying by so stinking fast I can barely believe it. I will have a teenager this month and those words just sound ludicrous when I try to mutter them out loud. I didn’t understand when I was little and my mom would look into my eyes and tearfully ask where the time had gone… now I can barely see the screen through my own tear-filled eyes as i try to finish this dad gum paragraph. It is just going so darn fast.
I hate it and I don’t want to miss a thing.
I want to soak up after school chats over apple slices with peanut butter.
I want to remember how they confided in me and told me all their dreams.
I want to remember how soft their skin felt when I scratched their backs.
I don’t want to forget how excited they were about the first day and what it was like for them to make a new friend.
I want to savor all that it is to be mama to my precious little curtain climbers.
- No more comparisons or guilt
Lastly, this year there will be no Momparisons and no mom guilt.
If another mom is crushing it as the room mom, I commend her.
When all of my kid’s friends have organic lunches complete with giraffe shaped sandwiches… good for those crunchy kids, we will just keep doing our best.
If my kid needs to spend some time with the reading specialist, I am not going to blame myself but instead be grateful for the resource.
And on the days I slip into drill sergeant mommy, herd the cats into the car, and push them out the door before the car stops rolling… I am going to give myself grace for that too.
As moms we can be so hard on ourselves and it steals all the joy from the most awesome job in the world. This year I want to reclaim the joy of motherhood and break the bonds of comparison and guilt.
Most of my resolutions are pretty basic. However, there is something about writing them down and thinking them out that holds me more accountable.
Do you do anything like this?
Is there anything you would add to the list?