For many parents back-to-school is the unofficial “new year” and like January, resolutions abound. I’ve heard a lot of them from “I will not over-cram the schedule this year!” and “I will not get so involved with their homework!” to “This is the year they we’re going to keep our paperwork organized!”.
Sound familiar? I’m sure you could add more to that list.
Here is mine.
I resolve to stay calm during the school storm. Lofty ambition, wouldn’t you say? It’s right up there with the promise to cut back on chocolate that I make every January. But this year, I hope to set myself up for success by doing the following:
- Delegate more.
Lunches are no longer my sole responsibility. If you eat it, you can pack it (or at the very least help). The boys’ school FINALLY has a hot lunch program and I signed them up for two meals per week and have ZERO guilt about this. Positive peer pressure has added more foods to my son’s lunch repertoire and that’s worth it for me!
- Scheduling family time.
Adding more to the schedule sounds a bit counter-intuitive to what it is that I am trying to achieve but between the five of us we’ve got a lot on the go, and spending time “just us” is important. So important that it deserves to be penned onto the calendar. Come Sunday night, I am planning.
- Scheduling me time.
Recently I had one of those much-needed dinner with girlfriends and we all said the same thing. Our kids are not so little that the need us every second of the day – it’s time we start living! Can the excuses (can’t get a babysitter, don’t have the extra money, I’m too tired, I’ve too much to do . . .) and start living! I resolve to model to my children that my activities count too. I’m a well-rounded person who knows more than just where his socks are (under the couch) and to be quite honest, I rarely say no to the boys, so why do I always say no to myself? I live in one of the greatest cities in the world and it’s time I start exploring it. Sans kids. Nathalie recently signed up for an adult drawing class. Bravo! You inspire me.
- Giving up on the should-dos.
The Mommy Marytr thing is overplayed. I retired my cape some years ago, but sometimes, when I have nothing to wear, I reach for it. Reading The Gifts of Imperfection, Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are by Brene Brown should be required reading for any mother whose cape is ratty with wear. When that nagging, self-loathing voice whispers to me everything that I am not and should be, I am much better at telling it to STFU and do something that makes me happy.
all images (and so many more goodies) are from http://www.annetaintor.com
Your main picture gave me a good laugh. Good for you not being guilty with your kids have school lunches a few times a week. As mommy’s we need to give ourselves some grace and forgiveness.
Yes! A girlfriend recently told me that she had a major case of the “guilts” because while she was in bed sick (with no helping hands) she let her kids eat popcorn and chips for dinner. It broke my heart that she felt that way. You’re absolutely right, we need to give ourselves grace and forgiveness. I like to think of it as treating ourselves how we’d treat a good friend.
I like the 80/20 rule. If I can do exactly what I want to do (parenting wise) 80% of the time I’m doing well. The other 20% is me forgiving myself when I’m less than perfect (ie yesterday I forgot my son’s snack after daycare but he survived the car ride home just fine). If anything we talked more about his day because he didn’t have a mouthful of food!
I love how you are approaching the “new year”. I also love that you are having your kids pack or help pack their own lunches. Do not feel bad about 2 lunches per week, heck if they like hot lunch do it more than that! Have a great school year!
Right!?! I’m not wearing that cape this year!
Thanks for these reminders for the start to the school year. (And love the images.)
Don’t you just Anne Taintor? Just the right amount of snark. xoxo