Can y’all believe it’s back to school time already? In just a few short days my alarm will ring far earlier than I’d like, school buses will be back to slowing down traffic and polluting the air, and kids will carelessly dash out in front of my moving car because they don’t realize how slow my reflexes truly are. Still, I love the start of a new school year.
I decided to approach this school year a little differently. I thought about setting a theme word to anchor me when all my hopes and dreams to be organized, enforce a consistent bedtime, and pack school lunches at night come crashing down. But I couldn’t find one word to encompass my aspirational sentiment for the school year. So instead I made back to school resolutions. Because who says resolutions are only relevant in January? Not this girl.
So here goes….for the 2017-18 school year, I resolve to:
Forgive myself for takeout on weeknights. Most Sundays I plan our meals for the week ahead. It alleviates the 5 p.m. text thread between me and my husband trying to figure out what’s not frozen that we can whip up quickly. But despite my best planning efforts, some nights I don’t have the energy, nor the desire, to stand in front of a stove after working all day. And it leaves me feeling inadequate when my kids eat Wendy’s on a Wednesday night. But you know what? It’s okay. My kids have homecooked meals 90% of the time, and truth be told, they probably appreciate the treat of takeout every now and again.
Make wise use of the word “No.” Yep, I try to make it all happen. All the time. And it stresses me out. Inevitably there will come a Tuesday night that we have soccer practice, a fundraiser, choir rehearsal, a science project, and cookies to bake for a class party. This year, something’s not getting done … and the world will still turn.
Let my children experience self-imposed failure. We’ve all been there … wrapping up the evening juuust about to close the books on another day when your child comes to you with a look of equal parts terror and desperation on their face, asking for help with a project they “forgot” was due the next day. Or, by some miraculous intervention you're ready to walk out of the door on time only to see the school office phone number pop up on your caller ID with a small voice on the other end saying, “I left my homework at home again, can you please bring it?” or “I forgot my glasses on my nightstand, can you drop them off?” Typically, I come to the rescue, even at the expense of a restful night or a morning less rushed. But not this year, my little sweet darlings. This year my kids will learn that some of life’s most valuable lessons – like time management and preparation – come from a fail.
Keep myself as a priority. Every summer I’m able to develop great personal routines … and then school starts and it’s like “Gym who?” I’m not going to allow myself to that this year. I must take care of myself first if I’m going to be any good at taking care of everybody else. So yes, Planet Fitness, I’ll still rock with you three + days a week.
Enjoy the ride. The years are going by much too quickly. School starts, then winter break is here; before I know it, spring break is upon us, and then summer break is knocking on my door. Each year my kids come more into their own, get smarter and savvier, and, quite frankly, take another step toward life on their own. Instead of focusing on weeks at a time, I’m going to take it day by day and appreciate the process of watching my babies prepare to take the world by storm.
What resolution would you add? Tell me in the comments below.