I’m always interested in fresh starts–and back to school is a good one. After two weeks of getting into the school groove, I’ve seen a few things I hope to change. So in the spirit of this new school year, here are a few of my resolutions to do things better than I have before:
1. Serve protein for breakfast. My girls often complain about being famished by the time the lunch bell rings. What? Cheerios don’t last until noon? I resolve to make protein such as eggs, cottage cheese, turkey bacon, protein shakes, and peanut butter a part of our regular breakfast routine.
2. Don’t forget the vitamins. You are going to think I am horrible, but we are sporadic vitamin takers. I resolve to put our vitamins out on the counter before bedtime so that we won’t forget them in the morning.
3. Start dinner when I clean up breakfast. After I pick up the girls from school, it is dance, piano-swim-soccer-art-craziness. When I start defrosting the chicken and grating the cheese in the morning, we have a much better chance at eating dinner at the table together. Every time I do this, I wonder why I don’t do it everyday.
4. Don’t be shy about assigning chores. Sometimes I assign my children chores as if I am the maid begging for a day off. In It’s Okay to Take a Nap, Debra Woods says to remember you are the queen of the house. Don’t ask for help apologetically or tentatively. Ask with authority and hold to your expectations. I have a history of lightening up on the chores during the school year because I think they are too busy to do more than the basics. Well guess what? Being the queen is quite demanding too. And this little kingdom needs help. I resolve to make the “basic chores” include items off of MY to do list. They can do much more than we think they can.
5. Take time for myself. As long as I’m feeling queenly, I also resolve to take time for myself. Moms tend to put more on their plate during a day than a sane person can do in a month. If we do this long enough, we forget to leave room for other things we like such as playing the piano, reading our Oprah magazine, or watching season 5 of Psyche. This year, I’m working at stopping at least once a day to do something on the me list. The house might not be as clean but–oh wait–yes it will. I almost forgot about number 4.
6. Appreciate my children’s teachers. As my children grow, there is less and less direct parent involvement in the classroom. I resolve to do more to appreciate my children’s teachers throughout the school year. While I realize this goal is in serious danger of putting too much on the plate, I would like to keep them in my thoughts like I do a favorite aunt or next door neighbor–bringing them garden vegetables, bread, little treats etc. From my experience in the classroom, a little thoughtfulness goes a long way.
7. Close up shop by 8:00 p.m. Enforcing bedtime is my worst worst parenting (non) skill. I resolve to not start any project other than “project bedtime” from 8:00 on.
I could go on, but I better stop at 7. I tend to put too much on my plate (see number 5) and I hope to have a shot of at least making these few happen.
I am interested in hearing any of your back to school resolutions. The danger is I’ll want to add them to my own list. But I’ll try very hard not to (see 5) and just cheer for you with all best wishes for a your family’s own great year.