Since becoming a parent, the start of the new school year has become the “it” event of our world, and this year is no exception. It may be in part because we’ve moved and we’re starting a new year in a new community, but this year I’ve found myself wanting to start the year with intention. With that in mind, I’ve made a few goals for myself and thought I’d let you in on it. I’m sure I’ll try and fail a few hundred times, but here goes!
Wake up before my kids.
You’d think this would be a no-brainer, but, unfortunately, I struggle here. I’m not a morning person so waking up at the required 5:30 a.m. to be prepared for my youngsters doesn’t come easily. Most days I hit snooze five times before resigning myself to getting up, and I’m usually running late to the drop-off line at least twice a week. But, hey, I have goals! I know it would make the mornings run exponentially smoother if I was awake and got a head start, so I am making an honest to goodness vow to do just that and get out of bed first.
Make lunch the night before.
This ties into the aforementioned goal above. In order to stay in bed as long as possible, I need to do as much as I can the night before, which very much includes making the lunches beforehand. Back in the days of 9 a.m. preschool it was no problem to wake up at 7:30 a.m., make lunch while the kids ate breakfast and still be out of the house in plenty of time to make carpool, but that was then. Now the tardy bell rings at 7:30 a.m., and in order for us to stand a chance, we need as little to do in the morning as possible. So goal numero dos is to prep lunch before mama hits the hay!
Put on clothes.
No, I’m not leaving the house naked, but unless I’ve got actual exercise happening that morning, I’m making it a goal to put on non-activewear articles of clothing. I am grateful for the invention of cute, comfortable, move-with-you throughout the day stretchy pants, but I don’t need to wear them six days of the week. I have gotten in the rut of making sure my children look top-notch, but then not bothering to fix my hair or even put on a real shirt, and I’d like that to change. I want to feel good about myself as I start the new year, and while I feel a little sad that getting dressed has to be a goal, this is where I am in life.
Make a plan for the week.
This one I’m historically good at, and, even if I fail at everything else, I usually have some semblance of a plan to fall back on. I cannot function without the use of a day planner (and an accompanying to-do list). It has become essential for me to physically write all the things down on paper, and get them out of my head. Doing this helps me feel less way less crazy and far more prepared even when (not if) the plans change.
Keep calm and Mom on.
Above all else, my absolute No. 1 goal is to stay calm. With or without kids, mornings are a hectic time for the human race. I am guilty, more than I’d like to admit, of letting life overwhelm me and going into crazy-snappy-anxious “Mom mode.” I want to help my family start their day out on a positive note, ready for whatever’s next, and if I could make only one change as we go into the school year, it would be to simply not go nuts trying to get everyone dressed, fed and out the door.
Jordan Schupbach is a mother of three living in the Houston area. She blogs at www.lattesandliving.com - sharing the good, the bad and the frenzied.