You know that moment in June when you’re perusing the aisles of Hobby Lobby for summer-themed front door swag, then you turn the corner and see fall decorations?
Tabletop pumpkins, harvest candles, and “Happy Fall Y'all” yard signs. You think to yourself, “Good grief, we haven’t even shot off the fireworks, yet!”
Well, I’m the one who loves that.
I've always lived in North Texas but I should’ve been raised in Vermont. I’m a November baby, and maybe that's why inside of me there’s a crisp, fall-leaves-on-the-lawn, sweater-wearing season dying to be experienced every year.
The reality is, in a few weeks as we begin to refer to “fall this” and “fall that” we’ll still be wearing bathing suits.
It’s fall-not-fall in Frisco.
This week, Frisco ISD welcomes our kiddos back to school. As I run around town to gather final items from the supply list and buy new shoes for everyone, I confess – I'm READY.
While I enjoy summer with my kids, usually around August 1, it hits me. I need some space and I'm ready to get back to a routine.
While “fall” in Frisco begins when it's still 100 degrees outside, the new season inspires me to start fresh as a family. How can we get off on the right foot this school year?
What can I do to set us up for success? How can I set myself up to be a happy, healthy mom this year?
I'm pondering these six new year's resolutions. New school year resolutions, that is.
Find a new flow.
Last school year I allowed just enough time to get the three kids up, pack their lunch boxes, feed them breakfast and run a brush through their hair before we raced out the door. My alarm clock and I were not friends.
Once everyone was successfully delivered to their schools, I would return home to get myself ready for whatever the day held, be it work, the gym, or errands.
Or, more often than not, I would become distracted and nix one or more of the above.
Rising at the last possible minute wasn't a great way to begin my day, nor was it the most efficient.
This year, I resolve to get up well before my kids so that I can prepare myself for whatever the day holds.
No matter how you slice it, the day will be full, but there are ways that I can better manage my time to allow for not only the things that I have to do but the things that I want to do as well (i.e. yoga, lunch with a friend).
But of course, getting up earlier means that I also need to…
Take care of myself.
I'm coming off summer feeling tired and drained rather than refreshed. I don't think that's how it's supposed to be?
The reality is, I'm forced to press pause on “me time” in the summer. Between my regular work schedule, the kids, the dog, household chores, errands, and making summer fun for everyone, the juggle was real.
At the end of each day, all I wanted to do was drink wine and watch Netflix until I fell asleep. Exercise wasn't in the picture at all and a good sleep was sporadic.
Summer ruled my schedule and I'm ready to take it back.
I resolve to get to bed earlier so I can feel fresh the next morning. I resolve to write my yoga classes on the calendar in permanent ink and make doctor's appointments that I've neglected.
If we're going to get off on the right foot this school year as a family, I think it begins with me. And not to put too much pressure on an already-full plate, but it would help if I…
I can't pack away the swimming supplies just yet, but I think a little “spring cleaning” this time of year is a good idea. Fall in Frisco is busy and I want to get ahead of it before we start decorating for HallowThanksMas.
I resolve to prepare space for the inevitable paper piles that will come home from school. I resolve to update the monthly calendar with the kids' schedules and responsibilities so that we head into this new year with clarity rather than chaos.
There will be curveballs, for sure. There will be meetings that come up, deadlines that change, and places to be that weren't anticipated. But, the new school year is an opportunity to start fresh and “fix” that hectic, one-day-one-hour-at-a-time lifestyle.
Life with three kids, work, extra-curriculars, and friends is always going to be a lot. But, it's manageable with a little organization and mind-body balance. On that note, I resolve to…
Enjoy some downtime.
I've never thought a stay-at-home parent should feel guilty for taking some time to rest while their kids are at school. I'm not talking about hours of soap operas and bon-bons, but I think it's important to take a breather if you can.
While the kids are at school, I resolve to occasionally have lunch with a friend, take a power nap, get my nails done, or read a few chapters of a book.
And I won't feel guilty about it, because the school day flies by and the minute they're back, I'm on-duty non-stop until 10:00 pm or later.
So this school year I'll take a “lunch hour” — for everyone's sake. And while I'm doing that, I resolve to periodically…
Assess my stress level.
I used to volunteer a lot. I was raised to be a servant leader. Sit on the front row, be the first to sign up, set the example. Then I had a second child. Then I had a third child. And then I started working more…
And it was all downhill from there. I got tired, learned how to say no quite comfortably, and erected some serious boundaries.
Boundaries are good. I'm a fan. It's how I've survived the last few years as a stay-at-home-work-from-home mom. But this school year, I resolve to challenge that a little bit.
I can give more – not just with my wallet – but with my hands and feet. Whether it's on the PTA, at my church, or for a charity that I believe in, I can challenge that comfort zone a bit.
But not at the expense of my sanity or my family's happiness.
At this point in my life, I know my limits pretty well. Some women have a greater capacity to juggle than I do, and I'm okay with that. We all have our own unique realities: available time, resources, energy, and support.
I know when to say no and my family comes first. If I'm off-balance, everything else tends to be too. And on that note, I need to take the advice that I give to my friends, and that's to…
My back to school resolutions are actually just areas of my life where I've felt tugged for awhile. It's conviction, not condemnation, and “perfect” is not my goal.
As you adjust to a new routine this school year, don't forget to give yourself a lot of grace. I'll be doing the same.
I may hit the snooze button once in a while, bail on a workout, or blow my top when I've become too stressed, but every time I try to do better, it matters.
There's a lot to be said for having a clean slate at the start of a new school year. The whole household feels it – new opportunities, new goals, new relationships, new challenges. Take it in stride, and take care of yourself, first and foremost.
Meanwhile, I’ll be over here taking care of myself…dreaming about pumpkins, cute boots, and football games. #fallnotfall
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