Monday, September 17, 2018

New Policies

It's September--that glorious time of year when the children go back to school.  


We limped through the last two weeks of summer.  Trying to have fun and enjoy the free time but also knowing we needed routine in a bad way and were growing sick of each other.  

Some of my friends feel sad when a new season starts but I find myself excited at the beginning of something different: the start of school, Christmas, New Year, Spring, the end of school.  The optimism in my heart overflows as I envision myself rising to the new occasion with renewed purpose.  

August wasn't too bad overall: the laundry got caught up a few times, we did lots of fun activities, and I even read six books--the most I've read in a month for a while.  

After Labor Day, the kids loaded onto their buses.  This was it.  My moment to be super productive.  My time to get it all done.  Six books, lolz, I'd read 10 this month!  


Nope.

The new schedule has us all exhausted by the end of the day.  Having exhausted kids come home means I have to be on my parenting A game until bedtime.  The month is half over and I have read only two books so far.

Somehow it seems the hours evaporate each day.  Walk the dog, pick up a few things scattered around the house, get food for dinner, take the kids to all the places, and the day is done.  I don't think this is unusual.  

actual footage of me driving carpool

But, I'm determined to be intentional with my time.  I don't like having to catch up work before bed or the feeling that a huge clock is ticking loudly somewhere.  So I'm implementing some new policies around my house.

We will be going to bed earlier.  Teenagers like to stay up late, but it's not good for them and not good for their parents.  My goal is to be in bed by 9 and asleep by 9:30.  I know this won't happen every night, but it's a good thing to shoot for.  
goodnight sir!

Speaking of flexibility, I wrote up a loose schedule in my bullet journal for my days at home.  This will serve as a guideline to keep me focused.  If I have to go out, I can adjust it, but I need a framework to build my days on or else I'll just keep feeling like I can never get it all done while running around like a chicken with its head cut off.  How can you be an effective mother if you don't have your head?

In order to limit the hours I have to use for cleaning each day, we will highlight putting things away after they are used.  I'm so guilty of getting mad at my kids for this when I do it just as much.  The trash can is so far away...I'll put my shoes away later...this stack of books can hang out here for now.  And then what would have taken 30 seconds becomes a full afternoon clean up.  

new and improved mommy

In The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up Marie Kondo suggests that you keep your home simplified so it is easier to tidy.  This has resonated with me.  Instead of having three kinds of tee shirt drawers, just have one.  If I have overcomplicated systems cleaning becomes problematic.  So I will be simplifying the pantry, the basement, and my closet.  

Finally, I'm going to write down things I'm grateful for every day.  This makes me so much happier.  It's proven by science that daily gratitude improves your general outlook and health, but sometimes I get so busy that even jotting down a few lines about how well the kids behaved at a restaurant or the green field I drove past seems like an unbearable chore.  As part of my writing time each day I will take a minute to note the good things I can see in my life.  Because, really, there are so many.

i am thankful for this gif

Ok, so that's my action plan for September.  What's working for you lately?  

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