A New (School) Year!

Something about beginning the new school year feels more like New Year’s to me than January 1st. It’s time to get back into a routine, set goals and look forward to the excitement of the new school year. This year Jackson is in 1st grade and Kate is in Pre-K. Kate won’t begin school for a few more weeks (which has already been an issue, “Why does Jackson get to go to school now, but I don’t?!”).

My plans for having us rise early this week and practice leaving the house on time? Let’s just say even the best laid plans occasionally don’t work out…at all. Motherhood is such a sanctifying process to those of us who are type-A control freaks. Nothing truly goes as planned. You learn to go with the flow or go crazy.

Even so, I am always compelled at the beginning of a new school year to set a few goals. I’m finding I follow through more if I focus on only a few goals each day. At this stage of life there are so many variables that I have no control over that I am giving myself a lot of grace to let life happen and (try) not to stress. 3 of my goals for this school year include:

Going to bed early so I can rise early. Just typing that made me cringe. Going to bed early is so boring. So middle aged. So “Is-this-really-who-I-have-become?!” But it is the one thing that drastically impacts my mood. This summer I gave myself grace to sleep later and longer. It felt amazing.

Recently I read an article about the stewardship of sleep. In a nutshell, the author suggests making sleep a significant priority because a lack of sleep can cause you to behave sinfully. While some of her terminology was a bit too churchy for me, I agreed with her overall premise that a lack of sleep is the root of most of my bad moods. 99% of the time when  I am grumpy with my family it is due to being exceptionally tired.

For me, this means disciplining myself to go to bed early. I know some people are productive after their kids go to bed. I am not one of those people. Oh I can do a few projects here and there as I scroll through social media or watch episode after episode of The Office on Netflix.  But the truth is:the evening is not my productive time. It is the time I chill. Something about the house being quiet and still breathes life into my introverted soul after a long day of noise, chatter and activity. This school year my goal is to be in bed by 9 so I can be awake by 5. I was talking to my doctor recently and he strongly suggested disconnecting from any screens at least an hour before bedtime. This is probably one of my biggest deterrents to going to bed early. So yeah. Just putting it out there that I am officially boring and middle aged and one of my top goals is to sleep.

Work smarter, not harder. This year I want to prep or cook dinner at lunch so I can spend more quality time with the kids in the afternoon. In that same vein, I am working on being consistent in incorporating chores into our morning routine.  Nothing complicated – just having the kids help with laundry/dishes and making their beds/putting away clothes. Part of my whole clean less/enjoy life more goal for this year. I can become verrrrrrry OCD about my house being clean and tidy and I am slowly learning to find ways to be more effective, clean less but still have the house feel relatively clean. Over the past week I have washed/dried a load of laundry every night after the kids go to bed. It’s ready to fold first thing in the morning.  It only takes a few minutes for us to fold and put away the clothes. I’m easily overwhelmed by large piles, so I have found this to be helpful in keeping the laundry from becoming a daunting task (though I may miss using the pile of laundry as my excuse to “fold clothes while I watch tv” at night).

Set the tone for the morning the night before by laying out clothes, packing lunches and preparing breakfast. Since Mike is rarely home in the mornings, I’ve found I feel significantly less like a crazy lady when I have things prepared the night before. Last night we laid out clothes and packed my gym bag and Jackson’s backpack. I was all set to go to bed after I talked to Mike when Lynleigh (who usually sleeps quite well) decided to wake up around 10 and would not go back to sleep for over an hour. Life happens!

What are your goals for this school year?


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