Some people love New Years Resolutions. I’m one of those people. I love the whole new-year clean-slate vibe of it all. I love busting out a new calendar and I love setting new goals.
And speaking of goals, I’m ready for some. Because 2015 felt like a whirlwind. Life has been decidedly more chaotic since having kids, but since adding No. 3, it’s even more so. Kindergarten starting this year, added another element to it — the to-do list is endless. My oldest needs her lunch packed every day. The two oldest need snacks packed daily. The youngest needs diapers at school. There’s milk money to turn in. Classroom parties to coordinate. Someone needs graham crackers for a project. Mondays mean swimming gear must be worn to school and a change of clothes and a towel available. There are school library books to track down on Thursdays, always mixed in with our regular library books and therefore impossible to find. There is homework to be done. And where are everyone’s shoes? Even getting out of the house is a battle … one kiddo wants to be the Door Holder, but so does the other so there must be a LOT OF SCREAMING until it’s figured out. Meanwhile, I’m holding 25 pounds of baby, my arm buckling, my purse always getting caught on the door knob as I try to walk out the door.
It’s hard to keep it all straight. My phone is always buzzing with alarms. I have it set to go off daily so I get out the door on time to pick up the kids from their various locations. I try really hard not to drop the ball — and I’ve only goofed once when I was late for a pickup. I live in a contractor-diagnosed state of emergency, remember? So, it’s no surprise that 2015 didn’t include a ton of focus on myself. Workouts have been spotty. Sleep has been terrible; one or several kids are always waking up, at least once and more likely multiple times in the night. Eating habits? I could do better. I’ve also had one cold after the next for the last month, which does nothing for making you want to do some cardio (the cardio cough isn’t pretty!).
So in the spirit of clean slates and resolutions, here are my plans for the year. And of course, I’m not exactly waiting until January to start. Every day is an opportunity to get better, right?
My Resolutions for the New Year
1. Stay on top. Of cleaning, that is. I recently saw a meme that said trying to clean with kids around is like trying to brush your teeth while eating Oreos. And it’s SO TRUE. Clean a bathroom and you’re likely to go into the dining room to find a bottle of glue tipped on its side, open, of course. (Ask me how I know.) But lately I’ve taken a new approach to cleaning. Instead of doing the bare minimum like staying on top of the kitchen, I spend at least half an hour every day on a cleaning spree. In a very Captain Obvious way, it’s so much easier to tackle little messes before they become big messes. It keeps me from getting overwhelmed by the dust and clutter that is inevitable with kids. It keeps the sinks from getting grimy from hardened toothpaste, and it prevents dust bunnies from becoming actual bunny-sized pests.
In the wise words of me:
2. Cut down on screen time. It’s relaxing to grab my phone and mindlessly play around when I have free time, but it leads to too much wasted time that could be spent on more productive tasks. I’m trying to be much more aware of the time I spend on my phone. How do you think I found the time to clean more every day?
3. Get back to more consistent workouts. My daily life with three kids is one big workout, but I want to focus on getting more sweat in. Squats while I do laundry are great, but I need more Zumba in my life again.
4. Sleep. This goal is twofold: Wean the baby, get better sleep. I know once I do the former, the latter will follow.
5. Say no and accept help. I love to help others and I love to give my time, whether it’s to my kids or their school. But there is only so much of me to go around, and I need to get better about saying no when I genuinely don’t have time to spare. There will be plenty of time to donate when my kids are older; I don’t need to do it all now. In that vein, I’m going to work on accepting help when it’s offered. You want to babysit? EXPECT A PHONE CALL, MARY.
What did you love about 2015 and what do you want to improve in the coming year? —Erin