It’s been a funny old January workwise so far! I’m a stationery loving, list making, over planning loon so this time last year I’d already planned my working year into oblivion – we’re talking an annual overview then broken down into quarterly and monthly goals kind of crazy – and knew exactly what I needed to do and what was on my plate.
This year – not so much?! We’re what three weeks in and I feel like I’ve plunged right in to the deep end – boots on – and am trying to desperately tread water. Just so unlike me! Think it’s partly because Christmas was a bit of a wonderful blur of catching up with friends followed by an impromptu trip to see my bestie in Byron coupled with the fact that I am knee deep in a piece of all – consuming work for a client at the moment and tying to juggle that with navigating the ‘fun’ of school hols which hasn’t left me with a minute to plan for the year; I’m rather just wading on in and trying to survive it!
Anyhoo, reading that back, it seems all a wee bit dramatic, which it really isn’t – I love my job and writing for a living is just pinch worthy on a daily basis so I am far from complaining; just musing on my weird non – Hermione like planning mode this year.
So, I’ve decided that I’m going to forget all of that for the time being – I’ve promised myself a day to myself to plan when the boys go back to school – and to focus on the school year to come instead as it’s a pretty big year for us; my little man turns 6 on the 28th and will be going into Year 1 and my eldest is a ripe old 10 and going into Year 6, so we have one measly year left before I lose him to high school and I want to make sure he’s prepared.
So, I’ve made some school resolutions to keep me on track and so that I can smash it as a school mum this year.
I will put other food groups in to the boys’ lunchboxes!
I have such high hopes at the beginning of every term and then follow the path of least resistance (otherwise known as the local sushi joint and bakery) come week 6 when I’ve run out of ideas and patience. But I shall not be defeated; carbs will not be the only food group that they consume every day and I WILL be ‘that’ mum that presents a Bento box type arrangement filled to the brim with veggies, fruit, wholegrains and healthy treats. Well who am I bloody kidding, I’ll just try and aim for variety rather than an unattainable Madeleine Shaw nirvana in the first instance. Baby steps people..baby steps!
I will buy 10 matching pairs of socks and keep them paired at all times!
I bloody hate washing and I hate hate hate the fact that I regularly trot down to Target or do a big Next online purchase to stock up on socks only to find the boys wearing an odd pair within three days. WHERE DO THEY GO?? My husband doesn’t wear them, I certainly don’t..and I totally expect the odd pair to end up sandwiched behind the bunk beds or in a random toy box.. but 17 missing socks people..why???? So, I vow to buy a bucket load and to keep them paired at all times to avoid the impending aneurysm that threatens every morning as I cast around for their uniform.
That I will read to and with the boys every night!
Anybody who knows me – or might have stumbled upon this blog and had a cheeky browse – will spot that I’m a keen reader. I’ve always got at least two books on the go – courtesy of two book clubs – and am perpetually immersed in some fictional reality. But for some reason we seem to have fallen out of a routine with our night time reading with the boys. My nearly 6 year old is now getting more confident with his chapter books but is still just fresh out of kindy (so just at the start of his reading journey) whereas my 10 and a half year old has always been pretty advanced in the reading stakes and can smash through a novel if he’s so inclined. So that’s quite the chasm in terms of reading ability. Thankfully my 5 year old is pretty precocious – and thinks he’s 10 – so they tend to like the same things subject matter wise which helps but I’ve still had to try and pick a sort of middle ground that is not too mature in theme for my little man but not too juvenile for my eldest. We’ve had some success with the earlier Harry Potter books and have now stumbled upon David Walliams which I think are the way forward. They’re enjoying Mr Stink, we’ve got Bad Dad in the wings and I vow to read to them every night to keep our little ritual going as I’m enjoying it as much as them.
I will pick a bedtime and stick to it!
But that’s only if we get the flipping bed time sorted. The boys sleep in the same room and despite the age gap want to go to bed together so that they can read with me then have a little chat before succumbing to sleep. It’s very hard to shout when you’ve gone in for the 7th time to say ‘Enough’s enough!’ to hear “But I’m learning mum!” as your ten year old teaches your 5 year old his timetables. So, I’ve been slack…7:45 has slipped into 8pm and beyond and it’s not good enough so I’m going back to my baby days when I was the queen of routine and am going to kick them into touch whether they like it or not as they simply need as much sleep as they can to get through a busy week at school.
I will return permission slips immediately!
I think that I was a little less crap on this front last year – but still had moments when a teacher ended up chasing me across the playground waving an aforementioned slip in their hand – but I have a long way to go to become the smug playground mum who is a member of the P&C, always immaculately dressed and with a child that looks like they’ve probably brushed their hair and has matching socks on to boot. B*tch!
I will not do homework projects at the last minute!
Oh yes, this is a biggie! We get projects every term and I have to say that despite being a pretty creative person I still find it really stressful which is strange. And they’re typically quite writing based which is my eldest’s least fave thing to do so he needs a lot of prodding/motivating to get him inspired and interested in the subject matter. And because of that, we’re typically slow off the mark and inevitably end up at week 8 in a panic and staring down the barrel of a couple of stressful weekends bickering at each other as we try and get over the finish line. NOT in the mood for that this year I can tell you!
I will continue to be a parent helper if I can!
I helped out with Literacy in my little one’s kindy class every Friday last year and loved loved doing it. Henry had the biggest smile on his face when I was in his classroom and it totally satisfied my inner eleven-year-old girl that wanted to be a teacher and who lined up her toys and teddies as her pupils on a regular basis growing up so if I can do it this year I will..with bells on..it was genuinely my favourite part of the week. The pic above is of the card that the class made for me at the end of last year – just too gorgeous!
I will organise playdates!
Mmm the humble playdate..the working mums’ nemesis..! I know a lot of mums who are always shuttling their kids around to various playdates and I feel sorry that I don’t do this for my boys but I just can’t pull it off. Between working, swimming lessons and various sporting/soccer commitments, I’m just done and whereas they’ve got lots of lovely friends that would have them over for playdates, I’m super conscious that I can’t really reciprocate and that’s just poor mum etiquette. So, for now – or until I manage to get my shit together a bit better – we’ll just have to park the playdates and let them get their fill of their buddies from 9-3.
I will pack their bags the night before!
And on the organisation front, I will not leave the house at 8.47 whilst hurling threats at the nearest child…I will be organised and will pack their bags the night before so that we can ease into our day and enjoy mummy and boys time before school. Because I have to say that the walk to school is one of my fave times of the day as we have nice chats and I love that now that I work for myself I have the luxury of spending this time with them which was so not an option for us when I was drowning in corporate land.
I shall be kind to myself!
And finally, somewhat contradicting myself I know as I’m writing such an anal list of objectives, but I am going to be a bit kinder to myself this year and will try and stop beating myself up when I have days that just don’t go as planned. Because I’m trying my best – I always do – and at the end of the day if they’ve loved, supported, happy and healthy, which those two little monkeys really are, then that’s not half bad is it?!