Oh, you didn’t know Back to School resolutions were a thing? Well, they might be? They should be. Actually, as of right this second, we are declaring it so.
For most of us, Back to School season is a major reset (whether we are ready or not).
Life goes from the lazy, crazy of summer (No rules! No routines! No responsibilities!) to a whole other kind of crazy (Don’t be late! Where are your shoes? Did you finish your homework? We have soccer tonight! Bedtime!!!!!).
There are implications for our schedules, our workloads, our relationships and, of course, our budgets. And it requires a moment of reflection: Where have we been? Where are we going? What matters most? How will we get there?
Everyone’s circumstances are unique, but in the hopes that it will provide a little inspiration, here are the 2016 Burgess Family Back to School Resolutions:
We Will Not Sign Up For More Than One Activity At A Time.
Our children are still very small and somehow we still ended up way overcommitted last year, to the point where mom was overwhelmed and possibly ruining the fun for everyone. (I tried! But it it was too much!)
Even if they love the activity for three-quarters of its duration (which is as long as our kids’ interest has ever lasted in anything), if we are always rushing around it isn’t worth it. They don’t love anything that much at this point. So I don’t care who else is doing it, or whether or not it will help them get into college (someday in like 12-15 years when they will actually be applying to college), we are only signing up for one thing at a time.
A secondary benefit is this will save us money. Not just the cost of the activities themselves (and whatever gear is required. Because there is always some kind of gear, right?), but also the overhead like having to eat out (again) because we have to rush straight to baseball or because mom hit her limit, and let’s face it, dinner is always the first to go!
We Will Not Be Lazy About Bedtime.
I want to be one of those moms who gets her kids to bed at 7pm every night, and has a routine like clockwork that is holy—but alas, I am not. I never have dinner ready on time and I like hanging out, soooo…
And if I’m being totally honest, the kids’ bedtime isn’t even the real problem, it’s the grown-ups bedtime. Because no matter how tired I am, once the kids go to bed I get a second wind. It is my time! And I do not want to go to sleep! But I have to. I know that I am better—and when mom is better, everyone is better!—and so I must, must, go to bed on time. I will. With resolve!
We Will Not Save Homework For The Morning It Is Due.
Last year, I just kept thinking, “It’s kindergarten.” And yet, still there was always a surprising amount of papers in that folder, and they took a surprising amount of time. (I’m not sure why I was surprised after the first couple weeks, but apparently, I’m a slow learner, as I remained taken aback right to the bitter end.)
We will be disciplined about doing homework in smaller chunks throughout the week. No matter how much whining it evokes. We will not.
We Will Not Eat Pizza On Tuesday Nights.
This is sort of a metaphor for not eating out too much in general. I always joke that we are really in trouble when I resort to ordering pizza and it is only Tuesday night. Like, at least by Thursday or Friday, you made it most of the way through the week, but Tuesday? That is just pathetic. And I am guilty.
When it comes to dinner, I will do all the responsible things that I write blog posts about. I will meal plan! I will shop for my plan! I will be prepared for emergencies! We will not eat out during the week! Or at least not more than once a week! Ok, yeah, this one will be the hardest, but it saves so much money, and we have to do it. Or not do it, as it were.
We Will Not Lose Our Shoes.
I don’t know what it is with us, but we are constantly running around looking for the shoes. I refuse to buy too many pairs of shoes for the kids, because they get a favorite and then they will only wear the one favorite pair, so it is a total waste. And sadly, our school doesn’t allow flip-flops, because we have loads of flip-flops floating around. But the shoes, my God, the shoes.
So, there is a new basket on the stairs, and when we return to the house, kid shoes must be deposited in the basket. And right before we leave they can be retrieved. No exceptions! No leaving them in the car! No taking them off in your room! No exceptions! No takebacks! Where are my shoes?!?!? In the basket!
I’m mildly hopeful.
We Will Double Down On Our Budget.
This is the point in the year, where we do some routine budget maintenance. I like to do a reality check of sorts.
Like this year we did a lot of weekend road trips and we spent way more on gas than we had budgeted for, so I’m adjusting for next year. Same goes for our general vacation category and our food category. We have people over a lot more in the summer and that threw me off. Every month. For the last three months.
It is at this point in the year, where I like to check in on our Christmas category and try to fund that a little more heavily through December. Because a little extra at Christmas never hurts. (And it is my personal goal to have money left over in that category come January. It has never happened.)
And just generally, Eric and I, look as a whole at our priorities. In January, we thought we’d be buying a new car this September, but we’ve cooled on that idea. It isn’t a priority at all right now. So, should that extra money be funneled on a more immediate priority? Things like that.
Ok. Deep Breath. I can do this. Who’s with me?