August 31, 2011

Happy New (School) Year!

It’s been a while! We've had a nice long busy but relaxing summer, enjoying lots of northern get-aways and day-trips around Toronto. All three kids have learned to ride their bikes, thanks to a week-long camp at Pedalheads. And we have all gotten along well- for the most part. Finally, here it is just mere days from... the start of school! “The most wonderful time of the year” to quote a well-appreciated and overplayed commercial.
This is it. This is the moment I’ve been waiting for. The day when all three kids enter full-day school and I suddenly have six and a half hours of ME time. Don’t get me wrong (and if you are a parent I know that you don’t), I love my children and I love spending time with them. But when you spend as much time with anyone as I do with my children, you’d also be anxious for a little breathing space.
I’ve always thought of the first day of school as my New Year’s Day. The memory of blank notebooks, freshly sharpened pencils, squeaky clean sneakers puts a bounce in my step. It’s a blank slate and a time of renewal. The crispness in the air, the crunchy leaves underfoot and a new year begins.
It’s time for a few resolutions: to get and stay organized, to stay on top of agendas and homework and reams of paper, to volunteer more in the classroom, to get the kids to make their lunches (a new resolution for this year).
I’ve learned a few lessons over the past school years. We’ve already printed our “Things to do in the morning” and “Things to go in your backpack” charts and posted them in bedrooms and at the front door. The dressers are organized, the kids have tried on pants which invariable shrink 2 inches the morning of the first chilly day. Extracurricular activities and our daily routine have been discussed. Homework plans are almost complete- most important as all three will have homework this year much to my dismay (but that’s another post). My next step is to draw up a list of lunch ideas with the kids and prepare our weekly chart to post on the fridge.
And me. What am I going to do with all my time?? At this moment with my to-do list for the next few days a mile long and not a minute to spare with three kids underfoot, I am fantasizing about the hours and hours of time to myself to read, to write, to drink coffee, spend time with friends, work out, nap.
But will those six and a half hours fly by if I’m not organized and will I end up feeling useless and frustrated if I’m not accomplishing a multitude of tasks? I am a chronic list-maker (if you haven’t already noticed) and that combined with my first-born personality traits means that I have to feel like I’m accomplishing something or I end up feeling like I’ve accomplished nothing at all. Talk about demotivating! My non-exhaustive to-do-in-September list includes gutting out the “not-so-spare room” (aka the office), purging and organizing ALL the toys and books, cleaning out and organizing the closets and cupboards, tackling a million other little jobs around the house, blogging regularly (I promise!), improving my French, becoming a Sparks leader and preparing fantastically nutritious and delicious meals in advance.
What will happen? Will I over-schedule and exhaust myself or will I turn into a couch-potato, hanging out in cafes, gossiping with other SAHMs and eating bon-bons by the case? Or will I hopefully end up somewhere in between? What is going to make me feel fulfilled? Please stay tuned...

Image © Natalia Klenova |

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