As we flew through Christmas and New Year’s Eve, rolling right along into 2023, I haven’t had a moment to think about this new year and all that is to come. I’ve never been one to make resolutions, but this year I wanted to start changing some habits that could include my family, not just me.
I am trying to spend more quality time together, be better at planning, reading, and more present during the day with my kids.
Now that the kids are older and capable of a few more things, I can feel some of the stress lessening. I want to do more with them, be outside the house more if possible, and do more activities with less screen time and hopefully less arguing. My sister introduced me to a small business called 1000 Hours Outside. They are a family who strives to spend at least 1000 hours outside in a year and have created a blog, books, and podcast with different activities to help your kids have fun outdoors. They even have fun trackers you can print to track your time outside. I received one of their books for Christmas and am excited to use it. While some of the activities aren’t doable because of our climate, there’s plenty to keep us busy. Could we reach 1000 hours outside this year? Probably not, especially in our blaze of a summer, but I am aiming for at least an hour a day. I know we will be thrown curve balls with the weather and calendars, but there’s so much to discover outside and my kids seem happier after. Plus it’ll get me moving around too.
I’ve had a stack of books to get through for at least four years and it just keeps on growing. I read plenty of kids’ books daily. My husband usually has a list of 30 to 40 books to read in a year and I think most of the time he completes it. I, on the other hand, am a moody reader. I have to be in the mood to read certain books and if I can’t get through the first few pages, I need to put it away for another time. I’ve come to realize that I can’t get through books the way I used to so I’ve turned to audiobooks, however educational books are hard for me to listen to because I like to highlight and mark up the pages. My goal is to focus on one book at a time instead of two or three, to start with a small stack and then if I read more, great; if not, I still read. If you have any recommendations for fiction books, I’m all ears.
Meal planning is my weakness. As much as I love to cook, I haven’t been able to get meal planning under my belt. I tend to buy ingredients and then cook on the whim. Most times, it works out, but there are other times where I’m cooking as fast as I can so we aren’t eating at 7pm. Since coming back from Christmas our fridge is empty and ready to be restocked. Maybe this is my opportunity to start fresh and start a new habit. I know about prepping ingredients the week before or early in the morning, but it’s figuring out what to cook and how to pair meals together with which I struggle. I have plenty of recipes we love, so I’m not at a loss there. Any pro meal planners have tips?
A friend once told us that she prints 100 pictures a month, labels them, and stores them to look back on. I thought, why don’t I do that? I don’t know if I’ll have 100 pictures each month to print, but I want to start getting pictures printed again, not just when we have family photos done. We’re always taking pictures and videos with our phones but how many times do we actually go back and look at them? Will the pictures I print sit in the box? Possibly, but they would also be on hand to look at and the kids love to look at pictures so they wouldn’t be stealing my phone all the time. I also love to scrapbook and even though I don’t have the time these days, maybe having the pictures on hand would push me to do a bit here and there. Plus, this will force me to go back through all my high school and college pictures and see what’s worth keeping.
My last goal is to start leaving more of the mess during the day and be more present with the kids instead of always feeling like I’m cleaning up after them. The sink is never at a loss for dishes and my feet are never without a toy to step on, however I’ve always felt guilty if I let things pile up before my husband gets home. I’ve always felt that since I’m home all the time it should at least look somewhat tidy, but that also takes me away from playing with the kiddos. So I’m remembering to remind myself that mess is ok and there will always be a time to clean up though there won’t always be a time to be with the kids.