to school

We just finished the first week of school and the boys are off and running. The brothers are in third and fifth grades this year – both serious growing years in my opinion. Chase will become more of an independent learner and thinker. Third grade does that to a kid. Noah will mature in ways I’m not even certain of yet – but middle school is around the corner and some sort of metamorphous (for better or worse) will take place in the next nine months to prepare him for the challenges of lockers, algebra, braces, and no (gasp) recess.

This is going to be a serious growing year for me as well.

I wouldn’t say that I am a full blown helicopter Mom. I don’t constantly hover over the boys’ every move, but I do tend to circle around activities of my choosing. More like a recreational helicopter Mom. Yeah, that’s it. And I can stop whenever I want to. To prove it, here are a few Mom activities that I am going to try to quit this school year:

I will not embrace my children’s homework as my own. I don’t do their homework for them ever. But the actual chore of getting it done falls squarely on my shoulders. Mentally, I put it in on my own to-do list and can not relax until they complete their assignments. This year, they will learn to get it done without my constant nagging or suffer the consequences.

I will let the boys pick out their own clothes and not make them change if they clash. I realize the “matching” thing is less of an issue with boys than girls. But I have yet to let my kids leave the house wearing an orange shirt and red shorts. Dave is quick to point out that sometimes “matching” could be viewed as a weakness in young men. So, unless they are wearing stripes and polka dots, I will keep my mouth shut. The world will not end. (I think)

I will not be the lead homeroom parent. For the last 6 years, I have happily volunteered to plan parties, develop emergency phone trees and chaperone field trips. I won’t say it’s a thankless job because the kids love seeing me at school and the teachers and other Moms are really very nice. But I do too much in my life. (There – I said it!) Between working, writing and Momming, other activities cause me stress. I don’t want to be the boss of anyone or anything else at school this year. Those who know me well are probably calling their bookies right now placing bets that this is the one resolution at which I will fail miserably.

I will not work so hard all the time. I have a hard time doing nothing. I often think it’s a sickness because if something isn’t getting done, I get nervous. Why can’t I just sit on the sofa and stare like normal people? Pardon the expression but I need to get much better at just dicking around. Especially with the kids. As your children become less needy, your biggest challenge as a parent is to NOT ignore them. I think I do pretty well with the scheduled items. We go to the zoo or the park, ride bikes, kayak, spend time with family. But I need to take more time with them just talking, playing cards, or watching TV on an everyday, relaxed basis. That means letting some of the work stuff (professional and domestic) wait.

Do these sound familiar to you MoB readers? Do you have school year resolutions? If you feel like it, please share a few. Make a public commitment. Because remember, kids don’t have the monopoly on growing.

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