People love lists. From the Ten Commandments to , lhavdil, Dave Letterman top ten, to the multitude of social media lists, we  just cant seem to get enough to these bite size pieces of information that sum things up so nicely. So I present to you my 5 resolutions for the school year (a top five list is an underachiever’s version of the top ten list). Bli neder, to avoid past mistakes, I hope to…

1. Wake up earlier. Ok scratch that. Im not a morning person and this just won’t happen unless the baby wakes me up then anyway. Sorry..Moving right along…

2. Pack snacks in advance. A wise friend of mine introduced me to the cost effectiveness of buying big bags of snacks and packing them into little bags for children’s lunches. This works even better when you do it in one swoop, creating snacks for weeks from a few bags, all in a half hour or so. Of course, you need to hide it from the children afterwards. Fyi, another cost saving tip for school lunches is to buy your child a water bottle to keep at school and keep refilling with fountain water (gross, I know but they already use those bathrooms, touch those handles, etc so how much worse is this? Medical experts, feel free to comment below). Anyway, for children who dont like drinking plain water (basically all children) buy the little bottles of drink drops. They are super cheap and convenient and the children can store it in school. Yes, they have chemicals but probably no more than the boxed or bottled drinks they would have anyway)

3. Prepare dinners in advance. Along the same lines of the tip above, i have noticed while im cooking one meal, its a good time to prepare other meals in advance so I can just slip them in the oven when I need. Alternatively, crock pot meals. Anything to avoid dreaded 5:00 rush hour (believe me working folks – home rush hour with the tempers, hormones, and hunger involved is far worse than workers’ rush hour traveling dilemmas.)

4. Set aside a half hour each evening to just listen to my children and then help with homework. Though it isn’t as obvious as in other things in life, when it comes to children , a stitch in time saves nine. Believe me, I’ve tried to cut corners before, skipping davening with them, turning to work instead of their homework, and checking my phone during conversations. But these almost inevitably fail. Children sense avoidance and neglect and it really sours their moods and leads to other problems. I hope to really give them undivided time this year.

5. Make play dates. I hate play dates and im pretty sure I wrote about that before. I would much prefer a quiet shabbos where my children play together downstairs while I relax upstairs. But socially, I know they need to make friends and spend time with friends which forces me into dreaded June Cleaver mode “What’s that, dear? You spilled juice all over the floor. Not to worry, that’s fine.””You are still hungry after the third snack time? Sure, let me find something else for you..” Yup, a mom’s gotta do what a mom’s gotta do.

Wish me luck sticking with this list. Baruch atah Hashem…ha notein layaeif Keurig!


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