My third and final resolution (so I don't overload myself) is to become more balanced with my family and personal life.
Here's the thing, when I was in school, I had a few hours every day that was my time and despite how much I hated being in school while I had two kids at home, it was a much needed break. After I graduated, I found myself struggling to find Hobie--watching TV and going shopping don't count in my book. Now don't get me wrong, I totally believe that raising my children well is the most important thing I can do; however if I lose who I am while I'm raising them, am I doing them a favor?
Solution: I'm going to implement a relaxed schedule to ensure that I give my kids the quality time they need in addition to having my own quality time.
The schedule (which I started today): we wake up whenever (usually by 8:30, but I'm not going to be banging any gongs), eat breakfast, then we have preschool time where Alex (18 months) colors and Gabby (4) and I work on getting her ready for kindergarten next fall. Today we went until about 11:30 AM at which time Alex went down for a nap. Nap time means it's my time and quiet time for Gabby (she can play in her room, watch a movie or read books).
So Now What do I do? During My Time, I can blog (which I'm really loving), read (which is why I started the book club), catch up the photo albums, sing or do whatever--the point is that I'm taking time out each day so I don't go crazy and one day wake up and realize I haven't a clue who I am.
When Alex Wakes Up: we have some physical activity (which can include shopping if need be, when you bring your kids it can become quite physical). Generally, I'd like the physical activity to include: going for a walk, going to the park, playing outside . . . anything to wear my precious children out.
When the Kids are Exhausted: let them play on their own or set up a craft to work on. Around 4 PM I'll start the preparations for dinner (i.e. thaw chicken, cut vegetables, etc.)
When Noah Gets Home: He watches the kids and I go for a 2 mile jog around the neighborhood. When my jog is done, I finish dinner and we eat together as a family.
After Dinner: we clean up the kitchen (as a family), the kids take a bath and get ready for bed. When the kids are ready for bed, we read together and they go to sleep (by 7:30 PM).
A Quiet House: When the kids are out, I get time with Noah (Boggle and such), then he works on his master's degree while I enjoy the peace and quiet by reading or going out on the town.
Note: I'm no stickler and if something comes up, I'm not going to pass it up just because it doesn't fit in the schedule.