I don't know about you, but September always feels like a perfect time to 'reset'.
This year, more than ever, by the end of the school year, my head was so foggy. Our routines were non-existent, as was our family's focus on nutrition, the environment and making sure screen time was limited.
I took the whole Summer 'off'.
I mean, being a mum and running your own business, you're never really off, are you?
I didn't drive the business in the way that I can; I didn't worry about posting regularly on social media; and I just kept on top of any orders that came in, being thankful for, instead of worrying out, the slow down that's happened since things started opening back up in April.
I also spent time doing with my girls - taking them swimming, going shopping, visiting National Trust places and painting their rooms with them! Plus we were lucky enough to spend two separate weeks away - one in Devon, one near Sherwood Forest.
It was perfect and exactly what I needed.
Come September, with my head MUCH more clear, and the girls heading back to school, I was ready to get on top of my 'Life-min' and daily routine and claim back some control and calm.
I made a list of everything I wanted to weave into our daily lives:
- Meal plan - in particular vegan meals
- Stop watching TV at 9/9:30pm
- Tidying round BEFORE the kids go to bed - kids to help
- Kids up at 7am; bedtime at 8pm
- Dinner at 5:30pm
- (Adults) get up at 5am - be ready for the day
- Cold shower
- 20 minutes meditation
- Ration chocolate
- Reduce plastic
- Reduce sugar
- Make after school snacks
- Work hours 9:30am - 1:30pm - then dinner / snack prep before pick up
- Reduce screen time - whole family
I let these thoughts bubble around in my head, and I came to realise that one of the key pieces (maybe THE key piece?) was Meal Planning.
This is how my thoughts settled:
I realised that all the things I wanted to achieve in a day, be it productivity, health, or generosity, required me to get up earlier so I could get a handle on the day before the chaos started.
Getting up early needs me to go to bed early; which needs the kids to settle on time; which requires them to have enough wind-down time before bed; which needs dinner not to slip too late; which means I need to make it on time; which means I need to know what I'm making and not just stand in front of the fridge with the door open, staring into it, hoping for inspiration.
Meal planning also means that I should (this hasn't happened yet) be able to tackle my other care-abouts: reducing our plastic consumption back down, along with our sugar in-take.
All of this requires organisation. And it seems that the starting point, the bedrock, turns out to be Meal Planning...!!
September Reset becomes Autumn Reset
Well.... although we started off the school year well: getting up at 5am, meditating or doing yoga or prepping work for the day, we were thrown off course by Covid hitting our house - 12YO picked it up from school. The rest of us tested negative, but as 9YO was also very coldy, we all hunkered down for the ten days.
And we've also not managed to be as good as we like with sugar in-take or screen time, and this seems to have had a knock-on effect in terms of restless nights for the girls, especially some nightmares for 9YO. And of course, this means 5am is MUCH harder!!
That said, whilst not perfect, the meal plan is mostly there. And it DOES help with the co-ordination of everything else, especially with the gazillion after-school clubs now back up and running.
So my September Reset plan has become a broader 'Autumn Reset'. Not sure whether I'll crack it before half-term, but hopefully we can get into some kind of groove in November, especially with the clocks changing - fingers crossed!
But after the last 18 months or so, I know that I need to find some more calm and control and head space to guide our family the way I want to go. And meal planning seems to be the way forward.
With love, and meal-planning, from my family to yours,