Back to School & A Fresh Start for Mama

by Katy on September 5, 2013 · 26 comments

One thing that I like about life is that every day is a fresh start. This is true whether it’s the first day of school or simply a plain Jane Wednesday.

Today was my older son’s last first day of school. (He’ll go to college, but I’m referring to kindergarten through 12th grade here.) It was bittersweet. And I’m not sure if it got through to him, but I reminded him that:

“Every day is s fresh start.”

We just completed a thoroughly enjoyable summer break, but at the same time I let a number of things slide. My blogging became more and more infrequent, (sorry) my house slid into grubbiness and any planned projects took a back seat to day-to-day life.

I feel like I need my own fresh start.

No kids at home, nothing on my to-do list that can’t wait a day and I even have the day off from school.

I’m torn between a balls to the wall full on day of efficiency, (scrubbing the house from top to bottom, recycling and Goodwill runs, huge Winco grocery shopping trip) or a complete and utter day on indulgence.

Recharge my emotional batteries or reset my grubby disorganized life? Either way, it’s a necessity.

Luckily, I also have tomorrow off from work, (love working part time!) and think I may combine both the gotta do it with the wanna do it over a two day period.

It’s a fresh start, because practical or otherwise it’s important to give attention to all my needs.

What are you doing with your kids back in school? Indulgence or efficiency? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

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{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

erin @ dfmi designs September 5, 2013 at 8:50 am

What a great reminder for you son!
My daughter started kindergarten this year and while it should be easier to get my work completed (I’m self employed & work from home.) I found the entire experience making me very emotional, so I started blogging again and sharing my feelings with anyone who would listen. LOL Fortunately, this week was a bit easier than the last and I’m starting to adjust to a new routine.


Penelope September 5, 2013 at 8:54 am

This is the first year I don’t have a child in public schools. My daughter will be attending our local community college and working part-time. It is a bit surreal since school started yesterday. I’m practicing efficiency and indulgence. As a substitute teacher, I am trying to get last minute projects around the house and yard completed. Also, I’ve started blogging about my five-a-day decluttering project again. For indulgence, I have a big stack of YAL (Young Adult Literature) books from the library I am working my way through 🙂 I love being able to talk to students about books that are relevant to them, and there are some fantastic YAL authors! I know I probably won’t get a call for the first couple weeks, but I know the end of my limitless freedom is fast approaching. Although I am a first-rate procrastinator, I’ll be kicking myself in the butt if I indulge too much and don’t get my projects finished 🙁


Vivian September 5, 2013 at 2:44 pm

Where is your blog again. I loved reading it.


Penelope September 5, 2013 at 7:17 pm
Sharon September 5, 2013 at 9:03 am

A small project each day, plus normal maintenance, is about my limit.

Trying new recipes seems harmless enough, right? Well, that’s where you’d be wrong. It was delicious, but last night’s experiment took three sets of cooking/mixing containers, a range top, the oven, AND the grill. I was obviously beguiled by the lovely photo into thinking this was do-able.

And so it goes.


Ellie September 5, 2013 at 9:49 am

Ain’t it the truth! Trying new recipes is a hobby of mine. I’m 78, married and cooked daily for 59 years, and it does get boring, so I try stuff and lots of it ends up – as you say – delicious, but what a mess!


Kim September 5, 2013 at 9:16 am

Efficiency today and tomorrow- cleaning (shoveling out) my office, listing products and sorting packing materials. Also sorting my fabric stash in order to start Christmas gift plans.

This weekend will be total indulgence hecause my son will be performing both days at the Baltimore Ukrainian festival so lots to do today and tomorrow!

Katy, I really miss the Goal of the Week. That really helped me!


Kim September 5, 2013 at 9:19 am

Efficiency today and tomorrow- cleaning (shoveling out) my office, listing products and sorting packing materials. Also sorting my fabric stash in order to start Christmas gift plans.

This weekend will be total indulgence because my son will be performing both days at the Baltimore Ukrainian festival so lots to do today and tomorrow!
Katy, I really miss the Goal of the Week. I found the accountability a good thing.
Katy, I really miss the Goal of the Week. That really helped me!


megyn September 5, 2013 at 9:23 am

We’ve been surprisingly efficient for the whole week and a half our oldest has been in school. Our youngest starts preschool tomorrow, so hubby and I are trying to figure out what we’re going to do with a whole 9 hours every week to ourselves (first time in 5 years!). I’m finding that I’m getting bored easily with our new efficient lifestyle. Yeah, my house is clean and I’ve gotten a work out it, but then what?! I’ve got to figure that part out…


Vivian September 5, 2013 at 9:42 am

Yes, my house slid in to further grubbiness but I also managed to declutter in a few spots. I am on the fence about selling and of the other extra stuff because of the effort involved for very little value but I think I should try.

I also discovered how to make ahead meals for our holidays for the summer and I think we saved considerably this summer over last summers. We as a family had wonderful holidays and memories with friends.

One thing I need to find is a decent part time job and get a better rate for our mortgage. I hate to leave our credit union but if we can save a little on interest and cut the years owing we need to do this.

So far the only money I have spent on my son for school is: a water bottle (he lost his old one), one new pair of pants (price was great) and school fees (bulk supplies from school and cultural fees.) I will be on the look out for a new winter coat and snow pants but that’s about it. Yippee.


HeatherS September 5, 2013 at 1:08 pm

Maybe if you talked to someone at your credit union and let them know you are shopping around, they might be willing to match another banks deal so that you don’t have to leave them. They might not, but might be worth a try to save yourself the time and hassle.


Vivian September 5, 2013 at 2:46 pm

Where is your blog again. I loved reading it.


Vivian September 5, 2013 at 2:48 pm

We have started the initial talks and now were are going to the mortgage brokers. Hopefully even if we can get them to remove the penalties we would consider staying with the C.|


Roberta September 6, 2013 at 5:58 am

I have some things I need to list on Craigslist, but it’s too hot here right now (they’re outside things). I know it’s not a ton of money, but having someone come by, give me money and take away things that will leave me more space is a huge thrill to me.


Katy September 6, 2013 at 7:34 am

The phrase you’re looking for is “Crap out of the house, money in!” 😉



JaneUlness September 5, 2013 at 10:46 am

Yesterday was the first day of school here. It’s pouring, thundering and lightening here. Baby went to school with her new rain coat and boots ( both hand me downs!). I have to work the late shift so I am working in my studio because I have an order to get out, and making vegetable bean soup because it is raining , thundering and lightening and it seems like the thing to do. Dinner waiting for us when we get home from work! Yay. We are all doing the happy dance because my niece got her Hickman out this week!


NMPatricia September 5, 2013 at 1:55 pm

Katy – just want you to know that whatever the blogging that you do is the perfect amount. I respect the people who miss your Goal of the Week. But I also remember when you nearly stopped blogging. And that would be a tragedy.

My empathy for your new “developmental” stage with your sons. It is hard when they leave. I think it was great that you concentrated on what was important this summer – your family and let the rest of the stuff slide. Yes, it seems to “come due” sooner or later, but I still think you did the right thing.


Katy September 5, 2013 at 3:14 pm

Thanks, that’s very sweet of you.



patti September 5, 2013 at 5:08 pm

I do not have any children left at home (my son is in college) so I can’t say that the school year start helped me in any way except that it was the end of the summer for the children I work with and I realized that I was exhausted with the whole work thing… so I resigned. OMG!! It was like a huge weight lifted off of me except now I have to organize all the rooms and stuff in the closets where I work, get the curriculum in order, find volunteers for all the stuff I do and help with the job search for my replacement.But I see daylight ahead and am looking forward to spending time with my own family and cleaning up our act around here! It had really gotten out of hand and I was seriously depressed and unable to lift a finger. So Katy, I understand perfectly your feelings and just want to say: do what feels right. Take a day or two off every now and then to recharge. It will help you from being in the place I was in. BTW, I only had a temporary job that I didn’t ask for (just stepped in when someone else moved up the ladder). I know many readers cannot just walk out on their work but in my case, no one was ever going to search for someone new as long as I was taking care of business. I am hoping for another position that fits me better but until then, I am going back to selling on eBay big time!!


Kandice @ The Simple Year September 5, 2013 at 6:16 pm

We had a half first day which I used for sheer laziness. The next two full days were productive. Followed by a long weekend. This 4 day week has been a combo of productive and restful. I’ve gotta get my productivity mojo back. I think by next Monday I’ll be good to go.


Jo@simplybeingmum September 6, 2013 at 3:01 am

It’s going to have to be efficiency for me. Way too much indulgence over the summer holidays. When the kids are off I find it really hard to do anything of my normal functional routine…my time with them is brief – it passes by in a blink of an eye…I can’t imagine (but know it’ll come) a time when it’s my Son’s last-first-day!
And I need to get back to training. There’s a half-marathon looming and over the holidays I struggled to get out and run.


Heidi September 6, 2013 at 4:28 am

I’ve given up on feeling guilt when things slide for a little bit. As you said, a day or two of effenciency will set things right again quickly. Enjoy some small indulgences to help get your balance – even if you do little bits over two days – it will all get done in the end and you will once again have your new start. Feeling the need to be caught up all of the time is too much pressure to live up to. Real life gets messy at times. 🙂


Jennifer @ Little Blog in the Big Woods September 6, 2013 at 4:40 am

I’ve had a good mix of both. I have been canning (apples and tomatoes) like the apocalypse is just days away and trying to get the house back in order after each session of said canning. But I have also taken some time for myself by piecing a crib quilt top, napping in the hammock (divine!!!) going for a run, taking my time at the library, and today…going to the quilt shop (big sale and free tea and dessert)!! Oh yeah and I took a 3 day trip with my friend to the “Gentlemen of the Road” tour in Troy, OH to see Mumford & Sons, Old Crow Medicine Show and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zero’s among many, many more!!! 🙂 Life is GOOD! Enjoying the quiet time! Hope you have a productive and relaxing time as well!


Katy September 6, 2013 at 7:35 am

I love your activities!



Suzanne P. September 6, 2013 at 6:45 am

I have to be efficient because I’m single-mom’n it until my husband is done with fire season. However, when the baby is nursing (like now) I can check out your blog and pinterest for a bit. 🙂


Jennifer C September 7, 2013 at 5:08 pm

When you are a 2nd grade teacher with a 2nd grader in school as well, “back to school” means only craziness! If I don’t do it over the summer (efficient or indulgent things) it won’t happen until next summer. Luckily I love my job!


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