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* I will prepare meals more than 15 minutes in advance.

* (And I will not prepare meals and science experiments at the same time.)

* I will wash laundry before someone runs out of underwear.

* I will make the children help me tidy every room before we go to bed. (Somehow I will not let them complain about this. Duct tape?)

* I will remember to go grocery shopping before the cream in my coffee makes funny shapes.

* I will throw out all the intentional and accidental science experiments in my refrigerator and freezer. (Thankfully, the partially dissected moon jelly is gone already. Yes, we used gloves.)

* I will remember to write thank you notes with the kids as their writing time.

* I will get newborn gifts to babies before they are one.

* I will locate my makeup and hairbrush and reacquaint myself with them.

* I will throw away all my clothes stained with craft paint and those which somehow have holes in them.

* I will buy a new shirt or two instead of a “how to teach ‘whatever’” book.

* I will remember to renew my library books before I rack up more money in fines.

* I will tell myself that even if my children mess up their reading lesson today, they will get jobs when they are old enough.

* I will kick the stuffing out of a bag at kickboxing class at least three times a week.

* I will take daily walks at my 5-year-old’s pace, happily.

* I will take time every day to read something inspirational and I won’t read it in the bathroom.

* I will file all school papers weekly instead of monthly.

* I will play more games.

* Oh — and I will water the plants, those which aren’t already dead.

Rachael Barlow is a married mother of two who lives in Groton. She is a retired lactation specialist and software engineer. She is active in New Song Community Church and one of the directors for the All Together Now Family Chorus.

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