It’s hard to believe, but 2020 is over two-thirds of the way through. Lets all pause for a moment and give thanks. Phew! What a long, strange trip it has been.

However, if you’re a mom, you may have items you want to take care of before the year ends. That way, you can start 2021 on a happier footing. Every mom needs the following nine things before the year draws to a close to get a jump on a fresh start.

1. Computer Savvy

If spring taught everyone one thing, it’s the importance of internet connectivity and computer savvy. Even if your children returned to a traditional school, you need to prepare to make a homeschool switch if infection rates rise. Don’t worry if you have a health condition that makes you hesitate to head to the library for a class. You can find free online learning that will have you creating Excel spreadsheets like a boss.

2. Family Financial Peace of Mind

Even if your budget is a shoestring, you can make wise financial decisions for your family. At a minimum, you should protect your children’s futures with a term life insurance policy. Many such premiums are affordable, especially if you don’t partake in activities like paragliding every weekend.

You should also protect your ability to earn a living while you remain healthy with disability insurance. Your employer may offer a policy, but it stays with your job if you leave it. If you wait until you develop a health condition, most insurers won’t cover you minus a rider that excludes the very thing most likely to deprive you of income.

3. Quality Containers for Meal Prepping

If you haven’t started meal prepping yet, why are you still waiting? The process doesn’t mean that you have no room for variety — it merely frees you from chopping vegetables after a busy workday. To keep your bell peppers and greens fresh until you use them, you need quality food storage containers. Look for those that let moisture evaporate, keeping out bacteria that makes your lettuce wilt more quickly.

4. A Fitness App

Even if gyms reopened in your vicinity, you might hesitate to return to sweating with strangers. However, with the holidays on the way, you need exercise to stay mentally sharp and avoid packing on too many excess pounds. Fortunately, you can find a wide array of fitness apps, many of which cost less than your membership fees. Some feature workouts as short as five minutes, making them ideal for busy moms.

5. A Well-Screened Sitter

Every mom deserves a break from the kiddos sometimes. However, you won’t relish your time away if you worry about your children’s well-being. When it comes to interviewing your babysitter, don’t shy away from challenging questions. Ask them about their discipline philosophy — that way, you won’t worry if they think corporal punishment is appropriate. Listen to your gut instinct as well as your head when they reply.

6. Some Fellow Mommy Friends

Why is a sitter a must? You don’t stop needing girl’s night out once you give birth, that’s why.  Fortunately, the “new normal” brings you new ways to connect without leaving your couch. Participate in Zoom happy hours and set up a weekly uninterrupted chat time with your best mom pal.

7. A Cleaner House

Do the holidays leave you whirling like a dervish with a vacuum cleaner in one hand and mop in the other? Start getting a handle on your annual cleaning now. Make a schedule and tackle one area each week. By the time November arrives, you won’t have to worry about Aunt Tilly spying in your medicine cabinet and creating a crash when the clutter you hurriedly stashed within falls to the counter.

8. Improved Work-Life Balance

Did you know that working moms of two report 40% more stress than those who remain childless? It’s probably because there’s no such thing as heading home after a rough day, pouring yourself a cup of tea, and kicking up your feet — not without picking the kids up first. However, you might achieve a better work-life balance if you have a heart-to-heart with your supervisor.

Depending on your company’s dynamics, it might not work. However, more organizations recognize telework’s value thanks to the pandemic — maybe H.R. will finally grant the partial work-from-home schedule you wanted for years.

9. A Much-Needed Vacation

Various studies show that people who take vacations return refreshed and more productive. However, if you used up all of your paid time off in the spring to care for a sick loved one, it hardly qualifies as a break. If you can’t afford a day or two of unpaid leave, why not take a weekend mini-vacation? Get approval to leave work an hour or two later on a Friday, take care of chores like shopping. Reward yourself on Saturday by doing zero work except playing with your children.

Every Mom Deserves These 9 Things Before the End of the Year Every mom deserves the nine things above before the end of the year. Start 2021 on a clean slate by knocking these out now.

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