We know you’re busy with kids, play dates, work, and everything in between. Use this checklist to tackle what’s important in the new year.
Do you have any free time? No? You are a parent. We didn’t think so.
Because we know you’re busy with kids, dinners, work, home, traffic, playdates, and who knows what else, we decided to create a busy parenting checklist with the tasks we think are most important for you to tackle when we start a new year.
Let’s get straight to it, our annual parenting checklist.
In this article:
Death. Taxes. Spaghetti sauce all over your son’s brand new shirt. All inevitable. That’s why you need to prepare (for the first two anyway).
First of all, consider term or permanent life insurance. If you decide that insurance coverage is a good fit for you, know that applying for insurance is easy and affordable, and it’s easier than ever to apply for insurance online. There really is no time like the present.
Think about it. The holidays are over, but you can still give a loving gift to the people who mean the most to you. Is there a better gift for your family than whole life insurance – a long-term safety net to help protect your loved ones financially should something happen to you?
Not sure where to start? Learn about how much coverage you may need, how long you need coverage (many parents choose 20 or 30 years) and the definition of key phrases like “level premium” and “death benefit” through our Life Insurance Basics archive.
If you’ve done your parental duty and taken care of this already, great! Now is a good time to check in and make sure your policy details are up to date and the policy is easy to find should you need it.
There are many reasons to update your coverage over time – maybe you’ll quit smoking this year, maybe you’ll welcome a baby. It’s a good time to make sure all your affairs are in order. Speaking of …
If you haven’t written a will yet, make it your goal to get one done in 2023, both to ensure your end-of-life plans are carried out according to your wishes and to potentially help your beneficiaries avoid a tax hit in the event something happens you (translation: if you die before you plan it).
If you have a will, check in and make sure everything is up to date and that your important paperwork is available somewhere for you and anyone else who might need it.
Not sure where to start? Online services like Trust & Will make writing and maintaining a will as easy as managing your Facebook profile. (Even better, no wacky political posts from Aunt Sue.) An individual or joint will with unlimited updates is available at no cost with Haven Life Plus, a bonus rider available at no cost to eligible Haven Term policyholders.
Quick question: Where is your hard copy of your mortgage or lease? What about your child’s birth certificate? If something happened to you and your loved ones needed to log into your 401(k), where would they look?
If, like many of us, you didn’t know the answers to these questions (or took the time to remember), you might want to spend some time getting organized.
A great way to take care of these important files is LifeSite, an online document storage service that offers both an intuitive, easy-to-use interface and military-grade protection.
Keeping track of your most important documents (including logins for all financial accounts) and placing them in a safe and secure place is a great way to determine your overall financial health – think of it as a medical checkup of your most important files. And hey, now seems like a good time to mention that a LifeSite Plus subscription for you and up to five family members is available at no cost with the Haven Life Plus rider.
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Practice some self-care
Even if you’re not a New Year’s resolution person, you probably have some health goals, even if they’re ill-defined. (“I’ll lose five pounds … sometime.”)
Research suggests that the best way to achieve these goals is to break them down into micro-goals or to use SMART goals – that is, goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-based. For example, instead of resolving to lose five pounds by spring, make a plan to walk for 30 minutes every day. Track and monitor that goal and forgive yourself if you’re not perfect. After all, tomorrow is a new day.
This is also a good time to track and evaluate your diet. Not for weight loss, but for how it makes you feel.
Do certain foods make you tired or exhausted? Do you get cravings at the same time every day? What are your triggers and what are your behaviors when you respond?
If you need to watch Netflix and eat after putting the kids to bed, don’t worry—but maybe swap that unhealthy snack for something less harmful.
And if that seems daunting — you’re a parent, which means you’re not exactly swimming in time — consider a 21st-century life hack: A virtual trainer that lives in your phone. Fitness app Aaptiv offers on-demand audio-based workouts that fit into your schedule.
Do you only have 10 minutes? There are several passes exactly that length. Do you just need to relax or stretch out a bit? The app includes meditation and yoga.
Oh, and it will reduce your stress knowing that an annual subscription comes at no cost with the Haven Life Plus rider.
This is also a good time of year to make sure you have scheduled annual wellness visits for yourself and your spouse and children, and to, if applicable, make sure your child’s wellness forms are up to date at preschool or daycare.
And if someone comes down with the sniffles (or pink eye or norovirus), it’s easy to see a doctor with MinuteClinic®, a nationwide network located at select Target and CVS locations, where you can get a wide range of health services—including flu shots— without time. Eligible Haven Term policyholders receive a 15% discount on every single CVS MinuteClinic service as part of Haven Plus.
Consider these easy-to-use tech tools
We’ve already mentioned apps and online tools to help you stay fit, relax, safely store and organize your most important documents and information, see a doctor, and write and maintain your will. But there are still more tech tools that any parent will appreciate. Here are some of our favorites.
If you travel for work or regularly visit relatives who live in another time zone, this app will help you fight jet lag with minimal disruption to your sleep schedule. The app gets to know your sleep patterns better than you do and then helps you change them before, during and after any planned trip. Handy for your family holiday at the coast. (Any coast of your choice.)
A subscription is about $25 per year, or eligible Haven Term policyholders can get it at no cost with the Haven Life Plus rider. We’ll let you decide which one is better.
It’s a challenge every parent knows. Either you devote a lot of time and energy to being your child’s part-time archivist, or you heartlessly toss out your child’s precious artwork in droves and never look back. It turns out there is another way.
This app helps you preserve and sort your child’s chalk masterpieces digitally, with an intuitive tagging system so that, for example, your child’s still life is archived separately from the portraits. Best of all, your conscience remains clear without turning your house into your child’s personal MoMA.
Need a last minute babysitter for date night? No problem. Think of it as the AirBNB for babysitters – you can find, book and even pay through the app, and the rating and recommendation system ensures you’re hiring someone you can trust.
But even if you book your babysitter the analog way, Venmo™ (or other mobile payment service) is essential – you’ll never find yourself scrambling to find the nearest ATM while your babysitter is on the clock again.
The Sesame Street™ app
Because sometimes you just want to eat at a restaurant in peace and quiet.
About Louis Wilson
Louis Wilson is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in a wide range of publications, both online and in print. He often writes about travel, sports, popular culture, men’s fashion and grooming and more. He lives in Austin, Texas, where he has developed an unbridled passion for breakfast tacos, with his wife and two children.
Read more by Louis Wilson
Our editorial policy
Haven Life is a customer-centric life insurance agency supported and wholly owned by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual). We believe that navigating life insurance decisions, your personal finances and overall well-being can be refreshingly simple.
Our editorial policy
Netflix is a registered trademark of Netflix, Inc.
MinuteClinic is a registered trademark of CVS Health Corporation.
Timeshifter is a registered trademark of Timeshifter Inc.
Artkive is a trademark of The Kive Company.
Bambino is a trademark of Bambino, Inc.
Venmo is a trademark of PayPal, Inc.
Sesame Street is a trademark of Sesame Workshop.
Haven Term is a term life insurance policy (DTC and ICC17DTC in some states, including NC) issued by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual), Springfield, MA 01111-0001 and offered exclusively through Haven Life Insurance Agency, LLC. In NY, Haven Term is DTC-NY 1017. In CA, Haven Term is DTC-CA 042017. Haven Term Simplified is a Simplified Issue Term Life Insurance Policy (ICC19PCM-SI 0819 in some states, including NC) issued by CM Life Insurance Company, Enfield, CT 06082. Police and driver form numbers and features may vary by state and may not be available in all states. Our agency license number in California is OK71922 and in Arkansas 100139527.
MassMutual is rated by AM Best Company as A++ (Superior; Top category of 15). The rating is valid from 1 April 2020 and is subject to change. MassMutual has received different ratings from other credit rating agencies.
Haven Life Plus (Plus) is the marketing name for the Plus rider, which is included as part of the Haven Term policy and offers access to additional services and benefits at no cost or at a discount. The driver is not available in all states and is subject to change at any time. Neither Haven Life nor MassMutual is responsible for the provision of the benefits and services made available under the Plus Rider, which are provided by third party providers (partners). For more information about Haven Life Plus, visit: https://havenlife.com/plus
My experience with Haven Life has been nothing short of amazing from start to finish. After working tirelessly with brokers and receiving quotes that were complicated to understand online, I found Haven Life and I’m very glad I did. Haven Life’s respectful and understanding approach to issuing something as important as life insurance and doing it in such an easy way is why I would recommend Haven Life to both my loved ones and friends.
Excellent and very intuitive experience! Highly recommended!
The application was easy and got a big approval for life insurance without a medical exam within 48 hours. Good follow up and easy process.
Easy Breezy Wanted to get this done for a while and this was the easiest experience I could find. I feel good knowing there is some protection for my husband and likely dogs.
It was an easy process. The turnaround was also doable.