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25 Parenting Resolutions for 2012

new years resolutions for momsAnother year, another set of resolutions — except each New Year brings the same bland, generic promises, no matter how much self-reflection:

Lose 10 pounds. Drink more water. Exercise.

But let’s resolve to change in ways that really matter this year. To change our outlooks, our parenting approaches, our priorities. Not only for ourselves, but for the little eyes watching our every move and idolizing our every action.

We compiled 25 New Year’s resolutions for parents to choose from — and none of them involve signing up for a gym membership …

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  • 1. Consume less; save more 1 of 25
    1. Consume less; save more
    With an overwhelming amount of toys, gadgets, and empty boxes still in eyesight, you might vow to be more frugal next year — whether it's to make do with less "stuff" or just save more money. Get serious with your budget this year — and find ways to cut costs throughout the year, whether you're an amateur penny-pincher or an extreme couponer.
  • 2. Organize! Organize! Organize! 2 of 25
    2. Organize! Organize! Organize!
    It's on your resolution list every year — but 2012 is your year to finally reduce the clutter and stay organized. Whether you're looking to organize your pantry, closet, or work space, read our totally clever storage tricks and tips.
  • 3. Power down 3 of 25
    3. Power down
    While it might be impossible to unplug cold turkey, the first step is recognizing your addiction. And when it comes to the alluring alerts of emails and texts — not to mention the taunt of tweets and status updates that suck hours from our day — moderation might be the only answer.
    And for tech-dependent working parents, the goal should be separating mom time from work time — otherwise you're not doing either well.
  • 4. Do as you’d like them to do 4 of 25
    4. Do as you'd like them to do
    Kids learn about the world — about their expectations, the rules, what's normal and acceptable — from what they see you do, far more than what you tell them to do. If you make one resolution this year, work on being the person you want your child to be.
  • 5. But don’t stress the little things 5 of 25
    5. But don't stress the little things
    The Internet is swimming with studies and advice set to drive any parent mad — from contradictory flu shot recommendations to bikini-clad postpartum celebs offering their fool-proof diet advice. Here are 50 things you can stop worrying about in 2012.
  • 6. Let kids be kids 6 of 25
    6. Let kids be kids
    We're always trying to make sure our kids have the best activities and experiences, but sometimes we need to stop focusing on standards and start letting kids experience childhood — even if it involves imaginary guns.
  • 7. Practice social-media etiquette 7 of 25
    7. Practice social-media etiquette
    If you've been known to dabble in a bit of Facebook oversharing or "humble bragging," 2012 is the year to curb your habit. Pregnancy puking? Newborn poop explosions? Your toddler's ability to speak Mandarin? First recognize what you shouldn't be sharing, then stop. Like, now.
  • 8. Seek out more mom friends 8 of 25
    8. Seek out more mom friends
    Once upon a time, friendships were forged from shared homerooms and mutual afterschool activities. Yet once we grow up and independently tackle motherhood, we're reduced to desperate searching and awkward introductions. Although potential mom friends can be found in the unlikeliest of places, it's still difficult. Make a conscious effort to keep trying this year — 2012 could bring your perfect "momance."
  • 9. Make a major style change 9 of 25
    9. Make a major style change
    Whether you're looking for something easier or drastically different, change up your look this year. Need some inspiration? Check out our favorite beauty products for moms.
  • 10. Relinquish control 10 of 25
    10. Relinquish control
    Moms are notorious for having too much on their plates — from work projects to household chores to parenting responsibilities. Try letting go — loosening your grip — in 2012. If you're lucky enough to have a partner, comfortably delegate (and trust). His wisdom and competence just might surprise you.
  • 11. Make your relationship a top priority 11 of 25
    11. Make your relationship a top priority
    Step away from the baby books and parenting blogs, and take a look at the most important relationship in your life: your marriage. We're so focused on molding and prepping our kids — keeping them safe and healthy — that we often overlook the easy-to-neglect person to our side. Whether you're entering the tumultuous new baby phase (where lack of sleep, sex, and sanity can test even the strongest bond) or you're stuck in a rut, put your partnership at the top of your priority list.
  • 12. Start/grow your own blog 12 of 25
    12. Start/grow your own blog
    If you're looking for a new hobby or a different career path, this is the year to start (or grow) a blog. Read through our Top 100 Mom Blogs and Top 50 Dad Blogs for inspiration — and perhaps consider settling into a niche, like design, food, or beauty. Also make sure to follow Babble's MomCrunch blog for more tips.
  • 13. Create healthy attitudes about food 13 of 25
    13. Create healthy attitudes about food
    Resolving to cook healthier food is a good start, but let's go one further: Focus on creating healthy attitudes about food this year.
  • 14. Make a bucket list 14 of 25
    14. Make a bucket list
    Why settle for one resolution this year? Start 2012 with a "bucket list" of sorts — whether it's what you'd like to do before having kids, which activities you'd like to do with your kids this year, or everywhere you'd like to travel with the family.
  • 15. Take more photos 15 of 25
    15. Take more photos
    You had some great memories in 2011, but where's all the documentation? If you need more photos of these fleeting years, read through Babble's Digital Photography Guide for the best tips and tools, and check out photographer Me Ra Koh's expert advice. (Also consider downloading some photo apps, since you take 80% of photos on your phone, anyway.)
  • 16. Cook more homemade meals 16 of 25
    16. Cook more homemade meals
    It may be on your list every New Year, but this time you have Family Kitchen to help. To start: 1) Follow the Top 100 Food Blogs of 2011 to find your favorite moms in the kitchen, 2) Download the best cooking apps for meal planning, and 3) Start with these recipes every mom should know.
  • 17. Find shortcuts and solutions 17 of 25
    17. Find shortcuts and solutions
    Next year, vow to find little ways to make your life easier, whether it's something as simple as time-saving gadgets or something more drastic, like a mommune living arrangement.
  • 18. Do more crafts 18 of 25
    18. Do more crafts
    If you want to live a thriftier life or find creative activities for the kids, check in with Family Style and The New Home Ec for our favorite craft ideas. Also follow Babble's Top 50 Craft Bloggers for daily inspiration.
  • 19. Embrace your awesomeness 19 of 25
    19. Embrace your awesomeness
    Good is the new bad. This year, remind yourself why you're a good mom — and own it.
  • 20. Tune In 20 of 25
    20. Tune In
    While we all have preconceived dreams for our children and expectations on who they will be, try tuning out the noise and getting to know who they are — their unique personalities, distinct needs, and personal struggles. Parenting isn't about creating the person you want, but fostering the person he or she already is.
  • 21. Find healthier ways to feel confident 21 of 25
    21. Find healthier ways to feel confident
    Instead of just resolving to lose those last 10 pounds of baby weight, think about how you'll do it. There are little eyes watching you change your outfit 5 times, huffing and puffing in the mirror. There are little eyes noticing your lack of food at dinner. There are little eyes absorbing everything. The goal shouldn't be to look your best, but to feel your best.
  • 22. Embrace the little adventures 22 of 25
    22. Embrace the little adventures
    Stop thinking about all of the things you can't do, and start recognizing the new adventures ahead of you.
  • 23. Pack up the kids and go 23 of 25
    23. Pack up the kids and go
    Don't think — just plan. And go.
  • 24. Be extraordinary 24 of 25
    24. Be extraordinary
    You know that idea that's been brewing in the back of your mind? The goals you've always wanted to accomplish? Stop using motherhood as an excuse, and embrace the extraordinary person you are. Think it's impossible? Think again.
  • 25. Be grateful for every day 25 of 25
    25. Be grateful for every day
    There are some mothers who can't see their children's smiles — or who can't see their children at all. It's easy to get caught up in the stress and mess and overwhelming to-dos, but take more time this year to recognize how incredibly lucky you are.

Photo: Siri Stafford/Taxi/Getty Images via Babble.com

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Read more of Michelle’s writing at Early Mama.

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