A Parents Guide to Feeling Less Guilty About Not Fulfilling ResolutionsSAMANTHA BEE AND ALLANA HARKIN
It’s a new year! Time to pull out the pencil and make a whole bunch of promises to yourself! And even though it’s almost 100% certain you won’t be able to find that particular list in a week it will still weigh on your brain because you’ll be constantly reminded by other people’s lists that they’ve posted on-line. Nothing is more stress inducing than reading other people’s promises to themselves and comparing your potential false promises to their potential false promises. It’s a new year, a fresh start! But is it? Isn’t it a new year and a fresh start before the first day of school? And what about Spring clean up? That’s a fresh start. And how about bathing suit season? You juiced kale for a week, what’s more of a fresh start than a glowing pink colon?
Regardless, there is something about the first day of the first month of a new year that gives one the sense that starting over is entirely possible. You can be a whole new you! So without further adieu let us put your mind at ease:
I’m going to be more on top of laundry!
What appears to be the most boring resolution in the history of mankind is actually one that weighs on parents. Although I like to think of myself as environmentally conscientious I’ve also thought of putting a patent on disposable children’s socks. Think of it like a ziploc bag box but with tiny socks. Here’s the thing: dirty laundry is the devil’s work. Like drunk Uncles (and Aunts) at Christmas parties, dirty laundry keeps showing up no matter what attempts you make at trying to get it organized, clean and somewhat presentable. So yes, bleach those white towels on January 1st but give yourself a break when the pile is as high as your underarm by the end of the week.
More quality time with the kids!
No one can dispute the fact that this is essential, but quality time with the kids doesn’t have to mean you, the children, a forest and your survival skills. Maybe you just need to throw the ball around for a while, or better yet invite your child to partake in something you have to do anyway: Like rolling meatballs or making you a coffee. Who said doing something for YOU doesn’t count as quality time? (disclaimer: I’ve never tried this and just came up with the idea while typing. I’m calling it my AHA moment’ and will be teaching my 7 year old how to push the button on the coffee machine in the morning).
Once a week date with my husband!
My husband and I went on a date recently and within ten feet from our house we both agreed “We should do this more”. What also occurred to us on the way to our fairly expensive date at a restaurant, and equally costly babysitting fee, was that what we really needed to do was simply stand ten feet away from our front door, hold hands and just look at each other for a few minutes. Of course the date part is nice and should happen – but we currently call standing outside the car to pump gas while the kids are yelling at each other a mini-break’. Maybe connecting isn’t as costly as well all assume.
Lose Weight! Get in Better Shape!
Has there ever been a New Year’s resolution that doesn’t involve losing weight or getting in shape? I’m certain even the President’s resolution list includes 1. Aiding in World Peace 2. Fixing Obamacare 3. situps 4. Boycotting Olympics. 5. Eat more spinach….
Yes, lose weight, get in better shape but don’t beat yourself up about it. All that December chocolate was medicinal.
A family vacation that is culturally stimulating and educational for the children!
Beautiful sentiment but unless you have older kids I suspect that your toddler could care less about Mount Rushmore. There will be time. In the meantime…how about an inexpensive all-inclusive winter vacation with a great kids club and a swim up bar?! I know, I know, maybe a bit cheesy but dang it’s a good time and it certainly releases you from the pressure of your 5 year old’s lack of interest in a massive granite rock face sculpture of George Washington. Pina Coladas can be educational right? (This particular point is for those of us in the north who are currently frozen under a block of ice).
Make more well balanced meals for the family!
First of all – aren’t you kind of doing that already? Unless you pull a piece of cellophane off every meal that you slid out of a box I’d bet that your doing a pretty great job feeding the family. Before I had children I used to think raw carrots were the lazy parents way of getting their kids to eat veggies. Now? I’ve often looked at my seven year old and said “You’d rather have this raw? Right?” I mean steaming takes out most of the nutrients anyway doesn’t it? And rabbits have glossy fur coats so that’s got to mean something. How about we just put a bag of veggies on the table and dig in?
More time playing games with the kids!
I can’t stress this more. Any child under the age of 3 sucks at games. It is not your fault that your toddler flipped up the Candyland board and ignored every basic rule (It’s also not their fault because CANDYLAND sucks as well. There! I said it! Wow, that’s be weighing on me for a while. No longer must I smile and nod when someone suggests I play Candyland!) There are great games out there and sure, family time around the board game is a wonderful time….but maybe it’s worth waiting until you can steal all their properties and force them to go to jail while playing Monopoly? Good times!
Stop fighting in front of the children!
Why? No, seriously.
Okay, so if you’re going to have a full blow out and feel you may lodge an f-bomb maybe it’s time to clear out (or go into the bathroom and do a silent open-mouthed rebel yell). But I truly think there is no better way of teaching conflict resolution than forgiving each other in front of your kids. What better way of teaching your children to say “I’m sorry. I was out of line.” than doing it yourself?
May we suggest to resolve to congratulate yourself on being amazing? Cause maybe you’re pretty great just the way you are.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
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