At the beginning of every year, most of us think about something we might do better, some goal we might achieve, some height we will work to reach in the coming twelve months. Some of the goals we set for ourselves are realistic. Most require effort from us.
As a parent, many of us think of New Years’ Resolutions in two or more categories (for ourselves, as a parent, in our career, as a spouse, as a friend). We are used to multi-tasking, and we know that we can improve in more than one area of our lives. Listing them together, however, would produce a list of goals too intimidating to tackle. So this year, since being a better parent seems to take priority in my daily life, I have listed only my 15 Parenting New Years’ Resolutions for 2013:
1) I will not say, “after I finish [insert any task]” when my kids ask for a snuggle.
2) I will get my kids to bed earlier so we can read together more often.
3) I will not cuss at other drivers with kids in the car.
4) I will always hold the door open for parents carrying car seats, because I remember how heavy they are.
5) I will convince my children to eat more protein and vegetables.
6) I will drink more milk, so my bones stay strong and I can stay active with my kids, and maybe even my grandkids, as they grow up.
7) I will continue to insist on date nights with my husband at least once every other week, so I stay sane for my kids and for him in-between.
8) I will try to dress better, because my ten year old notices.
9) I will watch NCAA basketball so that I perform better in our family fantasy basketball league than I did in fantasy football. I don’t want to get beat by the dog again.
10) I will try harder not to get frustrated when my son exhibits signs that he shares my faults.
11) I will accept that they can be late to tae kwan do.
12) I will be more active with the kids on the weekend so video games seem less fun.
13) I will do something philanthropic with my kids.
14) I will stop cleaning up their mess and making breakfast for them, because they can do it on their own… even if it takes too long.
15) I will be a good daughter, so that my parents know I love them and my kids see how to be good sons.
Will I be successful? I can see a few friends shaking their heads at #3 and #8. I happen to have a history of road rage, flannel and oversized sweatshirts. But I have cheated a bit on the list. I started working on a few in 2012. Plus, I am better at focusing when I have written down a goal, and I do not share goals unless I really want to work at it. That’s the key. When I tell someone else a plan, I feel a greater need to achieve it.
So far, during Month 1, I have not delayed a snuggle, the kids are already doing better on the meat and vegetable intake (and even enjoyment), I have scheduled a date night, I wore a dress all day this weekend (and was called hip!), I watched part of a UNC loss and read about a Georgetown loss, I made lots of fun plans and play-dates over the Christmas break, we have our philanthropic plan, my oldest has been making his toast most days, and I just spent the weekend with my parents, who reminded me that I do not do it enough.
Now come the tough ones… but I have told the world, and one or two of you are watching.