Parenting is hard. Keeping New Year’s resolutions is also hard and it’s one more thing to make me feel guilty about what I’m not doing. Resolutions about parenting usually involve not yelling so much at the kids or packing healthy school lunches rather than junk food. By January 14th, I’m losing my temper and sending the kiddos off to school with chips and cookies.
Rather than losing those 10 elusive pounds, here are five resolutions I can keep.
- I resolve to take a time out to revive myself whenever possible so I don’t go nuts on my family. They will be fine without me, but I may not be if I don’t take care of my emotional, social, spiritual, and physical health. I will drop them off at grandma’s or the sitter’s house when I need a break or to take a 30 minute nap, and I will have a weekly date night with my husband. I am such a better mother when I return from a brief (or sometimes lengthy) absence. I think, “Okay you little buggers. I guess still love you after all. I missed you!”
- I resolve to be prepared for the unexpected. Because it will happen and probably will involve bodily fluids. Like the time my daughter hurled vomit across the isle of the train in Chicago and hit us, the windows behind, and our bags. Just before we boarded the plane. Awesome. And I will be prepared for the other kind of unexpected, like scribbled notes on my pillow or when my son puts his arm around his sister is an older-brotherly “I will always protect you” kind of way.
- I resolve to be humble and strong enough to admit when I’ve made a mistake or that I don’t know everything. Out loud. To everyone, including myself. Being a parent is the hardest thing in the world and we all get it wrong sometimes. I resolve that being good enough is best for most days instead of pretending or expecting to be perfect.
- I resolve to tell my children every day that they are smart and beautiful and kind and that they can do anything they want in life. I will look in the mirror and tell myself those same things. I will be an example of self respect rather than how to criticize and compare myself with others and end up self loathing. I resolve this year, and every year, to remember that my body is amazing and strong and my one great gift from God that I will take throughout life.
- I resolve to count my blessings every day and thank God for the privilege of being a mother. Somehow I was blessed to be a woman who can grow a baby and give birth in a miraculous process I still don’t understand. I am entrusted with His children to raise, to love, to nurture, and to teach. I resolve to see God in my child’s trusting and forgiving eyes and feel his love each time my child takes my hand.