Published on December 18, 2017 inParenting on LandOMoms.com
I’ve given up making New Year’s resolutions. Who needs the extra pressure of setting yourself up for failure? There are enough daily fails in my life – I don’t need to add another layer of guilt by making a resolution I’ll never keep!
But what if moms made some simple, achievable, realistic resolutions instead of the ones that shoot for the moon (like vowing to lose 20 pounds in two months)? What if we made some concrete ones instead of vague ones, like “be a better parent” or “get more exercise?
If you want to make some changes in 2018, try setting yourself up for success with these five resolutions you can keep!
Patience is A Virtue
Instead of promising yourself to be more patient with the kids and then beating yourself up every time you snap, try designating a Patience Day every week. So if Patience Day is Tuesday this week, you’ll make sure to start getting little Susie ready extra early for preschool. This way, she’ll have enough time for all the things she insists on doing herself (like taking 10 minutes to put on one sock)!
On Patience Day, you’ll listen to your new meditation app to start the day; you’ll practice deep breathing, you’ll count to 10 before breaking up Susie and Tommy’s fight. You’ll still try to be patient on all the other days too, but you’ll forgive yourself when you stumble, and you’ll redeem yourself on Patience Day.
Two Birds with One Stone
So you want to exercise more in the New Year, but feel guilty about taking time away from the kids? Try incorporating some exercise into your time together. Instead of sitting down to watch a movie in the evening, go outside for a family walk. Go to the park and push the kids on the swings, play a game of H-O-R-S-E in the driveway, or have a dance party before dinner. You’ll burn calories and get some family fun time. SCORE.
Cut the Cord
If you feel guilty about never being off your smartphone (whether it’s for work or social media), set a realistic term of separation. If you’re playing a game of cards with the kids or watching a TV show together, charge your phone in the next room. Resist the urge to check on those alerts and updates by putting your phone out of earshot. The undivided attention your kids get just for the length of the game or TV show will show them what matters to you most, and you’ll have had that one hour without the guilt.
Cheat the System
Eating healthier is a great New Year’s resolution, but I’ve found if I don’t allow myself some “cheat days,” I start feeling deprived (and grumpy too). If you have an addiction to potato chips, let yourself have them once or twice a week (buy the smaller bags to help resist the urge to go hog on a huge bag, as I would)! If you love ice cream, make sure to designate days to have it – try going with a frozen yogurt or lower fat variety. On the other days, try to stick with lean meats, healthy fats, whole grains and lots of fruits and vegetables.
Save the Date
My husband and I have vowed to reconnect via the “dedicated date night” thing a dozen times throughout our 13 years of marriage, but it only worked before kids! Each day is so busy, and the months fly by so fast. We have had only one date in the last six months, and we were lucky to squeeze that one in!
What if we made our resolution for date nights more realistic by choosing one night a week to have a date after the kids go to bed (instead of going in separate directions to watch Netflix or sports)? The designated night could change weekly, depending on what we have going on, but we could wait until post-bedtime to have dinner together and re-connect. Maybe we’ll even watch a movie if we can stay awake that long!
Avoid guilt from heavy resolutions and instead, try these achievable resolutions, and have a Happy New Year!