Another year is quickly coming to a close and you are either one of two types of people: a resolution maker or a non-resolution maker. Personally, I’m firmly in the resolution maker camp. I can’t help it; I love making goals for myself! This year, however, I decided to set myself some goals in one area of my life: parenting.
These are the ways in which I hope to improve as a parent in this new year:
1. Worry less, and play more.
Who cares if my house is magazine-perfect, or a perfect mess? We’re making memories here, people. Besides, eventually we’ll get to it. (I’m looking at you, overflowing pile of laundry.)
2. Cook real food.
I’m not going to make any crazy promises I know I won’t keep —we probably won’t be having a homemade, all-organic, gluten-free meal every single night for dinner anytime soon, but I will try my very best to expand my family’s horizons (and palates) beyond just frozen pizza and spaghetti from a jar. And maybe even throw in a few more fruits and veggies for extra credit.
3. Get outside.
After living in Montana for the past four years (where it’s winter at least six months out of the year), this one is a no-brainer. Plus, my girls love being outdoors. Even if it’s just a quick walk to the neighborhood park and back. The dishes can always wait.
4. Take more pictures (with an actual camera).
As a blogger and photographer, I am constantly taking photos of other people and my projects. But for some reason, I have pretty much failed to take regular pictures of my own girls, except for a few random shots here and there on my iPhone. I am always scrambling at the last minute to get our Christmas card photos done. This ends now. My children probably won’t be very impressed with all of the photos I took of their friends’ families, if I didn’t bother to get any of us.
5. Be more organized.
This one is one of my biggest parenting resolutions. Motherhood is hard work, but it doesn’t mean we have to live our lives in constant disorder and upheaval. And as for me, ladies and gentleman, I have been the queen of both.
6. Take some time for myself (and my sanity).
This year, I will take the time to get back into shape, and I will not feel guilty about it. I’ll allow myself to enjoy my regularly scheduled hair appointments, and I will not check my phone every 10 seconds to see if anyone needs me. Taking time to enjoy myself will make me a better parent and I will like myself more. I think that in the long run, my family will also. I’m no good to anyone when I’m constantly running on empty.
7. Stop saying “don’t.”
For example, instead of saying “stop stealing all of your sister’s toys,” I will try to say something more positive like “please be kind to your sister and share.” I will save the “don’ts” for the really big stuff. I don’t want to always come across as the bad guy. I want my kiddos to love and respect me — to feel that they can come to me with any issues, without fear of judgement or retaliation.
8. Spend more time with my husband.
I struggle with this one. Life is crazy-busy. I work from home, I am a full-time caregiver to our two adorable kiddos, and I have a big problem saying no (but I’m working on it). I vow to reserve more energy and time for nurturing our relationship. How else can it continue to grow? Maybe it’s time we instituted those weekly Date Nights we’ve been talking about for all these years.
9. To exercise more patience.
With myself, my children, my husband, and all those crazy people in my neighborhood that don’t know how to drive. Love you guys!
10. Put down the iPhone (and the tablet and the laptop).
I am so guilty of this. I have got to start modeling better digital habits for my kiddos. I’m checking out far too often, and it’s a real waste of precious time.
11. Listen more, speak less.
12. Read more.
This is a personal resolution, but I’d also like to make a more conscious effort to read with my girls every single day. I grew up loving to read. I want to foster this same appreciation for the written word in them.
13. Judge less, support more.
I’m talking about other parents here. I don’t consider myself an especially judgmental person, but we all have areas for improvement.
14. Improve our daily routine.
I will be honest. We really haven’t had a routine per se for the past couple of months. Since moving back to Texas, we’ve sort of been flying by the seat of our pants. But this ends now. Kids love structure. Moms love structure. It’s basically a win-win.
15. Get everyone helping around the house, with age-appropriate tasks.
I want to raise helpful, resourceful, and self-reliable adults. That training begins now. And I take my job very seriously.
What are your parenting resolutions for the New Year? Are there any big lessons you learned last year? We would love to hear!