New year parenting do-overs
Need a do-over? From more family time outdoors to more mommy and me time and more patience, real moms share their parenting resolutions and what they plan to do differently in the new year.
Setting realistic standards
Operation Have it All blogger and parenting writer, Maureen Rich Wallace, said, “As we prepare to welcome child number three to our chaotic home, I have a huge mommy resolution for this year — calm down and drop the wacky standards!” She explains, “Our oldest, age 3, [Charlie] has Down syndrome and began preschool in [the] special needs class in the fall. Despite my burgeoning belly and a promise that I would spend more time with my current youngest (age 2), I got way too involved in Charlie's classroom and therapies. I volunteered to be room parent despite the kids' holiday party falling on my due date, and I kept our private therapy pace.”
“Several months later," she added, “I'm exhausted, haven't written half of what I should have been doing and feel like a sausage-stuffed elephant trying to make up for lost time on projects to prepare for the baby. So, new standard, 2014! This year — or at least for as long as I can stand it — my new definition of successful parenting will be a simple checklist... I loved on my kids today, I fed my kids today and I dressed them in clean clothes today. I hold zero expectations for things like earwax, trimmed fingernails or luxuries like matching pajamas!”
More mommy and me time
Southern California-based military wife and mom, Brittney Smallwood says, “Being a stay-at-home mom and learning as a military family that time is fleeting, we make a conscious effort to spend as much time together as a family as we can. I get so wrapped up in us spending time together, that I forget to take time just for me and my daughter.” She adds that since her husband is back in college and has a flexible schedule, they’re fortunate enough to spend a lot of time together as a family taking day trips or visiting local sights and museums, but she’s realized that in 2014 she wants to spend more mommy-daughter time alone with her 3-year-old daughter, Lily.
Morning madness do-over
For the record, I’d like to add this one to my list, too! For some reason, when you’re running behind, your kids seem to move at an impossibly slow rate and your patience is thoroughly tested.
“This totally made me tear up when I thought about it,” said Theresa Hissong Seid, founder of Rock on Mommies. “Need a do-over? Yes! Can I redo 90 percent of school mornings?” she said. Seid added, “I am not a morning person and my patience level is about a minus 10 on school mornings. My daughter is not an organized kid and her sense of urgency is severely lacking. This morning was particularly a rough one. I hate that there are mornings she leaves the house in tears because we're frustrated with her because she has nothing ready on time and we need her to hurry up. January is going to be my month of teaching Ellie organization and, for me, I'm going to learn to take a deep breath before yelling.” She adds, “Now, I need to go cry and make her cookies to make up for this morning!”
More impromptu dance parties!
San Diego-based stay-at-home mom Robin Laatz said that she wants to put more music in her kids' lives. "Good music makes everyone happy! The babies dance. They crack up when my daughter does her moves. It puts me in a good mood, too. In 2014 we definitely need to have more impromptu dance parties!"
Smelling the roses... and then some!
Cancer has a funny way of making you completely rethink how you value your time. I realized that way too many days ended in me feeling like I was trapped in a whirlwind of to-dos, with more things still looming over me to finish. I’ve realized now that life is so much more than all the things you may or may not accomplish each day. It’s more than tasks, deadlines and getting through your obligations so you can finally crash in bed. In 2014, my resolution is to freeze more moments in time and really savor them.
When my sons are doing something incredible cute and funny, instead of documenting it, I want to share in it. I’ll do more dancing/playing/wrestling with them instead of being stuck behind a camera capturing it. I’ll get down on my knees and look them in the eye to hug and kiss them before school instead of a rushed kiss while they fly out the door. I’ll read more books with them instead of worrying about the books they left on the floor. I’ll stop talking to them with my hands and eyes on my cell phone and give them the uninterrupted attention they deserve instead. I’ll spend more time enjoying my kids outside and making time to show them the way I now see the world around me. The way the skies look brighter, the flowers are bolder and the air feels more crisp… the way you see the world when you’re lucky enough to realize how fortunate you are just to be alive!