Confession...I don't have a great track record with my New Year's resolutions. But I think that might be because they were always things I was doing for myself.
And let's just be honest here...most mother's I know don't have a great track record of following through on anything that is just for themselves. That may sound generous and giving but it's actually really stupid. When we put ourselves last every one suffers...I know that first hand now.
Anwho...I digress. Based on my history I thought that by making my resolutions about parenting - and therefore about my kids - I might actually have a chance of following through on them this time.
(It's worth a try anyway.)
Here - in no particular order - are my Parenting Resolutions for 2014:
1. Yell Less:
I have a four year old. She regularly forgets to put in her listening ears. She drives me nuts. As a result I yell a lot as it seems to be the only way to get her to hear me. But then she cries, I feel like crap and we all lose. So...instead of yelling I resolve to take a deep breath, remind myself that she is only four and this stage too shall pass, get down to her level and talk to her in an even tone. Hugs and distractions also seem to work well with her.
2. Be More Patient & Listen More:
To be honest I am actually amazed at how patient I am sometimes. When I was first thinking about having kids this aspect worried me...I really didn't think I had it in me. But even with that said I know I can do better. Especially with listening more before I react and respond. This resolution is definitely focused more on my oldest daughter. I know how frustrated I get when I feel like people aren't listening to me so I understand her reaction when I assume I know what's she's going to say before she has finished. I need to give them my full attention every time...which leads me to my next resolution...
3. Be More Present:
This resolution could also be labeled "put my damn phone down." I'm getting better at this. A lot better since I changed jobs and am no longer chained to my email 24/7. Now when I'm on my phone I'm usually uploading a picture of my kids to Instagram or quoting them on twitter. But even that isn't acceptable. I want to be more present in every moment. Okay...almost every moment. At the very least I would like them to not have to say "Mummy...look at this." more than once (twice?) before I actually respond.
4. Follow Through More:
As much as it pains me to admit it I make a lot of empty threats. And I count to three a lot and then am at a loss of what to do. Following through is one of the hardest things to do as a parent. It sometimes means missing out on something you really want to do. Or leaving a restaurant early when you were really craving that sushi. But in the end it simply must be done. With all of the ups and downs I have been through in the last year I simply have not had the strength to be consistent with discipline and this is something I know my kids need. Especially my little one. So from now on when I say "if you do that again you will lose TV for a week." I have to realize that has consequences for me too...and be willing to deal with them.
5. Make more time for me:
Okay...so this might be cheating but I stick to what I said before. Clearly when I put myself last it's not good for my family. I am on a positive track with this resolution. The weight I have lost this year has only motivated me to keep losing. And after I run my first 5k in a few weeks I will start training for the 8k at the BMO Vancouver Marathon. These types of goals are what I need. A date or event to focus on.
So that's my physical well being sorted now what about my mental well being? That one isn't as easy. 2013 was a very rough year for me personally and 2014 - while being a fresh start - is also sure to be filled with ups and downs. All of these resolutions will help my mental well being I'm sure. And I also resolve to write more. On this blog and other wise...for me writing is therapy.
There you have it - my goals for this year. None of them are particularly new or earth shattering but I'm hoping they help to make 2014 a whole lot better than it's predecessor. Wish me luck...
Happy New Year!