Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy 2013!

Like staring in wonder at your newborn, there’s a clean slate before you. I’m talking about your second child – I always call my first the “guinea pig child.” I didn’t know what I was doing with him, so I learned from my mistakes to better parent the next born. Trust me, Child No. 1 has plenty of fodder for his future therapist. I just hope he doesn’t need one until after he turns 21, so I don’t have to pay for it. 

Anyway, back to new beginnings. Admit it; just like me, you’re probably jotting down the same five goals that you set out to accomplish last year. Together, we can learn from past resolutions-gone-wrong to keep us in check.

Drop some poundage. This one is traditionally the most popular resolution. The way I see it, the minute you drop your kindergartener off at school, you have lost 40 pounds. Depending on how many kids you have, you could easily lose 100. Then, you could be in one of those before-and-after pictures or featured on What Not to Wear. Of course, you will have to cut your hair short and get a spray-on tan. If you get off track, remember that the most weight loss occurs in September when school starts.

Improve health. This one is also at the top of most lists. I look at this one as a combination of mental and physical health. The term “fitness: is relative after age 40. A pint of Ben and Jerry’s may not be great for my cholesterol, but it soothes my soul. Most of our workouts consist of chasing our kids anyway, so check that one off. Driving kids everywhere only results in trucker butt. So, plan more time for you, yes YOU, and you’ll be a healthier mom. (I count hiding from the kids in the pantry as “me time.”)

Get out of debt. Yeah, right. I looked at my kids one morning and stated, “Do you know how much disposable income Mommy and Daddy would have if we didn’t have you precious angels?” One replied, “Yes, but you wouldn’t have us.” Touché.

Plan family dinners. Dinnertime was sacred when I was growing up.  Our butts were expected to be in our seats at 5:30pm or else – extracurricular activities be damned. My parents rightly feel that dinner together may be one of the reasons that all five of us are not in prison. Hubby and I have promised each other to continue the tradition with our family. We’re pretty successful most of the time. Dinner is spent nourishing both body and family. We go around the table and everyone gets to tell about their day. Problems are solved, schedules confirmed and jokes told. Oh sure, there are vegetable strikes, farting (both intentional and not) and the occasional food fight, but it’s worth the juggling to sit down together.  

Get organized. Confession: This is the toughest one for me. I find that just emptying the junk drawer straight into the trash makes me feel like I accomplished something. However, before each birthday the kids know that not a single toy will enter the house until they go through what they have and donate what they don’t play with. As far as organizing their rooms, I just shut their bedroom doors and walk away.

So here’s to making some good New Year’s resolutions. Whether you keep them a secret (like where that package of Mint Milano cookies is hiding), or proclaim them as loudly as a kid barking through a tube from the used wrapping paper; they are for you and you alone.

Maybe we should call them New Year’s revolutions instead. 

No comments: