Resolutions for Parents in 2016by Elizabeth MacDonald
'Tis the season for making goals that are never kept. Let’s change that this year. You may not keep every resolution, but there are a few ways to break down and prioritize the list of things you’d like to add into your life (or delete from it!). Each year of parenthood brings about new challenges: Challenges in personal life, friendships, marriage, home-life, and family life. There is no magic solution to line everything up and skip through it all with ease. Everyone will have different struggles and different successes. So cater your resolutions to what you need in your life during these moments. I’m sharing the resolutions that I have had in the past, and the ones that I am trying to include for the upcoming year. I hope they can be of help to some of you reading this! I break my resolutions into four categories with a major “umbrella-style” resolution for the category that is broken into many little things I would like to accomplish.
Personal: “Continue Working on the Happy Me.”
-Train for a ½ marathon trail race in September 2016 and a full marathon before the new baby is one. (If you aren’t a runner, pick a fitness goal that will make you get off your rear and exercise!) -Meet my writing goals per month, but remember to take time off and SLEEP. -Read books. I love reading, and parenthood, homeschooling, and life seem to distract me from more than a paragraph at a time. -Cut gluten back out from diet, or at least minimize it again. I feel so much healthier without it. -Enjoy a glass of wine with my husband most nights of the week. -Connect with the earth. Whether I work outside while the kids play, take our homeshooling outdoors, or just say, “screw it all” and go for a solo trail run on my own, there is something so real about being in nature.
Relationships: “Love Deeply. Respect Mutually. Forgive Kindly.”
I feel as this extends towards both marriage and friendship. By dedicating time to the relationships that I want to grow, I will better myself and others – not to mention, stay happy and sane.-Coming off of a hard year of marriage, I have learned not to take love for granted. I have filled my home and heart with positive affirmations and have tried to listen more. I want to continue working and growing in this area: Communicating with honesty, asking for help, showing kindness, and loving passionately. -As adults, we don’t deserve respect. We earn it. If we cannot give it, we don’t deserve it. Being different is a wonderful quality in this world; respecting others for being different seems to be a quality that most people lack. Passing judgment to others (even a partner or friends) is something most struggle with, but with conscious effort, it can be reduced. I am hoping to be more aware of my thoughts of others, and to grant them the respect they have given to me. -Oh forgiveness. This love/hate relationship I have with the word and meaning behind it. True forgiveness is not given to satisfy the one who hurt, but instead it is granted to heal the wounded. I have spent a lot of time recently reading and learning about forgiveness. I am nowhere near where I would like to be on the forgiveness spectrum, but I am trying. I am writing a resolution dedicated to it just to make sure I don’t let go of where I want to be.
Home: “I Cannot Do It All.”
-My goal this year is to accept that I cannot do it all. I cannot have a fourth baby, homeschool all the children, get them to where they need to be, cook everything from scratch on a Whole30 meal plan, have a sparkling clean home without pee on the floors, wall, and possibly ceiling, continue writing (more than) part-time, exercise in any form, finish the 18 loads of laundry, and shower.
I can be a superwoman without doing it all.
If anything, I’m more of a superwoman for asking for help or admitting I’m burnt out.
Family: “Be Present and Be a Listener.”
-My goal this year is to stop talking so much and start listening more. My children (and husband) are brilliant; after all, I played a part in getting them to this point. I need to take the time to hear them more. I don’t need to fix them or their problems unless they are in need of guidance. I need to take more time logged-off from technology and spend more time actively engaged with the ones I love. My children are growing up in the blink of an eye, and while I spend 24/7 with them due to homeschooling, I can definitely be more present in each moment. -Stop (or at least work on) the Yelling. This seems to make my resolution list every year. Here it is again. I am going to lose my ever loving mind, I am a mom. But, I need to work on letting my own emotions take over. Little humans have enough emotions to deal with, my craziness and yelling does not ever seem to help a situation. I would rather walk away, take a breath and then come back to evaluate a situation. These are my resolutions, and yours may be completely different. I do urge you to take the time and write a few goals down. There is something about seeing them written that makes them real. It is almost a soul-searching activity. Ask your partner (and children) to come up with ideas as well. Helping each other work toward goals will fulfill so much on your own list. (Well, on my list anyway!)
Here at My Baby’s Heart Beat Bear, we wish you all a wonderful holiday season and a very happy new year!