For many of us, January 1st signified the beginning of more than just a new year—it was also a time for new beginnings. And for many of us, those “new beginnings” became “new endings” before the first week was out, or as soon as the grocery store had a sale on Ben & Jerry’s. Whichever came first.
If you failed to keep some (or all) of the resolutions you made this year, don’t worry—you’re not alone. Here’s what happens to parents when reality sets in and we remember why we had all those delightfully terrible habits in the first place.
Resolution #1: Yell less
For most of us, this one went really well…until about 9:25am on January 2nd when your son wouldn’t let his sister pick which cartoon to watch and she threw the cat at him in retaliation. Yelling was your first impulse but also really the only way to get them to CUT IT OUT RIGHT THIS INSTANT!!!!!! So you probably wouldn’t change anything if it happened again. Maybe you’ll attempt “yelling less” when they’re older. Or they’ve moved out.
RESOLUTION #2: Spend quality time with your kids individually
Sure, you absolutely want to get to know your children as unique little people and give them the attention they deserve. Except once you’re one-on-one with them, you’re quickly reminded that kids’ personalities from age 2 through 15 are comprised mainly of Minecraft references and fart jokes. Maybe it’s best to sit across from them at restaurant for quality time when they’re 25 or so.
RESOLUTION #3: Put down the phone
Sounds easy enough, except your phone is the only way to communicate with other moms who truly understand how tired you are of Minecraft references and fart jokes. And anyway, how are you supposed to share the evidence of all that quality time you had with the kids (i.e. the selfie you took with them during their 30-minute SpongeBob recap) if you don’t Instagram it?
RESOLUTION #4: Make one dinner that everyone eats
HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Nice try, Mom.
RESOLUTION #5: Pay attention to your spouse
Sorry honey, but there are only so many hours in the day. Date nights sound nice but babysitters are expensive and not that easy to find. WHY DO THEY ALWAYS HAVE ALL THE PLANS??? Your spouse knows you love him/her, so maybe we’ll relax this one to something more realistic like “Smile at each other briefly during commercial breaks.”
RESOLUTION #6: Play with the kids more
Because there’s movement involved, this is actually a busy moms’ thinly-veiled resolution to exercise more, but that’s okay. I won’t tell. Unfortunately, by February the mere idea of getting bundled up to go outside is completely exhausting, and playing inside would require cleaning first (no thanks), so if weight loss is your thing, you might be better off just waiting until the kids bring home the stomach flu. And lucky you, now that they’re back in school, should be any day now!
RESOLUTION #7: Actually enforce screen time limits
This one is probably the easiest, simplest resolution on the whole list! Except for the part where you have to track minutes, argue with your kids about whether or not they’ve used up their minutes, ground the kids from using the iPad for arguing with you, and then give them the iPad anyway because they claim they need it for homework. And even if you survive all that nonsense, you’ll still come to the sad conclusion that the only way you can get anything done for yourself is by sticking your little rugrats in front of a screen.
RESOLUTION #8: Cut down on coffee
No, the caffeine probably isn’t very good for you, but it’s better for you than face-planting on the table at breakfast so BOTTOMS UP.
RESOLUTION #9: Cut yourself some slack.
Moms are notoriously hard on themselves. No matter how much effort we put in, there’s always more we feel like we should be doing—so after we inevitably break every single parenting resolution we made, you can be certain, we’re the first to give ourselves a hard time about it.
But let’s revisit this one before we give up on it completely. Give the kids the iPad, sit down with a cup of coffee, scroll mindlessly through Instagram, all while giving yourself a big job-done-well-enough pat on the back.
Just hurry up about it, because in a minute it’ll be time to yell CUT IT OUT RIGHT THIS INSTANT!!!!!!!
Hopefully, before anyone throws a cat.
This post was a collaboration with Robyn Welling. To read more from Robyn, visit Hollow Tree Ventures.
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