As the year comes to a close, I find myself looking back over the last 365 days. Where did the time go?! Mainly picking Cheerios up off the floor, acting as the toy-sharing police, sleep training, bribing the kids to eat healthy, having a baby attached to my boob, watching Frozen 164 times, trips to the pediatrician and constantly cleaning dirty underwear... but, GOSH, what a wonderful year it was!
Ah, the joys of young parenthood.
Take heart -- a new year is upon us, and that means it's time for people everywhere to make their New Year's resolutions. For moms, it's often the time when we make lofty goals in an effort to be the "perfect" parent.
What could make next year even better? What can I do to be a better mom? Here's what I have come up with...
New Year's Resolutions:
1. Be present. Put down your phone.
2. Be patient with the kids. No rushing.
3. No swearing. Even if it's only in my head.
4. Learn to cook.
5. Spend the summer outside.
6. Schedule monthly date nights with hubs.
7. Have "me" time. Every day.
Yes, the perfect list. Maybe.
Perhaps these are a little too broad, a little too ambitious. Aren't goals supposed to be specific? Let's not set ourselves up for failure, moms! Here's a new list...
Revised New Year's Resolutions:
1. Only look at your phone after you've played Barbie/dress up/puzzles/cashier/sing along/peek-a-boo with kids for at least an hour. Can look sooner if you just got done playing doctor and you were the patient.
2. Be more patient when time allows. When there's no rush, let her take 17 minutes to put on her shoes. When there is a rush, toss her into the car barefoot.
3. Reduce swearing to occasions that truly warrant a profanity. Permissible instances: realizing you're out of diapers at 9 p.m., toddler coloring on walls or sibling, baby reaching "down there" during dirty diaper change, realizing that a "Dora the Explorer" re-run somehow bumped Downton Abbey off the DVR queue.
4. Attempt to cook. Gradually broaden the variety of meals, but not too drastically where you spend $50 on ingredients to only use once, for a meal that took 2.5 hours to make, and in the end no one liked, so you cursed under your breath wondering why the hell you even bothered trying, and then ended up microwaving chicken nuggets. (Come to think of it, I'm pretty sure this was last January).
5. Spend at least a half hour outside. Don't feel judged by your outdoor-loving friends and family. They obviously don't have a toddler who manages to fall and scrape her knee if the wind blows over 3 m.p.h., or a fair-skinned baby who refuses to wear a hat. They must not have a child who insists they blow bubbles until they pass out, or a baby who eats grass.
6. Try not to fall asleep before 9 p.m. Try to stay up late enough to watch Scandal once a week. Maybe leave the house one Saturday night a year.
7. Pee alone. Can a mom not do this one thing in private without the little pitter-patter of feet following her? Shut the door. Lock it. This is your 30 seconds of "me" time, goddammit! Welcome to parenthood.
Ah, yes. Much better. Much less impressive, much more realistic.
Maybe I will add on a few more after I finish playing stack-the-blocks-then-knock-them-over-and-cry-about-it with my kids. Or after I make Kraft macaroni for dinner. Nah, I'll probably be struggling to keep my eyes open once dinner is finished. I'll stick with this list. Bring it on, 2016!