basq NYC Skin Care (leader in Maternity Skin Care) Director of Accounts, Brooke Ditlow, shares her Parenting Resolutions:
Every year around this time I make a list of what the “new Brooke” is going to do. It usually involves more flossing, book reading, journaling, organizing and gym time. Every year around Jan. 31 I realize that “new Brooke” is exhausting and I throw in the towel.
This year I have decided to focus my goals and efforts on the most important aspect of my life: parenting.
I have ten new year parenting resolutions that I predict will make me and my family feel refreshed and happy (rather than disappointed and exhausted).
Once I made the list of things I wanted to change, I realized they involve more sleep, less worrying, more breathing, simplifying, and dining out. This I can do!
1. Simplify dinner.
The worst time of day for me is between the time that I pick up my kids and the time we sit down to eat dinner. I feel guilty because I have been away from my kids all day and I want to give them my attention but I am juggling homework, lessons and making dinner. I have a Pinterest Board filled with great make ahead meals so my first goal is to actually use those recipes. The crockpot is about to become my new best friend.
2. Regret less.
One of my favorite Maya Angelou quotes is:
“I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.” — Maya Angelou
I am going to use this advice to stop regretting choices that I have made as a parent. I always do the best that I can given my resources and knowledge at that time. Acknowledging this, I will spend less time regretting what I did and didn’t do in parenting.
3. Spend more one-on-one time with each child.
In our house, one child will start a story. The other child interrupts and the first child starts yelling at the second child for interrupting. The story is gone for good. It is nice to have time one on one with each child in order to have an uninterrupted conversation. I resolve to make this happen more often.
4. Spend one-on-one time with my husband.
Much like when one child starts to tell a story at our house, when an adult starts to talk there is often and interruption of one kind or another. When we are able to sit down together without all of the interruptions, I remember why I wanted to have children with this person. I resolve to go out on more dates with my husband.
5. Turn off the technology.
As tempting as it can be to see what my friends are doing on Facebook, I am going to make an effort to focus on the status of my friends and family who are standing in front of me.
6. Listen more.
I read a piece of advice a few years ago. I can’t remember the exact quote or the source but the jest was that if you listen to the little things, your kids will talk to you about the big things. While my patients for a retelling of the newest “My Little Pony” episode runs low, when I remember that one day it might mean she will feel encouraged to talk to me about real life trials, my patients grows. I definitely can improve my listening without trying to multi-task. Resolution #5 should help.
7. Enforce a strict bedtime…. For myself.
Getting enough sleep positively influences pretty much everything. It is so tempting once the kids are asleep to stay up all night doing whatever you wanted to do (but couldn’t) during the day. However, I know how much more I get done during the day if I am well rested. I resolve to set a bedtime and stick to it. My theory is that my well rested self will get so much more done during the day, I won’t need all of those extra hours at night.
8. Take a few deep breaths.
Like sleep, taking a moment to breathe and focus on your breath can be life changing (or so I’ve heard). In those moments when I feel my blood pressure rising, I resolve to breathe. I will realize that being 5 minutes late for dance class is better than showing my children that when you are stressed, the solution is to lose your cool.
9. Less overcommitting.
Less overcommitting means more time in pajamas with kids. As hard as it is to say no, I resolve to do so.
10. Stop comparing myself to other mothers.
In the age of facebook, there seems to be even more pressure to be “super mom” than there was before. I resolve to give myself the same advice I give my children,
“Don’t worry about what he/she is doing. Your job is to worry about yourself.” — Brooke Ditlow
I resolve to judge less, especially myself.