Monday, December 30, 2013

Resolutions: Parenting Edition

It's that time of year again, y'all.

It's time to look back over the past 365 days and find ways to be even more awesome for the next 365. Last year I decided to throw away the word "resolution" and instead share my successes for the past year. It was a good experience and it was inspiring to see my life bullet-pointed in such a way. I could do that again this year - heck, I gave birth to an amazing baby girl, but I'm going to pass. This year, there were some holes in 2013 I'd like to focus on filling.

Without further ado, I will now publish my parenting resolutions for the world to see. I am now a mama to three children, and let it be known that is more than two. MUCH more than two. This year I pray for patience, guidance, and humility as I sail this ship for another 52 weeks. Here are my areas of focus {maybe you can join in on some of them, too!}:

  1. Count to Ten More: I need to stop yelling {okay, at least tone it down}. In 2014, I want to push myself to maintain better control when life spins faster than I'd like. I'm not talking Super Nanny discipline skills, I just think it will be as beneficial to me as it will be to my kids if I would step into the bathroom every now and then and breathe. Cool heads always prevail, no matter how many cookies are ground into the carpet.

  2. Push Them Outside: My kids can be quite the couch potatoes and as you know, monkey see, monkey do. This monkey wants to get outside and she certainly hopes her kids follow. Once winter turns to spring and the garden chores start calling my name, I'm leaving no man behind. Owen is now old enough to join his brother on adventures and who am I to stand in the way of that? I'm sure Nora won't mind a little dirt and sunshine, either.

  3. Listen To Them: I will be the first to admit my selective hearing flares up fast these days. Especially when it's the tenth rapid-fire question I hear while tending to a screaming baby or vacuuming cookie crumbs. I answer with robotic response, not caring how my disinterest is interpreted. I've got to cut that out. I have to carve time to look my kids square in the eyes and focus. I have to let them know they're important. There's no telling what I may miss if I don't.

  4. More One-on-One Time: I'll let you in on something about my kids - they are crazy cool. They each have their own way of living and when they're in good spirits, they're a blast to be around. In the coming year, I'd like to find time to stop lumping them into "my kids" and get to know Nathan, Owen, and Nora better. Maybe a couch date here or a dinner date there or simply some time on the bedroom floor playing with toys and sharing secrets. I want to look at each of them long and hard and give them a chance to do the same to me. I want to memorize their lives now, because they change with every tick of the second hand.

  5. More Mommy Time: I know this list has focused on my relationship with my children, but this particular item could be one of the most important. I vow to take more time for myself this year. {Sounds like a cop-out, but stay with me.} There is no way I could reach these goals running on fumes, which has been my state for the past five months. I need to curl up on the couch with a book and a cup of coffee. I need to sit at the computer and write without stopping. I need a few margaritas and a good friend. Every so often, a mama has to recharge. This is a big step to a less frazzled 2014.

  6. More Mommy-Daddy Time: That last resolution goes double when it comes to my husband. Would you believe that since we graduated to a family of five, Jonathan and I have only had one single, solitary night alone? We are guilty of being parents way more than spouses. This year, I want it to sink in for both of us that our relationship is the most important. The way we model love and compassion and forgiveness and respect is a daily lesson to our children. We need time alone to cultivate that {and you know... talk about something other than diapers?}.

  7. Savor The Now: I think too much about the future. Sure, it's important to worry about money and day care and college and what's for dinner; however, while my sights are set ahead, there are three little people at my feet. They are growing like weeds and they will never be this age again. We will never have these moments back. I need to focus my gaze downward and lock in. It's time to start being present and living in the now. Let it all go and see what unfolds.

  8. Adjust My Idea of Perfection: I've written about mommy guilt once and I've thought about it a million times more. One of my most important resolutions for 2014 is to adjust my idea of perfection. I need to realize that what I'm doing for my bunch is the right thing to do because I think so, not because a magazine told me or a friend did it that way or it's popular opinion. I am desperate for my children to grow up without the pressure of societal perfection and I think step one to reaching that goal is to release the burden I place on myself. Life should be what makes you happy, and the box would be pretty full if everyone had to fit in it, right?

The trick of these eight resolutions is that I can accomplish them all. Easily. By focusing on these tasks at hand I can be a better mom and a better person. I don't want to be the mom on the pages of Parenting magazine, or the mom at the park, or the mom down the street. Plain and simple, I want to be a better version of myself. Now seems like a good time to start.

Wednesday marks a blank state. What kind of parent do you want to be this year?
What kind of person do you want to be this year?

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Unknown said...

Love this list. I need to work on all these things as well.

Jessica Bauer said...

Thanks, Karen! I figured a few of them just might be universal. :) Happy New Year to you and yours. See you soon!

Unknown said...

Good list. I always wanted 3 kids, but after 2, I realized I was not able to safely handle 3. Kudos to you for staying sane lol

Jessica Bauer said...

Sane is relative, Ashley!!! And I'm sure going to try harder to get there in 2014. :) Thanks so much and thanks for offering the link-up. It's been fun to read everyone's lists.