I do like setting New Year's Resolutions. I really do. I usually set them sometime between now and late January (where my birthday is), and then I officially start them on my birthday. I like the idea of starting my new goals at the beginning of MY new year, plus it gives me 3 weeks to ease in. Don't judge me; I am not Perfect Mom and becoming her will not be on my list of resolutions anyway.
Most resolutions are only for yourself, right? Lose weight. Save money. Read more. All totally within your control and power to make happen, minus the occasional interference by a chocolate enabler, of course. Cool. Doable. I got this. However, being by myself is a state that I am no longer familiar with, and so much of my self and day is wrapped up in being a mom. It is natural then that my resolutions would lean toward the parenting aspects of my life, which currently cover about all of my life. It's a bit of a pickle. (yummm...pickles.....be right back!)
OK, I'm back. Where was I? Ah yes; the problem with parenting resolutions is that other people are involved. I have almost 4 other people involved. 4 other people with very strong opinions about how they fit into my need to being a better parent. Last year's goals involved potty-training the boys, spending one-on-one time with each child, and establishing some sort of normal bed-time. I don't even want to go into how these went; they pretty much all fell apart by mid-March. 1 boy is potty-trained, they have all asked me to go away when I try to spend time with them, and bed-time is a war that would be better told by whoever wrote the Hurt Locker.
I suppose the trouble lies in not including them in the planning, so this year, I tried that. Here is what the children want to work on in 2014:
Super Kindergartener wants to "just be myself."
Super Preschooler wants to learn how to drive a monster truck. Gentle quires about potty training interest were met with, "No. Why? Diapers are easier."
Super Toddler would like some sausage. She got some and then totally lost interest in the conversation.
And from the little I speak fetus, I was able to ascertain that Super Fetus wants to kick me at 3 in the morning and never leave my womb.
Well, I suppose I have to research driving laws in Michigan and stock up on sausage, diapers, and chocolate. I am gonna need some if Super Fetus is camping out for the long haul. Good plan.
Here's the thing, like the real thing: What are resolutions for anyway? Super K. asked when Awkward Dad and I asked him what his was, so we defined it as a goal or plan to help you be a better person. How exactly does potty training and normal bed-times make me a better person? Do they? I don't know, as I have not really had them before, but I have a feeling that they don't. I have a feeling that they might make me less stressed out, but I also have a feeling that they are coming whether or not I write them on a fancy vision board that I hang over my desk. (Yes, I put my resolutions on a vision board over my desk. The fanciness is up to interpretation, but I think 2013's looks nice.)
Super K. did potty train eventually. I occasionally get time with each child where they aren't racing back to a sibling. And sleep does happen around here. Sometimes. None of this was on my time table, but considering that children don't even come on their due date most of the time, where the heck did I get it into my head that they do anything on my time table?
Let's look at this a different way. I have an oldest child with enough confidence and maturity to see that "just being myself" is a wonderfully appropriate new year's resolution. Esp. when the self we are talking about is a kind and thoughtful human being who is learning to read, enjoying his first year of school, and leading his merry band of siblings into deeper and deeper Star Wars knowledge. I have a middle child who is bold, strong, and fierce in defending his space and needs. He is utterly confident in who he is and not remotely affected by other people's pressure to change him. He will potty train when he is good and ready, and until then, he can wear a pull-up to preschool, as they are totally cool with it and not judgey about it. (At least to my face.) I have a spitfire toddler who eats everything, does everything, and I am pretty sure knows everything. She is fearless and probably won't ever need resolutions because all she would need to resolve is to "continue being awesome." I know that Super Fetus is happy in there, but science is against him/her and a birth will take place sometime in the late winter. Once again, I will be able to go more than 20 minutes without peeing, eat and drink with abandon, and sleep anyway that I please. On the rare occasions that I pee, eat, and sleep that is. Plus, I will have a Super Baby to cuddle and kiss. A baby that will be happily drawn into a sibling group as loving and riotous as a puppy pile.
This is what my parenting as so far wrought; 3 mostly happy and well-adjusted children who actually enjoy being together. Maybe I should resolve to "just be myself" this year. It appears to be working so far.
Awkward Mom wanted to resolve to "be more like Super K.," but someone already took that resolution.
Yes, it is an old picture, but come on!
This picture should live on forever for that hat alone.