Thursday, January 31, 2013

A Fifth 2013 Parenting Resolution

Cartoon Zombie
Just a few short weeks ago, I shared with you all my parenting goals for 2013.  Little did I know that something would suddenly pop and change my focus for this year.  The too much TV monster hit my home with a vengeance and caused me to have to respond swiftly and drastically.  You can read more about my 5th parenting resolution on Yahoo! Voices:

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

My Top 4 Parenting Resolutions for 2013

The last 2 years have been challenging for me and my family. Death, illness, and a difficult move, added to the normal strains and hurdles of everyday life, left us often worrying what other negative things could happen in the future. Now that 2013 has begun and life is starting to settle down, I am extremely eager to brush away the troubles of yesterday and start fresh in the new year.

For me, that new start begins with some reflection and resolutions for 2013. As a parent, I strive every day to grow and to try to be the best parent I can possibly be. Consequently, it is only logical for me to include parenting goals every year in my New Year’s resolutions. This year I want to focus on the following areas:

2013 Parenting Resolution #1: Have More Fun

First and foremost, I want to make sure I have more fun with my kids. Since I cyber school both of my kids and I am a stay-at-home mom, I spend lots of time with my children every day. However, in the last year or so, I’ve noticed that I don’t play with them nearly as much as I used to. Maybe it’s the added work of cyber schooling two this year. Or perhaps I have allowed the stress of the last couple years get the best of me. Or maybe having a chronic pain condition (fibromyalgia) has complicated things more than I anticipated. Either way, I vow to get up and move with my kids, laugh like there’s no tomorrow, and act silly until our sides hurt. I know my physical and mental health will thank me, and it will help make my family’s bond even stronger!

2013 Parenting Resolution #2: Get More Organized

Related to my first resolution, I hope to get more organized in 2013. Being more organized means more time to have fun with my son and daughter and a lot less stress for the whole family. No more spending hours rooting for lost items. No more wasting time arguing over who’s turn it is to do this or that. Without making life too rigid, I want to streamline daily tasks and ensure that everyone is completing everything they are supposed to be doing. The months before our move, I spent hours sorting through and condensing the things in our house. Now I want to make sure that everything left will have a designated place. And I want to do everything possible to make certain that we can use our time efficiently, leaving more time for fun family activities.

2013 Parenting Resolution #3: Don’t Take Myself So Seriously

It may seem counterproductive, but in 2013, I also want to quit taking myself so seriously. Perfection is impossible. We all make mistakes. There are only so many hours in a day, so we can’t accomplish everything we would like. We have bad days and little bumps in the road happen. My inner perfectionist is constantly there yapping and making me worry. However, stressing too much over the little things is bad for the health. It makes us feel angry with ourselves and grumpy--perhaps even pessimistic and a little depressed. It keeps up late worrying and overanalyzing, creating a pattern that can reduce our rest and make us more susceptible to colds and other illnesses. So, when my inner critic decides to rear her ugly head in 2013, I’m going to send her packing. Life is much too short and precious to be constantly worry over the could-have-beens, should-have-beens, and little mistakes!

2013 Parenting Resolution #4: Prioritize Me Time
Last but not least, I need to make me time a priority. This one I have failed miserably at since I first became a parent 7 years ago. I’ve read a hundred articles and have been told by many people that taking care of ourselves makes us better parents. A little me time every day can help us stay healthy, reduce our stress, and make us happier. Still, there’s a little voice inside of me that screams “Your kids should come first!” each and every time I try to make a little time for myself. What is it about prioritizing ourselves a little that makes us feel so horrible and as though we were committing some heinous, despicable crime against our children?

Whatever it is I am vowing here and now to ignore that accusing, guilt-inducing voice from now on! Yes, I am a mother, and it is my duty and honor to care for my family. Yes, I shouldn’t be selfish and put my happiness above everyone else’s. Nevertheless, there is a time and place for being a parent and then another for being a woman. If I give myself a little time daily to relax and unwind, I’ll sleep better and come back recharged and better prepared to be the mother my children need.

Now that I have shared some of my New Year’s resolutions, what are some of the things you hope to accomplish in 2013?