Top 5 Ways I'll (try to) Be A Better Mom in 2012
I'm a pretty awesome mom. Ok, clearly I don't have self-esteem issues, but I'm not one of those moms who thinks they suck. By the same token, I'm not completely crazy and I know there is always some room for improvement in my parenting. So, instead of making resolutions that I'll never stick to, I figured I'd come up with a top 5 list of things I'd like to aim to do this year to make me a better mom. This way, if I don't do them, oh well - I didn't resolve to do them - I just never quite got around to it.
Without further ado --
1. Serve veggies at meals. I spent a few years as a single mom and there were certain things that became acceptable to me that weren't previously acceptable - like serving mac and cheese as an entire meal. With no veggies. You heard me. You wanna know the best part? I didn't even feel guilty about it. My little one loved it and I was thankful to have another meal down and a child with a full belly. Easy peasy. Except now there are two kids. And they are growing and they need nutrients and stuff. So I'm working on that. They had mac and cheese for dinner tonight - but I opened up a can of corn to go with it. Baby steps, people, baby steps.
2. Allow my kids to act their age. We have a 4 year old and a 5 year old and no one forgets that more often than I do. I mean, I know their ages for heaven's sakes, but sometimes I find myself totally puzzled at why my kids don't know things. For instance, today at the grocery store my daughter walked over to a display to grab a juice box (with permission) and she picked the one at the bottom of the pyramid. Guess what happened? Duh. They all collapsed and she stood there, looking totally shocked. The 2011 version of myself would have been flustered and frustrated - OBVIOUSLY if you pull something from the bottom they will all fall down. The 2012 version of myself looked at my sweet kiddo and realized, beyond a shadow of a doubt that she was totally shocked at what happened. So I laughed and hugged her. Together we picked them up. Today, my 4 year old learned a new lesson about gravity, and I learned a lesson in patience and allowing kids to be kids.
(An attempt at getting the kids in one place for a family photo.)
3. Ditch the Dictator. Sometimes when I'm in go-mode (go-mode: defined as a state of being one is in when one must get something major done - or lots of major things done - in a small amount of time. i.e. make lunches, find a missing shoe, brush my teeth and get out the door in 5 minutes flat so we can still be on time for school) I have this surreal out-of-body experience where I float above the crazy scene taking place and I realize - with a start - that I sound very dictatorish and bossy. Bossy I am, but a dictator? Never. I'd like it if everyone in my house at least pretended like we all have equal say over who is running the show. Even if we all really know it's me. Anyway, I'm going to work on my tone and remembering that this is a house, not an army barrack. And kids, if you're reading this 20 years from now I just want to say I love you and YOU'RE WELCOME.
4. Go device free after 6 pm every night. I'm so guilty of this one that I'm starting to feel guilty about the amount of time I spend feeling guilty about it. Basically it's this - I work from home - you know, like the rest of the world nowadays - and I spend a lot of time on devices. Phone, laptop, iPad - you name it. When something major happens, I've noticed that my first instinct is to take a photo and create a status update so that I can post it to Facebook. Good Lord, what is wrong with that sentence? How about documenting it for our own personal archives, not so that I can share it with the world and prove to everyone that my kids are the best? Seriously - since there is no competition in that domain anyway, I should just give it a rest. (insert mischievious grin here) Pray for me while I go through device detox.
5. Play more. I'm a great mom and all (see opening sentence, above) but I'll admit sometimes I stink at "play". Like, how am I supposed to play Barbies? Star Wars Guys? I meet Ken once for a spin in the convertible or have one light saber fight with Darth Vader and I feel totally accomplished - as if I've fulfilled my play for the year. Except the kids still ask for more. I will sheepishly admit that I'm old and have forgotten how to play. I think it might be worth rediscovering that in 2012 - for the sake of my kids as well as my own soul.
What are your not-so-resolute resolutions for 2012?