Ok. So there are a TON of articles floating around the Interwebs about New Year’s resolutions for parents. I’ll sum them up for you right here: Be more present. Act more patient. Don’t yell. Make more Pinterest crafts. Be a better wife/husband. Cook healthier meals. Keep a clean house. Set aside more “you” time. Stay off of: social media, your phone, your computer, your tablet and every other digital device. Say “yes” more. Be stern. Be kind. Be everything. To everybody.
As a parent, I want to achieve some of these things too, but…I don’t see me staying the course. And failure, my friends, is not an option this year. So, I am instituting some of my own, more reasonable and achievable – albeit lame – series of New Year’s Resolutions. I may not win any Mom of the Year Award with any of these, but if I can stick to them, my life will no doubt become infinitely better than it was before. In 2015, I resolve to:
1. Apply my age-defying eye cream. Every. Damn. Day.
Husband says it’s a gimmick. I say I’ll never know if I don’t use as directed.
2. Take a shower every morning.
If you have early risers like I do, either you get up at the butt crack of dawn to take a shower. Or, after you’ve had your first cup of coffee and nervous breakdown, and you send off whomever is of school age, you sit the rest of them in front of the big magic box while you pull yourself together and clean up your act. Generally I shower every day, but not always in the morning. Why? 1) because I don’t like butt cracks and 2) I like to pretend that I don’t use TV as a babysitter. Sometimes, showers happen right before husband arrives home from work to show that I do indeed have some self-respect. Other times, 5 minutes before I need to pick up the boys from the bus stop so the driver doesn’t think I’m a total loser. But a shower in the morning – now THAT is a game changer. It not only provides some motivation to not be a total slug, it also stops the UPS guy from cringing when he delivers my jumbo box of Pampers Sensitive Baby Wipes from Amazon.
3. Have fewer PJ days.
Having the occasional pajama day is great, but we’ve been having WAY too many around here. So many, in fact, that when I ask my children to put on daytime clothes, they look at me incredulously and ask “Why? WHY!?” Why indeed, I say. But it’s time to show that we too conform to societal norms.
4. Not to cry over spilled milk.
Literally. I cry (or yell) when my children spill milk. Or anything else for that matter. My husband is famous for telling this story from when we first started dating about how he spilled a glass of water on the rug in my apartment and I went into panic mode, racing into the kitchen like I was on fire and returning with a cloth to start sopping up his mess. He claims to this day that I even yelled, “Water on the rug!” as if I was screaming “Fire in the hole” to a line of marines. And still, he married me. Lucky guy.
5. Keep my kitchen island clear of things which do not belong on a kitchen island so we may actually use it for its intended purpose.
No one can sit here.
6. Serve frozen chicken only once per week.
7. Stop lamenting my advanced maternal age.
I can no longer say I’ll turn 40 someday. It’s happening. This year. I have four children: ages 9, 5, 3 and 6 months, and there are times, usually when I am applying my age-defying eye cream, that I torture myself by calculating what my age will be at certain stages of my children’s lives. Sure, I’ll only be 48 when my oldest graduates high school. But for my youngest? I’ll be f’ing 57 years old. That’s way more than halfway to dead, people. These are usually the times when I turn to my husband and ask: What the hell have we done? Then I look at the young, innocent faces of my beautiful children and think, we better get that Last Will and Testament notarized. But I have to stop this. Have to. Forty is the new 20, right? In that case, I’ll only be 38 when my youngest graduates high school. Sweet!
8. Stop lying to my kids
Oh I’ll still lie about the big things: like Santa Claus and the overall quality of their artwork. But it’s the little lies that really count. Like when we all sit down in the dining room for lunch and they ask why I have potato chips and they have carrot sticks. “I ate my carrot sticks just now in the kitchen.” Lie. Or when I tell them they’ll get sick from a bite of my chocolate protein bar because it is specially formulated for adults. Lie. Or when I tell my three-year-old that no, you absolutely can’t watch Doc McStuffins – AGAIN – because she, her big freakin’ book of booboos, and cast of freak toy friends are on vacation. Bold. faced. lie. It’s got to stop.
9. Buy myself something. Anything.
A pair of underwear. A tube of mascara. A jar of body glide so I’ll start running again. The bar is low here. But no, a stock pot from the local discount home goods store doesn’t count. Even if it is stainless steel.
10. Drink more.
I’m not talking about water. Wine. Yummmm. Alcohol. Delicious. More beer! I haven’t imbibed much since the baby was born almost 7 months ago. This needs to happen.
11. Wash my kitchen floor once a month.
This would be a huge improvement. HUGE.
12. Exercise twice a month.
As long as I eat…nothing, this should help me achieve my fitness goals. Bonus resolution: I will not post the details of my workouts on social media.
13. Make tons of evening dentist appointments.
Sometimes it’s more pleasant to have my teeth scraped with a sharp, metal instrument than deal with bedtime.
14. Throw away the Play Station.
Honest. I think that’s all it would take. Just one little follow through on one of my big. empty. threats. In 2015, I am going to give away all their stuff to little kids that clean up and take care of their things. Or, I really will leave them home alone if they refuse to put on their shoes. Or throw out the Play Station if they keep bickering. Or make them take an ice cold shower if they don’t leave hot water for anyone else. Or put them in the dark basement send them to bed with no dinner eat all their candy make them sit in a naked timeout. Wow. I am really f’ing mean. (Note to self: I can resolve to be nicer in 2016.)
15. Make fewer trips to Target.
I love to buy bins and baskets and then put stuff in them. Mostly kids crap that I don’t want them to use anymore but crap I don’t want to throw away either. I am like a moth to the fire in the storage section at Target. So I just can’t go.
16. Cook the food that I buy or buy the food that I cook
Two nights ago, I put a package of frozen, thin-sliced turkey cutlets in the refrigerator to thaw. They are still there. And every time I open the refrigerator, I look at them and think “WTF am I going to do with thin-sliced turkey cutlets?” Kids aren’t going to eat those. In two more days, I will throw them away.
17. (Step 1) Write things down on my calendar. (Step 2) Look at calendar to see what I’ve written down.
Step 2 is new for 2015 and will hopefully help me improve my attendance record.
18. Finish painting our kitchen.
We started in 2004.
19. Find the cause of my husband’s snoring.
Then, eliminate it.
20. Sleep through the night at least once a week.
I haven’t slept in 9 years. And when you have 4 kids, someone is always awake. Please let 2015 be the year of sleep. Sleep will make me a kinder, gentler more normal person.