Everybody loves the clean state of a brand-new year. No matter what motherhood blunders you made over the past 12 months (from not getting your kids to eat more veggies to using your iPhone through family dinners), that was then – it was the past and this is now; a fresh start. As a mother, you have a fresh opportunity to make a promise to be a better, more patient, imaginative and present mother. There’s nothing else more important, right?
As Mark Twain once put it, the New Year, “is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual.” Of course, it’s extremely common for New Year’s Resolutions to be made and broken – not only are they well-intentioned, they’re short-lived too. However, this year, try to take a step back from things and make a resolution that will positively impact yours, your kids’ and your family’s life as a whole.
Here’s a look into some of the most common New Year’s Resolutions that are made by mums and may help you make your own:
7 I Won’t Keep Saying “Don’t” and “No” to My Kids
One of the most common New Year’s Resolutions that mothers make involves reducing how often they use the words “don’t” and “no.” What this means is that they will probably say things like, “Please be kind to your younger sister” instead of “Don’t talk to her that way.” The best part about this resolution is that it will go a long way in terms of enhancing the relationship you share with your kids – with this resolution in mind; you’ll no longer be the source of negative reminders for your kids.
You'll only say ‘don’t’ and ‘no’ for important reasons, which will make it stick more considering that you’ll stop barraging them with don’ts all the time. Saying a straight ‘no’ or ‘don’t’ is rather harsh for your precious angel. Most importantly, if they continue to hear no and don’t all the time from you, there’s a good chance that he will lose confidence and faith in you as a parent.
Even if you don’t approve your child’s action, it’s better to give them options. For instance, instead of saying “No shouting,” say something more polite like “Talk softly, please.”
There are better ways of doing things
Yes, there are better ways to deny or discipline your child other than saying “don’t” and “no.” Saying these words all the time can breed resentment and may even plant seeds for future rebellion. Instead of using these words, say something more polite and make sure that you add in a “please” so your child can learn using it too by example.
6 I’ll Stop Worrying About Work and Spend More Time with My Kids Each Day
This resolution is particularly for working mothers. When you make this resolution, you’ll stop checking your email after 6 pm, set aside all your day’s tasks, responsibilities and hassles and just be there with your kids to spend quality time with them. The computer got enough of your attention all day – it’s time for you to have fun with your kids now.
While you are at it, you need to stop focusing on how many minutes a day you can spend with your kids on a regular basis. Instead, you should think of the ways in which you can turn those moments into cherished memories. At times, you could compensate for having such a small amount of time with your kids by scheduling ‘quality time’ with them.
An afternoon at the movies, dinner at a local restaurant, breakfast with the family – get it? Most interestingly, quality time may occur when you least expect it. Although an afternoon at the movies will be fun, you may even end up having lots of fun in the car on the way to dance practice.
Dinner at home can be special too
Dinner at home is extremely special as it is, but you can make it even more fun for your kids by basing the meal on themes. For instance, you can have taco night, pancake night, Chinese night, pizza night or egg night. Do things that would excite your kids – let them have fun. When they leave the house in the morning, be sure to remind them, "Taco night tonight!" They'll look forward to it all day.
5 I’ll Have More Faith in Myself as a Mom
This is an extremely important New Year’s resolution as it’s associated with your self-esteem. Instead of worrying about what others have to say or think about your parenting skills, you should have faith in yourself as a mother – you’re the only one who knows your children best and you know what’s best for them. All you have to do is take a step back and see what beautiful children you have been blessed with – and he wasn’t born this way; it was your love and your parenting skills that made him what he is today.
When people think of ‘good parenting skills,’ most of them expect there’s some sort of a magical formula that’s used by people who wish to raise ‘perfect’ kids. To be honest, it’s just a matter of common sense in a majority of cases together with a positive attitude, a passion to succeed as a parent, to go with your gut feelings and to trust your better judgment.
There are billions of people on this planet, each with as many opinions on raising children – if you continue worrying about what they think of you or what they have to say, you’re in for nothing but disaster.
Your family is unique
You, your kids, your entire family are unique, one of a kind and special – there’s no one like you all. As a mother and wife, only you truly understand your family’s needs and wants and know what’s best for everyone in your household. There’s no ‘one size fits all’ solution to bringing up kids – and whatever you do as a mother is just plain wonderful!
4 I’ll Communicate More with All of My Children
Your children should never have to be afraid to speak with you. Irrespective of the topic they want to discuss, even if they’ve made a huge mistake or messed up really badly, they should not be scared of discussing it with you due to fear that you’ll hate them or close the door on them. You need to give them unconditional love and this particular New Year’s resolution is just what is going to help you out with this.
Yes, there may be consequences and you may at times feel disappointed, but you need to let your kids know that you will always be there for them. After all, you’re their mother and if they cannot believe in your love for them, whose love and support can they or should they believe in? For this reason, promise yourself that you will spend more time with your kids this year and speak to each of them individually.
No, your conversations should not be limited to problems like failing grades. Instead, interact with your children daily, share a smile, tell him a story and maybe even have a meal together. Your kids deserve your time and when you give it to them, you can rest-assured that they will start having even more faith in your love.
A few tips
With this resolution in mind, talk to your children every day even if you do it for just a few minutes. While you’re at it, make sure there are no distractions – put away your phone, turn off your laptop and just focus on your kids.
3 I’ll Help My Child Work on His Social Skills
This resolution is for mothers who have kids that are more on the shy side. This New Year’s, promise yourself that you’ll play an even more active role in helping your child be successful not just academically, but socially too. School isn’t just about getting good grades – it’s also a place where children learn how to get on with others and learn about developing friendships.
As long as your child is happy in school with the friends he makes, he will be able to better focus on his studies. When he has good relations with the others at school, he will actually want to be there to be a part of things. If you think that school is all about academics and not at all about your child’s social life, then you’re definitely mistaken.
What can you do this year to help your child with his social skills? To begin with, you need to set a few rules and follow through with consequences if required. You also need to develop your child’s ability to think of others, put himself in their shoes and become a bit more sensitive. It’s also necessary for you to establish basic rules of conduct that involve: no biting, kicking, hitting, and hurting others through our words and no spitting.
Help him become independent
Children, for some reason, become more confident in their abilities when they feel as if they’re gaining skills and becoming self-sufficient. When this happens, you’ll notice your child’s self-esteem taking off. Help your kid add to his skills and become proactive in terms of adding to his responsibilities as well.
2 I’ll Be a Great Mother AND Wife
If you haven’t been able to give much time to your partner because of your kids, then you need to promise yourself this year that you will not give all your time to being a good mom – that you will save some of your time to share with your amazing partner too. The best part about taking this initiative is that it will give your kids an excellent example of a healthy and loving marriage that will hopefully help them feel even more blessed, confident and secure.
To move forward with this resolution and to figure out how wonderfully you are doing as a mother and a wife, it’s highly recommended you ask your kids and your partner every so often how they think you are doing as a parent and/or partner. Question them on how they want you to improve, but when you do so, make sure that you listen with open ears.
Take it this way; maybe your questions will someday inspire them to ask you the same about themselves. Also, if your partner or kids share a wish with you, take it on yourself to make room for that wish in your life. Share dreams with each other as a family!
Plan a romantic getaway
Spend a romantic evening with your partner to keep the passion alive in your marriage. Most importantly, this will help your kids learn how to have fun without their parents around all the time. For the evening, rekindle your love and just focus on having fun with the man you said “I do” to.
1 I’ll Be More Patient Towards My Kids
If truth be told, just about every mommy out there makes this promise to herself every now and then. But this New Year’s, you’ll make this resolution and stick to it. Tell yourself that you’ll stop snapping at your kids at the end of the day and that you’ll refrain from making ridiculous threats just because you’ve had a busy day and want to relax.
While you are at it, it’s also necessary for you to give yourself a break. If you spend a lot of time with your kids, then there’s a good chance you don’t get a moment to ‘refuel’ yourself. In such a case, you’ll definitely run out of patience one day. When you become angry, you won’t be able to make rational decisions like any other human – that strong emotion will block your rationality.
If you find yourself losing patience with your kids, make sure that you get someone else to look after them for a while and just cool off for a bit. Remember, it takes around 30 minutes for the body to fully calm down once you become angry, so take the time and wind down.
If you’ve had just about enough with your kids, try to switch your focus for a moment and focus on your breathing. Breathe in – breathe out. While you are at it, try to extend and lengthen the out-breath. Do this a few times while counting to ten to give your body a little time to calm down.