The New Year has finally arrived. It’s an opportunity to reflect on the year passed and think about what we want to change. Here are 8 things we reckon we could all do with giving up this New Year!
May these New Year’s resolutions for parents help you enjoy your family all the more this year.
Saying ‘yes’ – learn to say ‘no’
As parents there are so many demands on our time and our energy.
We try to do everything. In the process we end up tired, frazzled and too busy to really enjoy anything properly.
We say ‘yes’ to every volunteer request, be it baking at the school fundraiser or helping at sports day.
We set up too many play dates, or agree to help out friends with their kids while they’re busy at work.
We take on too much work because we want to feel that we’re doing our best to be perfect.
Worrying never helps anything. It makes you miserable. It makes your child more nervous and fearful. And it can eat away at your sleep and your happiness.
It’s easier said than done, but make it your mission to try.
Visualise the worry away
One of the best strategies to stop worrying is to accept your worry and feel it but then move on.
Visualise it as a dark cloud that drifts away as you let it go. It can also help to write your worry down or say it out loud.
Distraction does help. If you find yourself drawn into a cycle of worrying, switch things up. Go for a run or pick up a craft or do a puzzle. Take your mind off it.
Ask the questions the gurus ask
Lifestyle gurus have put together this genius flow chart, where all roads lead back to one conclusion.
Do you have a problem? Yes, Can you do something about it? Yes – Then why worry?
Do you have a problem? – Yes. Can you do something about it? No. Then why worry?
So follow the gurus and stay worry-free.
Wave off guilt
Who was it that said a parent’s place is in the wrong? It certainly feels like that sometimes.
We’re often constantly worrying about what we do or don’t do. Or about what we should do but never seem to find the time.
We feel guilty about working too much or about not working enough.
We feel guilty about not having the perfect birth or about not being able to breastfeed when they’re babies.
We feel guilty about losing patience with the kids when they’re not listening or having tantrums.
And this is just to name a few…
The guilt eats away at us and doesn’t make anything better. If you can improve on something that you feel is lacking, then do.
Comparison is the thief of joy. It never makes you feel any better.
It’s human nature to look at the lives of other parents. To look at the behaviour and achievements of other children.
Or we can often find ourselves flicking through the perfect Instagram photos, which make us feel bad about our own ‘imperfect’ lives.
Remember you almost never get the full picture of someone’s life. There are things that you don’t know about, difficulties they’re having that they don’t tell anyone about.
So don’t compare. Your child is loved and happy. And that’s more important than any of the other polished images and adventurous exploits advertised on social media.
Give up trying to be perfect
This one goes hand in hand with parent resolution number 4. There’s no such thing as a perfect parent.
We’re all doing our best. We’ll all get it wrong from time to time. That’s life.
Unplug for a while
There’s no denying we live in a time when screens are part of everyday life. But too much screen time creates real distance between us all.
It means we talk less, focus on the present less and it can make us miserable if we get too addicted to them.
We’re all guilty of being glued to our phones and reacting instantly when they buzz to tell us we have a new notification.
And we all know how much older kids can get drawn into their screens. So much so that they are not present in real life.
Make it a vow that you will all put your phones and screens down more this year.
Build up to you all leaving your phones at home on family days out. If you’re very brave you can try a week of digital detox and see what effect it has on your daily life too.
Doing all the chores yourself
Sometimes it’s just quicker and easier to do everything yourself.
There’s always a mountain of chores and jobs around the house that need doing. It feels like nagging to ask your partner or kids to help out.
Often in the time you wait for them to do it, you could actually just do it yourself.
But if you do everything you start to feel like a sucker, exhausted and overworked. And often an unappreciated one at that.
It’s not unreasonable to ask your partner to do certain things to help. If you explain that doing it all is taking its toll on you, they can understand. Set out some simple tasks that you’d really like them to take on.
Kids can help out too, depending on their age. Even little things like stacking their plates in the dishwasher can make a big difference.
They could tidy up their toys each evening or help you fold the laundry.
Self sacrifice calls for self care
When you’re raising kids you often to put your own needs and wants at the back of the queue. You forget to take any time out to refresh and recharge.
A happy parent makes a happy child. If you neglect yourself then you can burn out. You end up feeling fed up and frazzled.
Make it your mission this year to make a little time for you.
We’re not talking about spending an entire week at a spa or leaving the kids to go on a yoga retreat in Thailand (although, if you get the chance and have a trusted babysitter, go).
We’re talking more about carving out a small sliver of time each day for self care.
Book a babysitter and go on that mum’s night out.
Put the kids to bed early and curl up with a book in front of the fire.
Do more of what makes you happy and makes you feel better.
Your kids will feel the benefit too when they see you happier.
May these New Year’s resolutions for parents help you lead a happier, more relaxed family life this year.
What will you ditch this New Year?
Let us know in our parent community forum Healthier happier moms
A community group of moms working towards a healthier and happier lifestyle.