Every day for the last two months I start the day writing down goals as if they have already happened. One of my most important goals is to say I am an exceptional mother. To say it as if it’s already happened tricks your brain into believing it, instead of wishing it. Most days I do believe it, but occasionally after a rough day, a stomach bug, or too much TV I do start to question how I could be better.
One of my favorite quotes to live by right now is one I heard from Rachel Hollis, hope is not a strategy. I can hope for so many things, but if I don’t take action, it’s not going to happen.
For as long as I can remember I have been a resolutions girl, and while most of them are forgotten by February 1st, these 5 about my babies are ones I want to be sure to take with me through all of 2019. So instead of hoping, I’m going to tell you about my plans for 2019 and put steps in place to ensure I feel like an exceptional momma every day moving forward.
Linc and Lulu – here are my 2019 promises to you. Help hold me accountable and know that I might slip from time to time but everything I do is out of love for the two of you.
I promise to:
Let them be little. they are only babies. They will make messes, mistakes, cry, whine and get on my last nerve, but right now that’s their job. I want them to explore every corner of the house, the park, and the library. I want to see them giggle at the little things, I want to hold them when they need a hug or a good cry, and I want to offer them comforts that may seem questionable. Lulu is a binky girl, and normally, binky’s are reserved only for bed and never in public. But when a serious boo-boo happens, or we have a few sick days in a row, you can bet I’m going to give her the binky as much as she wants. Is it the right thing to do – probably not, but she’s not yet two and she will always be my baby. She’s still a baby and if she needs it, who am I to take it away from her? I know not all my habits are great. I can’t expect more out of her than I expect out of myself, so sometimes she gets a binky and I’m sure there will come a time when Linc gets something that he should have “outgrown”, but for now, I’m going to let them be little.
Put social skills over academic skills. It’s ok if my baby can’t read. It’s ok if they prefer Elmo on TV better than Elmo in a book. But I do want my babies to say hi and bye, to be able to express emotions, to see people around them and interact, and to go to all the classes and explore and be open and comfortable with making friends. This is something I picked up from Bringing Up Bebe and I really believe in it. I’m shy and quiet and afraid of everything, and I don’t want my kids to ever feel that way. So, before they get in an environment that can keep the shy kids shy, I want to guide them to put themselves out there. To try all the things, to climb to the top, to talk to strangers at Target, to smile and be friendly and to not run away when someone comes to our house. I want to raise kind tiny humans. We read together every night and they go to story time almost daily, so I know those academic skills will come, but for now, we are focusing on the social.
Keep consistency and routines top of mind. When we just had Lulu, we put her in the bucket and took her everywhere. Dinner at 8, sure. Want to see a movie, you bet. Driving 2 hours on a Friday night to see family, why not? Her routine was flexible and easy, and she went with the flow. When we added Linc, we found out Lulu does need a schedule. She’s happier and more at ease when she gets 2 naps a day, and consistent bedtime in her own bed, in her own room, is key. And Linc thrives on those same things. Luckily, they are close enough in age that they can keep very similar schedules, but we know the schedule is key. And consistency in the way we do things is important too. Eating lunch and dinner at consistent times, means the kids are more well behaved. We have a consistent bedtime routine. We have a consistent morning routine, and we are trying really hard in 2019 to have a consistent discipline routine. At almost 2, Lulu understands no, and she says it us often. She knows not to stand on tables, throw her food on the floor, or dance on the fireplace, but right now these are her favorite things. We’ve tried timeouts, and for her age, I’m not thrilled with the process, so I 2019, I plan to research and try a few other discipline techniques and also be sure I’m consistent in my messaging. I can’t let her get away with it sometimes and not others. As I know that just breeds confusion and her continuing to test me. No Drama Discipline is on the top of my reading list and I’ve tried 1-2-3 Magic, anything else you’ve tried that works?
Not to yell. I do not want to be a yeller. I don’t react well to people yelling at me, so there is no reason for me to yell at my kids. I must hold myself to a higher standard than I hold them. So, I may talk loudly, or I may ask more times than seems necessary, but I do vow to not yell at my kids.
Remember that housework can wait. I was on vacation between Christmas and New Year’s. I spent the whole week and a half cleaning and feeling like I would never be done. I did 100 loads of laundry, I vacuumed the kitchen floor 6 times a day, I picked up toys as soon as the kids were done with them for 2 seconds, and I made beds after every nap. Why did I do this? No one was coming over, our house isn’t on the market, and my husband isn’t a neat freak. I should have been spending more quality time with my sick babies, taking care of myself, and working on projects for Linc’s upcoming birthday party. I have a long enough to-do list without adding unnecessary items to it. I want my house in a place that I feel is always presentable, but I shouldn’t put that above the things that are most important. Maybe the new Netflix show Tidying Up can help me with that!
Have you set any parent resolutions for 2019? What do you want to do differently or better then you did in past years? Anything that you currently do that you swear by? Reach out and tell me what your 2019 looks like, I’d love to know!