I now understand why January is full of messages of lighter living and organization. Our family has had a great winter holiday! Rich food weighs us down, sleeping-in and late night fun put our kids off bedtime schedule, we have great new toys to explore, and enjoyed family visits. But all this fun has wrecked havoc on our lives and bodies–is there such a thing as too much fun? My house is a giant “before” picture. But now we are back to real life–back to school, work and schedules. Time to set some goals:
1). Eat right;
3). Keep the house cleaner;
4). Cook nutritious meals.
Same resolutions every year that fall by the wayside in February. Try again:
1). Cure picky-eater-ness;
2). End sibling bickering;
3). Enforce good table manners.
Now I’m just dreaming.
I have so much to learn in 2012. Starting with striving to make our mornings smoother. I have schedules posted all over the house, bans on T.V. during the week, and when I am really on my game–both breakfast and lunch made before the kids get up. Yet every morning it feels like a race to the finish with a lot of cajoling to get everyone out the door. It makes for a stressful start of the day and I wish I could figure out what key ingredient I am missing to fix the situation.
Next, I need to learn how to take my kids (all with different skill levels) biking safely: an 8-year-old with a brand new mountain bike, a 4-year-old daredevil on a balance bike and a hesitant 4-year-old on a trike who longs to catch up with the other two but is not confident enough to try. If you can imagine me running around the neighborhood after this crew, dodging speeding cars, then you can understand my need for a new plan.
Finally, I need to figure out new and interesting ways to teach my boys their letters and numbers. They attend a fabulous play-based preschool and are learning social skills everyday and kindergarten requirements somewhat by osmosis. However, September is fast approaching and while we have a great (but competitive) elementary school, I feel the need to catch them up a bit so they go into kindergarten as prepared as any other kid.
What this really comes down to is learning how to accept and thrive in the challenge of:
1). how to be a great parent to an 8-year-old girl and two four-year-old (almost five!) boys;
2). learning how to balance the talents, needs, and desires, of everyone in the family so that my husband and I can reach our full parenting potential.
My goals all relate back to one thing “I” need to accomplish for success in my family. So I have chosen a word of the year to help me keep it all in the front of my mind: LEARN. I need to learn new skills in both parenting and time management in order to be a great parent this year and fulfill my goals. Do you have new year’s goals for yourself or your family?
Leslie H. is a freelance writer and parent to three great kids (two happen to be twins).