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6 Realistic New Year’s Resolutions for mum
Happy New Year. It’s that time of the year, we all make resolutions that we soon forget about. These resolutions are often everything from going on a strict diet to becoming the perfect mom. How about you do it a little differently this year and actually make resolutions that work for you, so it’s easier to stick to them.
Here are our six attainable resolutions new mums should adopt.
1. Create an easy daily routine you can live with.
Mornings, especially the school ones, are the most stressful for mums. First you have the cranky toddler who you coerce using the TV to have breakfast. Then there is the whole choosing of what they want to wear, dragging their feet when it’s time to brush teeth. It’s all so exasperating that by the time you look up, they are running late and you are already late.
Solution: Get your kids accustomed to an easy daily routine that is balanced and realistic. Most people can’t accomplish more than 1-3 meaningful things in a day (source Living Your Legend). Don’t schedule more than you can both manage, set aside 2 hours each Sunday to plan your week. This way you can schedule the important work and family things. Routines also give children a feel of security and helps them develop self-discipline and reduces your role as a referee. Who knows, with this, you might actually start leaving the house on time too.
2. Nannies are Human too, they are not perfect.
“Mama, diapers zimeisha na pia wipes, nilisahau kuandika,” (Mama, we have run out of diapers and wipes too, I forgot to add them to the shopping list). Unless you have a super nanny, these words or similar ones have met you at the door as you haul an armload of your weekly shopping. Before you flip, remember you can’t do it all, nannies are human too. They also have personal issues to deal with, that you have no idea of.
Word from the wise, if you have a nanny that does 80% of her job well, then don’t dwell on the 20%. This year, Shed off your ‘supermum super human mentality’, its ok to leave some things undone. It will help you appreciate the mum experience more.
3. It’s ‘Parenting’ not ‘Babysitting’
‘I am babysitting,’, ‘Today he is babysitting’. We hear it all the time and sometimes we say it too, when daddy is in charge. News flash, if the baby is yours its parenting. Say it till it sticks. This is vital in your child’s relationship with the father. A Fathering expert Dr. Kyle Pruett wrote; fathers have a distinct style of communication and interaction with children.
By eight weeks of age, infants can tell the difference between their mother’s and father’s interaction with them. This diversity, in itself, provides children with a broader, richer experience of contrasting relational interactions.
4. Sometimes, even if it is against your nature, take the high road
I once sat with a group of my mum friends and we all seemed to have the same story. At least twice a day they found themselves shouting to getting their point across at home. It would be unrealistic to resolve to never lose your temper, especially when it feels like no one is listening.
Whether it’s with the errant child, the dad who never seems to get it right or the nanny who finishes all the diapers and doesn’t tell you until you get home. Make a pact with yourself to try and take a deep breathe or count to 10 when you feel you are about to lose it.
Always best to improve your argument as opposed to raising your voice. You don’t have to win every argument. Also when you are wrong, promptly admit it with head held high, ego intact.
5. Get some ‘Me Time’ even if it’s in the shower
Because if mama is happy, everyone is happy. Whether it’s your monthly pedicure, girls’ night out (no this does not include talking about your nannies all night), connecting with your partner, put it in your calendar.
It’s also important to set aside a few minutes each day to decompress. This could be sleeping, maybe watching a mind-numbing soap opera or checking funny memes on your phone, if it keeps you sane, do it. Be kind to yourself- You don’t have to have it all figured out. Parenting is trial and error.
6. Outside of the babies, there is still you.
With children, it’s easy to lose yourself and forget about your own aspirations in life (Designing Your Life). It could be a short term goal like learning how to play a guitar to a long- term personal goal of travelling the world and starting a blog, write it down. According to a study done by Dominican University of California psychology professor Dr. Gail Matthews, people who wrote down their goals accomplished more than those who did not. It’s important to imagine what each New Year will bring, even if it doesn’t work out your way. Remember your dreams are valid.
NB- For all the above, Practice or try as many times as possible until you get better. The goal is improvement, not perfection.