Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A Mom's New Year's Resolutions

Like most moms, I juggle motherhood, work and lots of other commitments – but the one that matters most to me is being a mom. And while I think I’m a pretty good mom most days, I know that often in the day-to-day bustle I’m not always the kind of mom I’d like to be. So as we begin the New Year, here are my 2009 resolutions:

 1.      To not rush through story time and our good night rituals – no matter how tired I am or how long the day has been. Sometimes I focus too much on all the things that I have waiting for me after the kids are in bed – and I forget to enjoy the special magic of bedtime snuggles and end-of-the-day hugs.

2.      To not get irritated with the children for things that really are my fault. When we’re late in the mornings, it’s usually because I hit the snooze alarm too many times, not because the kids are dawdling. So even though they may be distractible and need a few reminders before we can finally leave the house, it’s really only an issue because I was already running late. It’s myself I’m irritated with even as I’m snapping at the kids, so my 2009 resolution is to remember where my irritation really belongs and to be less snappy with my children.

3.      To let my kids act their ages – even if it means tolerating more noise and chaos than I might prefer and letting things happen on a different schedule than I might choose.

4.      To yell less often. It never really solves anything, and it doesn’t even make me feel better.

5.      To say yes more often than I say no.

6.      To really pay attention when my kids talk to me – and to hear both what is spoken and what is left unsaid.

7.      To remember that curiosity means children are eager and ready to learn. In the midst of what seems like thousands of questions or after one of the kids has gotten into something, it’s easy to forget that this is the way they learn. I want to encourage their curiosity – which means more practice at taking deep breaths.

8.      To always treat my children with the same courtesy and respect that I would show an adult. I want to teach them that it’s possible to use power and authority in kind and compassionate ways, and I want them to learn that everyone – no matter what their status or age – is worthy of respect.

9.      To show my children how to manage anger and frustration with self control. I know that my children will pay far more attention to what I do than to what I tell them. So if I tell them they need to be calm and use their words when they’re upset, then I need to do the grown-up version of that and express my feelings in respectful and calm ways.

10.  And maybe most of all, I want to be the person my children think I am. My children are still young enough to believe that I am one of the best people they know – and I want to be worthy of that adoration.


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