I love New Year’s resolutions! I love the thought of new beginnings and working towards improvement. What usually happens, though, is I make my list of all the things that I want to accomplish in the New Year and then life happens. I never have finished my list for any year. Most of the time, I do not even cross a handful off of the list. So, this year, I decided to do things a little differently.
First, I did not wait until January 1st to start my list or my resolutions. I actually started about a month before the “magical” new beginning. I had noticed two things that I wanted to focus on and I started that day to make the change. Yes, I missed the tradition of cozying up on the couch with my pen and paper and making the long list of “plans” on New Year’s Day, but I also have already benefited greatly from my changes. The point is, there is really no special “magic” about New Year’s. You do not have to wait until January 1 of any year to make changes. It could happen on a random Tuesday in November and that is OK.
Second, my list is a great deal shorter than years gone by. Instead of long flowing lists filled with the best of intentions, my “list” this year has just two items. In the past, my lists included many things that I wanted to change about myself which would benefit or improve the person I am. Lose 10 pounds, exercise more, save more money, etc. Do not get me wrong, these are fantastic goals to have, but for me the focus is a little different this year. Both of the items on my list require changes in me, but the benefits are for my children. Yes, my two resolutions are parenting resolutions. So, here it goes.
Resolution #1: “I love you, no buts about it”.
I love my children hands down without qualification. I may not and often don’t, quite like everything they do or every choice they make. However, this does not change the fact that I love them always. However, I had caught myself in a very nasty habit. My boys are quite mischievous and rambunctious. I would say “I love you, Jackson, but you need to calm down” or “I love you, Nate, but you really need to eat more of your dinner”. I realized that while I was trying to reassure them that I loved them even while setting limits, my words were saying that my love was a bit conditional. So, I decided this would be my first change. No more “buts” about it! So, now it is “I love you, Daniel, and you need to stop running”. By starting off just changing one word, I allowed time to “catch myself” and change the wording. Ok, so maybe this is not a large, extravagant, mind-blowing change. However, I have stuck to it and definitely feel better that my words now match my feelings of love without qualification.
Resolution #2: “Take Time to Marvel”
I don’t mean Marvel Avengers or the new Captain America (although they will, without a doubt, take some of my time this year). What I do mean, is to take time to marvel at my children or see the magic of everyday moments through their eyes. I pride myself on being an efficient person. Let’s get done what has to be done in a timely and effective manner. My children fall very far from this branch of the tree. My Daniel does not get in a hurry. He is laid back and takes note of many things that I miss by rushing through the day. So, my resolution is to take the time to marvel at each of my children every day. Now, this does not mean that I will say “look at my little Einstein, he is so smart”, but more like “wow, how does he even make those environmental sounds when playing with his Halo men”. What I have found so far is that the smallest, most easily missed “marvels” make great conversation starters with my children and have resulted in a great deal of smiles.
So, there you go! This is my quest for the upcoming year. They are definitely mole hills compared to previous years, but they have resulted in mountainous returns. What are your New Year’s resolutions? I would love to hear about them!
If your New Year includes concerns about your baby’s or toddler’s development, remember, Babies Can’t Wait! Contact the Parent Education –Infant Development Program of the RACSB: http://www.racsb.state.va.us/