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Challenge: Parenting Resolutions

The 6 Resolutions I Already Know I Won’t Keep

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Rachel Anne's Photography

Photo By: Rachel Anne's Photography

I know how bad that sounds, but at least I am being honest. The reason I know my resolutions will fall by the wayside is because they are the same ones I commit to every single year and guess what? I don’t keep them.

Is it because I am lazy? No. Is it because I don't have enough willpower? Partially. Is it because I just want peace and quiet in my life and will do whatever it takes to make everyone happy? Absolutely!

Let’s face it, when you are married and/or have children, your resolutions are almost always going to affect your family in one way or another. This is why it is so hard for me to keep mine (that's what I like to tell myself). Even though there are a lot of things I would love to and need to change in my life, it always comes back to how my family will react to these modifications, good or bad.

I think the best way to explain this is to share what my usual resolutions are and why they usually don't last more than 24 hours:

1. Stop Stressing So Much — Sounds easy enough, right? Not if you are me and have an internal worry beast that gets the biggest kick out of making you sick to your stomach over every little thing. I seriously cannot relax. I don't mean sleep, either. I'm talking about fixating on things I have no control over and actually getting super upset, angry, sad, sorry, scared, or _____ (fill in the dramatic emotion) about whatever imaginary disaster is causing me the stress at that particular moment.

The only thing I can do is continue putting it on my resolution list every year so that my husband and kids can, at the very least, see that I am completely aware of what a whacko I can be. If my three children were truly concerned, though, they could dramatically reduce my stress by doing whatever I ask of them, listen to every word I speak to them, and tell me how much they love me every day and night without a shrug or eye roll. Ya right! Remember when I said how these resolutions fade right off the paper as soon as I write them down?

2. Yell Less — This goes hand in hand with #1, so until I can get my irrational and very embarrassing stress under control, #2 will always remain a struggle. Wait, that didn't sound right, did it?

3. Stop Saying Yes to Everything — This is a big one for me and every year I tell myself that this is going to be the year I learn to say, “No.” The reason that this resolution never lasts can be traced to the internal dialogue always racing through my head, such as:

  • "If I say no and never volunteer at school, who are the teachers going to have helping them when they need extra hands during special events?"
  • "Who is going to help with my children's fundraising efforts, both in and out of school?"
  • "Who is going to help the dedicated staff at our church with all the wonderful activities they do for the kids?"
  • "What will my clients think of me if I say no to their article requests because I need to spend more time working on my own?"

I am certainly not implying that I am the only one who does these things for others because there are a lot of amazing parents and community members who volunteer way more than I do. I am simply showing you how yet another resolution always comes back to bite me because if I start saying no and everyone else does, too, what will happen? I don’t have the guts to find out, so with a big fat fake smile, I say, “Of course, I'll help!”

4. Exercise Faithfully — Who am I kidding? This doesn’t affect anyone. I just hate it, so I always find it surprisingly easy to quit every year.

5. Write More — I always resolve to write a lot more than I did the previous year, but that means more time on the laptop. If I were to stick to this goal, the kids would only be able to speak with me via email and some people might consider that bad parenting.

6. Spend More Time in the Kitchen — When my husband and I first got married and I dreamt of what I would be like as a mother, I envisioned standing in a perfectly pressed apron in my impeccably clean and beautiful kitchen cooking huge suppers every night, but only after baking delectable cookies that would be ready for after-school snacks. Then, I actually had kids! It’s not that I can’t hold my own in the kitchen, it’s that I don’t have the time right now and quite honestly, I don't find it enjoyable in the least bit! Stupid dreams.

Besides, if I start overexerting myself and baking goodies nonstop, my family would become super unhealthy and that would lead to an even longer list of resolutions for next year that we already know I won't keep.

How about you? What resolutions do you make year after year that you just can't seem to keep?

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