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Challenge: Parenting Resolutions

A Mother's Resolution

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It’s that time of year.

The time of year where everyone declares everything they will do better in 2016.

The time of year when people decide they are going to “Get fit!” and “Eat less!” and “Write a book!”. They blab about it on Facebook and people everywhere are declaring 2016 will be the year they do All The Things They Didn’t Do In 2015.

As I’ve pondered my resolutions for 2016, you know, my firm resolve to run two marathons this year, actually get a literary agent and finish writing the book that’s in my head, I started thinking that maybe I was missing the point.

Maybe my resolutions this year should have a bigger purpose. Maybe my resolutions should be less self centered, less selfish and more focused on the kind of mother I want to be for my chilren. In 2016. And 2017. And all the years beyond.

And, so, as 2016 rapidly approaches, I hereby resolve the following:

I promise to always make you wear clean underwear and to never leave this house with a sticky face.

I promise to not be late to pick you up from school activities. And by “not late”, I mean within 15 minutes of when I’m supposed to be there.

I promise that, someday, when you call me from a party, stone cold drunk, asking for a ride home, the only words you will hear from me are “I’m getting my keys. Sit tight.”

I promise you will not leave my house without committing Bon Jovi lyrics to memory.

I promise to try to understand when the girl you bring home as “The One” isn’t “The One” I had in mind.

I promise, dear daughter, that I try will stop your father from killing the first boy who breaks your heart. No promises, though.

I promise that you can come to me and ask me anything about sex. I will wear a poker face and I won’t hyperventilate into a bag until you’ve left the room.

I will understand when you roll your eyes.

I will forgive you when you slam your door.

I promise that I will come at you like a crazed lunatic if I ever hear that you’ve made another human being feel less than equal.

I will make your favorite dinner every single year on your birthday.

I promise that you won’t leave my house without understanding that your spouse’s mother is important, too. You WILL include her in your life.

I promise that your friends will always have a place on my couch if they can’t go home to their own houses.

I promise that I will make mistakes. And I’ll own them.

I will never, ever say I was right. Even when I am. Which is always. But I won’t say it. I’ll think it, though.

I promise that I won’t make you my life. You will always enhance my world, but I won’t make you carry the burden of BEING my world.

I will forgive you the first time I hear you say the F word.

I promise I will expect forgiveness the first time you hear me say the F word.

I promise that you will probably need a tiny bit of therapy by the time you leave my home. You are welcome to use your college fund to foot the bill.

I promise that I will be honest when you ask me for my opinion. You’ve been warned.

I promise that you will see your father and I at moments that are not perfect. You will see tension, you will see us argue. But you will also see us make up and be stronger. Learn from us.

Most of all, I promise that I will love you through every stage, every phase, every awkward moment, every crisis.

I promise to be your mother.

I could go on and on about the professional blessings I’ve had in 2015.

Absolutely none of it, though, means more to me than being the mother I want to be for my kids. And I resolve to do the best that I can at being their mother in 2016 and beyond.

But, I’m also getting a book deal in 2016. Mark my words.

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