7 New Year resolutions every parent should have on their list.

Even keeping just one of these could make a big difference.

To my kids,

I’ve made some New Year’s resolutions for the three of us. Yes, I know I could let you two make your own, but if I did, they would be, “Watch more Scooby-Doo,” and, “Eat more icing sugar.” So we’re going to run with mine. But don’t worry, they’re going to make life better for the three of us. Promise.

1. I’m going to have more “me” time.

I know that sounds a bit selfish, but it’s not, really. When I spend all day dealing with the endless requests and demands that begin with “Mum…”, I start to feel a bit put-upon. I’m going to take more time out just for me, so I can be in a better mood when I’m with you.

Mum in pool, when she has no kids with her.

2. I'm going to put down my phone when I'm with you and really listen to whatever you're saying.

Yes, even if you're telling me about that bloody Shaun the Sheep game again. It's not polite to be on the phone when I'm with my adult friends, so it's not polite to be on the phone when I'm with you either. Anyway, going on Facebook and seeing what all my friends are having for dinner just makes me hungry.

3. I'm going to stop picking up after you.

I need to train you to put away your own clothes and toys and dirty dishes, even though it's usually quicker to do it myself. That way, you won't have to listen to me complaining about the mess around the house, and you won't have to hear your dad screaming in pain because he's trodden on a tiny piece of Peppa Pig's furniture.

4. I'm going to stop taking "good" for an answer when I ask you how your day at school was.

I want to know what schoolwork you're finding a struggle and I want to know whether anything happened in the schoolyard that upset you. I want to hear about little problems before they become big ones.

Did you really have a good day at school?

5. I'm going to try to deal with my own stresses better so that I don't get snappy with you.

Sometimes I'm feeling frustrated about something at work, and when you play up, it doesn't take much to make me snap. I always regret it afterwards. I'm going to sort out my issues so I can be more like the calm parent I want to be.

6. I'm going to stop telling you to be careful in the playground.

I've been doing it all your lives, and frankly, it hasn't worked. You've always got bruised knees anyway. I'm going to cross my fingers that the soft-fall surfaces will be enough to stop you breaking limbs. I'm starting to think that growing up to be anxious and fearful could be a more serious problem than having a chipped tooth.

7. I'm going to give up on the idea that I can be the perfect parent.

I've had my fair share of parenting fails, and I've beaten myself up over them. But I'm tired of feeling bad about myself. I'm going to keep trying to be the best parent I can be - which is why I'm making all these resolutions - but I'm going to accept that I won't always get it right. I'm going to start believing that "good enough" really is good enough. I'll think about all the great adults out there who didn't have a perfect upbringing, and I'll trust that you two will turn out fine.

I love you, you crazy kids, and I always make sure you know that. That's got to count for something.

Happy New Year, and please share your New Year resolutions below in the comments.

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