lifestyle

The resolutions every parents made today.

Oh, January 1. A day full of possibility. Like an unlined exercise book before your handwriting starts to lean.

Like a crisp white shirt for the 3.5 minutes after I first put it on.

Like that tasteful mini-hipster outfit you bought for the kids in the sale, just before they eat an ice-cream in it.

Oh, the kind of parent I am going to be this year. All of my parenting fails are fading into 2014’s rear view mirror and I, like you, am going to be the world’s most excellent parent as of NOW.

It’s going to be great, guys. Who’s with me?

Here are my new year’s parenting resolutions for 2015 (oh dear, how is it 2015 already?).

This is a thing of the past. The. Past.

1. I will get organised.

Okay, so time is running out to get that whole ‘school uniform‘ thing sorted, and I completely forgot to buy any Christmas presents for my youngest, but this year, it’s all going to be different. Because I’m going to have lists, and wall-charts, and giant colour-coded calendars with sticky notes. I’m going to buy them tomorrow. Definitely. Because…

2. I will never again forget dress-up day.

Any memory of  Mummy forgetting costume day will be wiped from my daughter’s mind, Jedi-style, today, and we are starting afresh. Never again will anyone be rummaging in the car boot at drop-off time, looking for something, anything, that will pass for a costume. A sun hat! Great. Truman Capote wore a straw hat, you know. Go as him. It’s book week, after all, and who says Breakfast At Tiffany’s isn’t a classic for primary readers? Never. Again.

This will not be me in 2015. Well, hardly ever. 

3. I will not shout at the little buggers.

This year will be all about the measured tone, the firm whisper, the cajoling purr. The neighbours will no longer hear me screaming my children’s names at an ever-elevated pitch and volume until the dogs are barking and someone’s throwing things at the windows. Oh no. Because parents know that yelling doesn’t work. YES, WE KNOW THAT YELLING DOESN’T WORK.

4. I will find another hour in the day.

And with that hour, I will mulch organic smoothies/practise the home reader/exercise/stare into my partner’s eyes/ask everyone about their day and actually listen to the answers. All of those things. With feeling.

This will be our bible. Does it have a recipe for orange fish fingers?

5. I will only feed my children pure, healthy food.

The whole family, actually. We’re going to give up processed food. It’s full of chemicals and terrible for us. Except for fish fingers. They’re not processed, right? Or baked beans. They’re not processed either. Okay, maybe I will give up processed food. I think the chemicals might be helping the kids’ growth.

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6. I will bake.

Birthday cakes. In the shapes of monsters, and mermaids, and capricious ice princesses. I will learn to wield an icing bag like a plaster-caster, and I will dedicate days to making my children’s birthdays unforgettable mini festivals of Themness. I know. That is Never Going To Happen. But a girl can dream.

This is an actual birthday cupcake that I made in 2014. What it was supposed to look like, what it looked like. THIS will never happen again.

6. I will always listen.

Because every day I ask my children how their day was, and every day my daughter embarks on a long story about Someone Who Brought A Doll From Home But You’re Not Meant To Bring A Doll From Home So They Got In Trouble, But Not Too Much Trouble, And She Wouldn’t Let Me Play With It Because She Brougtht It From Home And… And I suddenly remember all of the many things I have to do, and walk away randomly while she’s mid-speech. This year, I will Never Have Things To Do When My Children Want Me.

7. I will make sure my children watch less TV.

Because it’s lazy, bad parenting, right? The idiot box is not a babysitter. My children will not spend the rest of the year singing the theme songs to Pepa Pig and the Octonougts. My son will stop thinking that Lightening McQueen is one of our more ginger relatives, and in the mornings, when I’m trying to get ready for work, I will instead entertain them with improving poetry readings, as I apply my mascara and cut toast into soldiers.

Ooooops.

8. I will stop eating the kids’ leftovers.

Repeat after me – A leftover fish-finger and three mouthfuls of rice counts as dinner on many, many celebrity “eating plans”, not as an appetiser. And yes, they still count if you eat leftovers standing up, just before scraping them into the bin.

9. I will stop keeping score with my partner

You know: “Well I went and slept in the her bed last night, so it’s definitely your go, and you got home an hour late two nights ago, so I shouldn’t feel guilty about going to the gym this morning, and  it’s soooo your turn to change that nappy. I did the last two.”  This is the ledger that is constantly open in every parent’s head, and it’s time to abandon it, people. Because no matter how complicated it gets, it’s never, ever fair.

So there you have it. My year of perfect parenting awaits. Easy.

What are your parenting resolutions?

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