January 1st. It’s a magical date that dawns bright with possibilities. We cast away the previous year and all the clutter and grime that comes with it. We open our minds to a sparkling new year and new goals.
Mandy of Mandyland, one of my favorite bloggers, gives us her funny take on how not to break the most common New Year’s resolutions moms make:
#1: Lose the Baby Weight
Oh, how you’ve tried! You’ve eaten cabbage soup, cut carbs and then cut meat. You’ve stood on one foot, jumping up and down while swallowing lemon juice. If there’s a book, you’ve read it. If there’s a program you’ve tried it. And, every year, you’ll start that diet anew. And, every year, you’ll eat mac and cheese out of the pot and cold chicken nuggets while the kids are finishing up their lunch.
Instead of saying that you’ll lose 50 pounds, resolve to weigh less. Period.
#2: No More TV
You’ve read the studies and know that too much TV is bad for children. You’ll make up rules – no TV during the week, then a barter system – 15 minutes per “coin”. You’ll browse websites looking for fun, creative, imaginative, educational ways to entertain children. And then…
You’ll slip. First, the TV gets turned on while making dinner just to get the “Mamamamamas” quieted. Then, while you take a shower. Next thing you know, Diego and Dora are hanging out at your house four hours a day. Again.
Instead of going cold turkey, set your TV to automatically turn off. You can then use my patented “Oh NO! We’ll have to tell Daddy!” Use lots of facial expressions of dismay and hand waving.
#3: Feed the Children Healthier Meals
You realize that boxed mac and cheese isn’t the best thing for your child. You feel pangs of guilt as you go through the drive-through. You speak of abstaining from high fructose corn syrup while giving your kids granola bars. So, come January 1, you will renew your plans to fill your refrigerator with fresh fruits and veggies, buy organic, hormone-free milk and cage-free, free-range eggs.
Until your husband starts to throw out rotten fruit and vegetables that everyone “forgot” about, griping of the waste and cost. And the kids complain that the whole grain pasta tastes like cardboard. And you take a bite and realize they’re right.
But keep buying the eggs. Preferably from a farmers market. Because they really do taste better.
#4: Cut the Caffeine
As you write out your list of resolutions, you realize that you’re drinking your fourth cup of coffee and it’s only 9 a.m. In horror, you jot down “give up caffeine.” I hate to break it to you, but this will be the first resolution to go. It will happen at approximately 9:20 a.m. on January 1st.
I don’t have any helpful tips for this one. I think you’re crazy for even considering it.
#5: Take the Kids to the Park More Often
For some of you, this is something you already do. My hat’s off to you because, if you’re like me, the park is something you dread. Inevitably, there are 15 other children always wearing the exact same color as your little one, running around like banshees, throwing sand, climbing up the slides and hanging precariously from places not designed for precarious hanging.
If you have two kids…well…you have to pick your favorite because: Do you chase after the toddler who has decided to climb up the only 50-foot jungle gym known to mankind? Or, do you regulate the preschooler who is the cause of the traffic jam at the top of the slide?
After a few weeks of insanity, you’ll revert back to your peaceful, only-when-Daddy-is-around trips to the park.
#6: Shop for Birthday Parties Ahead of Time
You’ve seen those women who buy all of the next year’s birthday, anniversary, bar mitzvah, christening, graduation and get well cards in advance. On sale. With a coupon. They then, in a very organized way, place all cards in a file folder under the appropriate month.
They go out and hit the after Christmas sales for toys appropriate for various ages so that they always have a gift at the ready when they discover that Jr. is invited to a birthday party. Next time you’re out shopping and come across those perfect pink and gold party plates, scoop them up ahead of time.
I did that once. Then I forgot that I had the cards and gifts until we decided to clean out the hall closet where I’d stored them so I wouldn’t forget.
Last year, in a fit of post-baby hormones, I decided to run a marathon. Even though I was 80 pounds overweight and had never run more than a 5k. I joined a gym, mapped out my plan and then discovered something that burst my bubble. I hate running. I hate the jarring, the boobs bouncing, the pounding.
After a few months, I realized that I was not cut out for a marathon. I was cut out for reading books, crafting, hiking, cycling, using a waist cincher for waist training, blogging and a host of other things. But not a marathon.
The moral of the story…exercise is good for you. Just find something you enjoy. Like kicking your husband’s rear on the Wii Fit.
So, if you’re one of the thousands of women who make these resolutions and then, a few weeks later feel defeated, rest assured that you’re not alone. You can join me in another cup of coffee while the kids watch TV. And while you’re at it, could you please pass the scones?