Well, that’s Christmas over for another year, I hope you all had a lovely time with family and friends. I had a little break from blogging for a few days which was much needed, I didn’t even turn my laptop on for 3 days which I think my family appreciated too!
With Christmas done and dusted, like many Mums, I’m turning my thoughts to New Year’s Resolutions. I try not to go too ambitious as I’m not under any illusion that I’ll stick to them – willpower is not one of my strong points.
In fact, I might be better off listing the resolutions that I know I won’t be able to keep! I don’t think I’m alone, whilst I’d love to make and stick to some important parenting resolutions in 2019, I think these are ones that all mums would break quite quickly…
1. Be less shouty
Every so often, not just at the start of a new year, I tell myself that I’ll be a calmer mum and shout less. January is a good time to set this goal, new year, new you and all that.
Yeah right, that’s just not going to happen is it?
You can try your hardest but kids will still be annoying, they won’t listen, they’ll argue and you’ll still end up shouting!
Basically, it’s their fault, not yours if you break this resolution.
2. Cut down on alcohol
Stopping drinking or cutting down is a new year’s resolution that most people will make, not just parents. There are many reasons for it, from the health benefits to the amount of money you can save.
Dry January is very popular and a good time to give your new resolution a go, especially with most people not going out much after Christmas.
However, like with the first resolution on the list you still have kids, and they will still drive you to drink on a regular basis. If you don’t turn to the wine bottle after the kids’ bedtime what do you do to unwind?
3. Cook more meals from scratch
I’m sure I’m not the only parent who feels like their child eats far too many chicken nuggets. After a day at work, it’s just so easy to whack something quick in the oven that you know they’ll eat without whingeing.
I tell myself all the time that I’m going to prepare healthy meals in batch and freeze them so that I have something more nutritious than chicken nuggets or pizza to hand when we get in after work and school. I usually keep it up for a week or so, before going back to normal because I realise that I can’t really be bothered to spend ages in the kitchen doing the preparation in the first place.
I bet that any mum who sets this new year’s resolution will be back to their old ways pretty quickly – as soon as the kids start complaining that they don’t like the meal that you’ve got 27 Tupperware containers of in the freezer you’ll turn to the trusty bag of frozen nuggets.
4. Get fit
This is the main one on my mind right now, I feel totally full of chocolate and crisps and just very lethargic and unhealthy. After the new year, we tell ourselves that we’re only eating fruit, veg and drinking loads of water.
Until we have a stressful day at work or a child that doesn’t want to go to bed. That’s when I’ll be right back on the chocolate and with that usually follows my downfall – the fizzy drinks!
Us working mums also usually have really good intentions to prepare healthy packed lunches for work in the new year, but I bet like me you’ll get bored of that after the first week back and will quickly turn to a supermarket meal deal at your desk.
I know I’ll also tell myself that I will do exercises a few nights a week and follow some YouTube workouts. But then the sofa will look so inviting and there will be something on Netflix that I want to binge and it will get put off and forgotten about.
5. Less screen time for the kids
You’re going to start the new year right – less screen time for the kids and more crafts, having fun outdoors and all playing nicely together.
Then you remember that the house still needs cleaning so you let the kids play on their tablets while you tidy up.
And you need to be left alone to sort dinner so you turn on the TV to keep them out of the kitchen.
And after a full on day at work, doing the school run, tidying up and cooking dinner you just want 5 minutes peace so if they want to watch YouTube or play Minecraft who cares!
6. Put down your phone
You might also decide to set yourself a new year’s resolution for less screen time. Spend more time playing with your kids rather than looking at your phone, or more time reading a book than browsing through Facebook.
Who are we kidding though? You will soon get sucked into having a nose at what people are up to on Facebook, stalking your favourite Instagrammers, and trying to beat your top score on Candy Crush.
I think this one is the most unrealistic!
7. Be more organised
Be honest, how many school events or dress-up days did you forget in 2018? How many times did you leave homework until Sunday evening, or get the kids to school late? If it wasn’t for the school mums Facebook group I would definitely forget most of it.
Maybe 2019 will be the year that you become an organised mum!
Or maybe, you will forget to go through the kids’ bags to find the permission slips you need to sign. Or forget to write the events down in your diary. You’ll probably also be enjoying your weekends so much that you forget about homework until bedtime. And you’ll almost certainly not be bothered to iron the school uniforms and make the packed lunches the night before to give yourself an easier morning.
Being organised is just too much work, isn’t it!
8. Keep up with the household chores
We all want a tidy house like those we see on Instagram – 2019 is going to be the year we all release our inner Mrs Hinch, get on top of the housework and have the perfect home.
Except we won’t, because we’re not SuperMum and we’re just too tired. After work I just don’t have the energy for cleaning, it’s often a toss-up between doing something with my child after school or doing the housework and she nearly always wins that one.
At weekends I tell myself we’ll spend an hour or two blitzing the house, but there’s always something more exciting to do – and let’s face it, anything is more exciting than cleaning!
It’s all about priorities, especially when you work all week – clean house or time with the family. I don’t think it’s a bad thing at all if the dream of a clean house loses out to time with your loved ones.
9. Spend less money
Who else is broke after Christmas? No one has any money in January and we all have good intentions to save loads of money to put towards a holiday, pay off the credit card, or just to build up a little rainy day fund.
Then the washing machine breaks or you just really need a new coat or handbag to make yourself feel better on these grey January days and the idea of saving goes out of the window.
10. Don’t succumb to the mum guilt
Now this is a really important resolution that we should all stick to…
Don’t feel guilty because other mums post perfect photos on social media of happy families, tidy houses and exotic holidays.
Don’t feel guilty because you have to work and get someone else to look after your kids, or you can’t attend a school event because you have an important meeting.
Don’t feel guilty because you have broken all of the above new year’s resolutions that you set with the best of intentions.
But of course, you’ll break this resolution too because you’re human. You love your children more than anything and will always feel guilty about something because that’s part of being a mum!
Do you think you’ll manage to stick to any of these New Year’s Resolutions? I think I’ve just successfully convinced myself not to even bother trying.
I’ve also just realised that it’s the kids’ fault that we break our resolutions, if it wasn’t for them I think we’d have a much better chance of not drinking, eating healthily and staying calm!
What New Year’s resolutions are you setting for yourself in 2019? Whatever they are, good luck – don’t let the kids break you!