Yes, I make resolutions knowing full well there's no chance I'll keep them past about Jan. 14. Why even make them, then? Like that Great Poet of Our Time Miley Cyrus says, sometimes it’s not about the mountain, it’s about the cliiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiimb.
Kids don't come with instruction manuals, and none of us are perfect parents. But we try. Every day, we wake up, often to the sound of someone shrieking, and vow to be a little better than the day before.
Some editors might headline this as "6 resolutions all moms will break in 2015." But hey, I don't know your life. Maybe you'll keep all your resolutions! Maybe you'll make, and break, your own resolutions in your own way. You do you, OK? Let's all just be perfectly imperfect in our own way. That's a resolution I can actually keep.
1. Home cooked family dinners
The resolution: We’ve all seen the research about eating dinner as a family: Basically, if you have family dinners, your children will grow up to be happy, healthy, well-adjusted members of society -- whereas if you don’t, they’ll end up on “America’s Most Wanted: Dumbest Criminals Edition” for trying to rob a gas station with a spatula (the spatula that YOU neglected to cook dinner with!) Just paraphrasing the research there. That's why, this year, you’re going to cook healthy, delicious dinners that the whole family will love!
The reality: You know what else is healthy? Not losing your damn mind trying to pretend like you’re Suzy Homemaker when you’re really more like Terri Takeout. Isn’t the most important thing that you talk with your kids and care about their lives? Does it really matter whether that happens over chicken nuggets or organic chicken tetrazzini? Where are these researchers when it’s time to do the dishes? Also, boxed mac-and-cheese totally counts as a home-cooked dinner, and if you add frozen peas, you’re practically a domestic goddess. Pat yourself on the back with that spatula.
2. NO YELLING
The resolution: I will be an oasis of calm and tranquility. I will “go placidly amid the noise and haste.” I am Zen Mama. That will probably be my new nickname. People will be like, “See that woman with all the children radiating inner peace? That’s Zen Mama. Wow, I'm so inspired by her.” I will breathe deeply and live in the moment.
The reality: OK, three minutes until we need to be out the door or everyone is going to be late for school and work. Shoes on, please. Breathing deeply. Yes, that’s your lunch. No, you may not replace it with a package of Gummi Bears. It’s time to put on your shoes. Inhale… and exhale: five, four, your shoes are right where you left them, three, get your shoes off the dog’s paws that is not where they go, two, nononononono, one, OK people we have ONE minute to get out this door or SO HELP ME GOD I WILL LEAVE WITHOUT YOU. GET YOUR SHOES ON NOW. NOW NOW NOW. GO! YOUR SHOES ARE RIGHT THERE GET THEM ON YOUR FEET! COAT! BACKPACK! GO! GO! GO!
3. No more sugar
The resolution: Every week it seems there's some news about childhood obesity, and it's never good. I saw that Laurie David movie about food (or at least I watched the trailer on the website) and I totally read that article about all the added sugar in food and WOW, did it open my eyes. Then I signed up for the sugar-free challenge and followed 100 Days of Real Food on Instagram and I am in, baby! I’m part of the food revolution!
The reality: I’m late to school pickup because I spent 30 minutes reading labels in the grocery store, I’m cranky because I’m coming off Diet Coke withdrawal, and my kids’ lunches are coming back uneaten because they say hummus sandwiches and whole-wheat cookies taste like—where did you even LEARN that word? Hmmm, is soap sugar-free?
4. Limiting screen time
The resolution: No TV or video games on weeknights, no iPads at the table, and iPhones go in a basket by the door. We are going to BOND as a family this year, people! We’re going to talk, and play board games! Did the pioneers have screen time? No, and they built this country! OK yes, I guess a lot of them died of dysentery as well, and I’m glad you did your history reading, but that’s not really the point. The point is family togetherness! It’s going to be great!
The reality: Board games are NOT boring. It’s just a COINCIDENCE that their name sounds like “bored.” Sheesh, people, where’s your sense of adventure? Let me just get this set up… oh shoot, those pieces went under the couch, probably they’re not that important anyway. Oh God, there are FOUR pages of instructions. I’m so tired… Hey, put down that remote! Ooh, “The Voice” is on! OK, we can just watch this one, because it’s educational because it’s about following your dreams. And stuff. Remember to text your teacher about when that assignment is due.
5. Date night
The resolution: 2015 will be the Year of Us! Remember how we used to spend hours talking, how we used to go to concerts and have romantic dates to art museums? We should totally do that again. We should have date night every week! We’ll be like the Bey-Z of the suburbs. Drunk In Love, baby.
The reality: Let’s see… $12/hour for a babysitter, plus food, and here’s our Netflix password, plus cab fare home… OK, we’re paying $100 to go see a crappy movie. Hey, why don’t we just stay home? We don’t need to spend money to have a date night. We’ll just put the kids to bed and cuddle up on the couch together with a bottle of wine and talk about our lives and dreams just like we used to — mmm, this wine is good — zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Well, at least we got the waking up and asking how the hell did this happen again part down.
6. Me time
The resolution: 2015 will be the Year of Me! I’m going to exercise. Do people still do Zumba? That looks like fun on the infomercials. I'll do yoga! I have the pants already, so I'm halfway there. Maybe I’ll start writing poetry again, like I did in college! After my workout, I’ll just chill at a coffee shop, all by myself, savoring my dark roast and writing in my journal.
The reality: Let’s see, if I can get Madison’s mom to do ballet pickup and let those dishes sit for another day and leave work half an hour early, I can schedule in that me time… between 1-2 a.m. on Wednesdays. Awesome. Wait, I feel a poem coming on:
I have no time
At least there’s wine.
Rebecca Dube is senior editor of TODAY Parents and mom of two boys. She's totally optimistic about her resolutions this year.