I'm not a big fan of making New Year's resolutions. I suspect this is because I know I'm a slacker - and won't keep them. But when it comes to mothering my kids, I have a far easier time imagining that I'll actually follow through.
1) For starters, I resolve to get my kids to write their Christmas thank you cards before Easter, this year. Really.
2) I resolve to finally pull out my sewing machine and teach them how to sew. I've made a couple of quilts, for others, but never got around to sewing them for my own family. After several moves and several years, I'm still hanging on to the bolt of beautiful fabric I bought when I was pregnant with Holly, and she's nearly ten. Maybe this will be the year!
3) I also resolve to follow through on one of my rules about Noah's cell phone: He's got to hand it over at bedtime. He's not a big phone junkie, yet - which is probably why I've been a slacker in this area - but I imagine it's only a matter of time. If I'd had one when I was an adolescent, I'm pretty sure I'd have tried to get away with staying up all night chatting with my friends and boyfriends.
4) I resolve to unplug a little more often and be more deliberate about tuning in to my kids. You know, stop, drop and roll with it, if you will. More snowmen, more tickle fights and more Boggle. (But do I have to let them win?)
5) I resolve to never say yes to another pet - at least until one of them dies. For Pete's sake, we're already outnumbered here, two to one. Eight is enough already!
6) I resolve to stop shopping for a piano and finally buy one. A used upright, if anybody cares. Our last piano, an old yard-sale bargain, didn't survive the cut on our big move from Maine to Chicagoland - literally. I lost the little slip of paper on which I'd written the phone number for the piano mover who got it into the house in the first place and the buyers didn't want it. No other mover could figure out how to finesse it through our antique home's narrow doorways, so our realtor's hubby got it out with an axe. It wasn't pretty.
7) I resolve to swear less - at least in front of the kids.
8) I resolve to floss more. In front of the kids.
9) I resolve to do better at keeping up with the laundry. I've brainwashed my children into thinking that wearing mismatched socks is a form of civil disobedience, a sort of badge of honor for the independent spirit. You know, the non-conformist. I'm glad they've developed flexible, tolerant natures, but really, I should be ashamed of myself. Right?
10) If I don't get around to doing number nine, I resolve to make my kids do their own laundry. Yeah, this one I'll keep.
Jennifer DuBose, M.S., C.A.S., is a licensed marriage and family therapist in private practice in Batavia.
See more of Jennifer's stories here.