I don’t believe in New Year resolutions. I love the optimism around them and definitely believe that you can change the things that aren’t working in your life and that we are the key to our own happiness and all that great stuff. I just think that while a new year is as good of a time as any to begin these pursuits, there is a little bit of added pressure that generally people don’t need. Pressure that can lead to guilt and depression if one fails in their pursuit of such lofty resolutions as I will eat nothing but salad until I lose 20 pounds and then beat themselves up because they eat a brownie for breakfast when they get to the office. Not that I know anything about eating brownies for breakfast. Instead, I am a proponent of looking at each day as a clean slate. I try to say a little prayer every morning thanking God and the universe for all of my blessings and asking for strength to do what I need to do that day. Then, every night, I pray for an opportunity to try again tomorrow (whether I succeeded or failed or did a little bit of both that day). Each day provides a chance to become more authentically yourself and do what needs doing to make your life dreams come true. In a way, each day is the first day of a new year.
So, all that being said, COINCIDENTALLY, I recently decided that we needed to make some changes around the old homestead. My boys are the most important people in my life, I love them more than anything or anyone else in the world, and they are driving me up the g-d wall! I was hoping as we settled into the fours that things would really fall into place as far as behavior and discipline goes. But it seems that they just get more and more feisty, sassy, stubborn, argumentative, and incorrigible with each passing day. And so after employing all the tricks in my bag (more than once, I might add), I decided I was going to fall back on two methods that I had moderate success with in the past: the reward chart and the “there’s a new sheriff in town” mommy.
I decided that the boys weren’t the only ones that needed some incentive to accomplish what they needed to accomplish and also thought that I would set a good example if I made a chart for myself. This was partially spurred by my Little Bird answering my scolding that he didn’t need to be so fresh, with a “well, you don’t need to be so grumpy!” Touché, little one. So, first item on the Mommy chart: No Yelling. Do I get a diamond mommy badge if I actually fill up my chart with stars? No. But I will feel better about myself and hopefully can go back to being “nice, but firm” mommy instead of “screaming-like-a-banshee” mommy. Then there is accomplishing my own morning & nighttime routines, which are both designed to aid us all in accomplishing one of the biggest challenges we have as a family: getting out the door on time in the morning. With no one crying or yelling. And everyone with shoes on their feet. I have also tasked myself with planning and creating one new meal a week and keeping up with the house by trying a method my dear, sweet, supermom friend Jenny has been trying to get me to use for ages. Clean just 20 minutes a day. Then on the weekends, an hour each day (or two hours one day) and THAT’S IT. The idea being that if you keep up with the 20 minutes a day nothing gets that messy and it is a breeze to keep up and you probably won’t even need the 2 hours on the weekend. We’ll see. This is a nice companion to the boys’ charts that lists Cleaning Up Toys as one of their ‘jobs’. Again, hopefully I will set a good example.
But what has driven me to break down and start a blog is the semi-public accountability for the other item on my chart. No, not exercise (yes, that is on there…i was getting desperate to fill up my slots and i couldn’t help myself. but i am very creative at defining exercise so I’m hoping i won’t be a complete failure in that category). No, the section on my chart that has the stars next to it is: WRITE. I’ve become a writer that never writes. I give it a try every now and then, but don’t follow through for any length of time. Not enough time to let the creativity flow and allow inspiration to find me at least. I know the cardinal rule of being a writer is just to write every day. Doesn’t matter what. And they always say, Write what you know. So here I am, prepared to give daily updates on my adventures in mommying. To keep myself honest. And to keep myself going. And to remind myself that before I was a mommy, I was a lot of other things- including a writer. It is a disservice to the boys, as much as to myself to neglect the other parts of myself. And maybe, just maybe, this will help lead me in the right direction for making other things happen for myself. And with God’s grace, I’ve got 365 days from now until next year to manifest exactly what I want. And tomorrow, I’ll have 365 more 😉