New Year’s resolutions for parents

happy new year

happy new year

Christmas is over for another year and attention has turned to what’s in store for 2015. For many, that means making New Year’s resolutions – and they often revolve around diet, fitness and money. But when we started talking about our New Year’s goals here at Babyology, we found we all wanted to do much more than ramp up the exercise and drop a few kilograms – in fact they barely rated a mention.

So we thought we’d share our resolutions, in case you too are looking for something a bit different to kick off 2015. There were definite themes – for example putting down the phones and switching off the TV, and trying different ways to nail this parenting thing (our resolutions invariably have something to do with summoning up more patience!).

Here’s what we’ll be committing to in 2015:

Sorting out our stuff

• “Organise the photos. Print and put into albums or photobooks regularly, as opposed to doing a year’s worth all at once.”

• ”Same goes for artwork with us, I archive and sort in each year but would love to do this more often!”

• “Our youngest is 8.5 years old and we have maybe three or four actual printed photos of him. The rest, including newborn pics – all on the computer/phone/external hard drive. Scandalous considering we have albums upon albums of his brother and sister!”

• “Actually get in photos with my kids so we have some family photos and I can remember what I looked like in years to come.”

• TIP: Back up your digital photos, particularly if you’re not inclined to print them. Save them to an external hard drive or CD/DVD – it’s wise to have your whole collection of photos backed up in one or two places apart from your computer or phone.

Being kinder to ourselves

• “Give myself a little more credit as a good mum – to trust my gut and not over-analyse/Google/worry about what other parents think all the time!”

• “Be more intentional about date night so that dad gets a shoe-in and every ounce of energy is not expended on the kids.”

• “To simplify my life. There are lots of aspects within that, but basically I have too much going on! And birthday parties will be less extravagant.”

• “Stop searching Pinterest for ways to feel inadequate all the time!”

happy new year 3

Trying new parenting tricks

• “Stop and listen, I mean REALLY LISTEN, when my kids go ‘Mum, mum, mum!’ and ask me a question, instead of trying to do three things at once.

• “Try to say yes more. A lot of the time, the kids ask me to do things and I just say no without really thinking about why. Often I could choose to say yes. I think this would help me pick my battles a bit better too.”

• “One of my big ones would definitely be to be less shouty. Miss 3 has a way of pushing my buttons.”

• “Stress less about what they eat (Miss 3 again) – mealtimes can sometimes be a battle ground, and I’m trying to tame it. I just have to accept that she’s probably always going to have knitting needles for legs, and not really be a dinner person!”

• “Be less shouty is a big one. I need to institute things to make this work: making lunches the night before, having clothes etc at the ready so mornings aren’t so bad.”

• “Cook one new recipe each week for family dinner.”

Curbing the technology

• “Make a conscious effort to detach myself from the phone when I’m with the kids.”

• “Be more present – both hubby and I can tend towards being distracted (phones, computers etc).”

Tip: Turn off all phone notifications to reduce distractions. “That made a huge difference for me,” says chief operations officer Ben.

 Getting out and about

• “Do more ‘big’ stuff like trips to the zoo/aquarium and museums. We are pretty good on the weekly local activities, but this is Miss 3’s last year before school, so I want to use our time wisely.”

• “We’re instituting something we’re calling ‘Family Beach Mondays’ whereby we’re going to try to go to the beach every Monday morning. As part of this we’re keeping the family beach bag packed and stocked to make it easier to get out of the door (we’ll also try to go at other times, but Monday is the key day). “

• “Ramp up the outdoor activities – explore more local parks, say yes more often to letting our daughter practise riding her bike and scooter.”

• “Be involved in the fun stuff the kids do. They often do stuff with my husband, but I either stay home or don’t really get involved (particularly if it involves getting wet)!”

• “I need to be stronger and turn off the TV more and do things with my girls.”

And finally, sales manager Elaine has this fun idea for planning the year ahead: “One of the things I have started to do is for our family to all write down three things we would like to achieve during the year and then we put them all in a sealed envelope. On New Year’s Eve, before we write down our next year’s, we open the envelope for the previous year and see if we have achieved any of them.”

 What are your New Year’s resolutions? Tell us below.

Michelle Rose

Michelle Rose

Michelle is a journalist and mum to two girls who are obsessed with dinosaurs, fairies, pirates and princesses in equal measure. She lives in Melbourne's east with her husband, daughters and a giant, untameable labradoodle. Michelle loves all things vegetarian, wine (it's a fruit) and online shopping.

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