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Mama Resolutions for 2008

The last time we talked mama resolutions, we had just kicked off 2006.  Our whole family has been talking about it for the past week or so, mulling over ways we can focus on ways to bring us closer as a family and ways to strengthen ourselves independently.  After an autumn wrought with greyness and stress of the endless juggle, we are looking forward to the new year.  Here are a few top items that I am thinking of:

1.  Enjoy the little moments with the kids.  It is so easy to flip out and lose my top when the kids move to slow or refuse to put on appropriate clothing or disagree with me.  Alas, it's just not worth the battle, often times.  I resolve to make the little things in each day more fun, to make time time to tickle them each day, to make fun out of those chores or activities they dread.

2.  Spend more quality time with my spouse.  My husband and I spent part of yesterday clearing out some old boxes in our desks.  We stumbled across photos, notes, journal entries, and love letters that we wrote to each other from the last millenium.  It was fun and refreshing to see how in love we were are.  In the new year, we resolve to enjoy each other more, bicker about the little things less, express ourselves to one another more, and be more affectionate with one another.

3.  Try to read more.  I have mama brain to the max.  I don't think I have read a book cover-to-cover since my pregnancy with my first daughter back in the summer of 2000.  I got a new book for Christmas, and maybe even the book group will encourage me to settle in with a good book and enhance my perspective on life.  I resolve to read more, even if it's just one non-work, non-parenting book this year.

4.  Get organized.  We are serious this year.  We have clumps and piles of stuff everywhere, from old no-longer-used toys to papers, books, important documents scattered throughout.  We resolve to go paperless whenever possible to decrease clutter, purge and revamp our home filing system to make it more efficient and accessible, and reuse or recycle old items that we no longer use. 

5.  Use postal mail and revive our letter-/note-writing.  Yesterday, one of our girls wrote a note to her friend, telling her how much she missed her over this winter break.  She addressed the letter and put a stamp on it and asked me to walk her to the mailbox.  Our family is extremely delinquent with thank-you cards, and we resolve to take time to handwrite thank you notes and other notes to send mail out to our friends and family, even if they live just a few miles away.

We'd love to hear more from you -- what are your hopes and dreams for 2008?  What are you determined to accomplish -- for yourself, for your partner, for your children?

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My husband and I were listing off resolutions on NYE. Here are some things we hope to accomplish:
1. Take a real vacation and a few small weekend trips. Our lives have been so hectic that we never take day trips, an occasional weekend away, let alone plan a four day trip to somewhere out of state.
2. Simplify our finances. Like a lot of people, we have debt to pay off. Aside from that, our finances just don't seem very organized. I'd like my husband and I to get on the same page about our financial goals - retirement, savings, what room to remodel first, etc.
3. Have more face to face conversations with my husband. We tend to be sitting next to each other on our laptops or are in different rooms when we are talking about important things. I'd like to sit across from him, look each other in the eyes, and connect more.
4. Reach out and form strong connections with old and new friends. We know some really nice people but we tend to isolate ourselves. Having just moved here to PDX with our almost 9 month old, I want us all to remember that there is more to life than what happens among the three of us.

I bet 99% of readers here can share your resolution #1, "enjoy little moments with the kids." I think the problem is that sometimes you, the parent, have to take charge, so naturally you get in a mode where you are in charge all the time, even when it doesn't matter.

Occasionally I can cure myself this way: I just do whatever the kid is doing. If he is jumping off steps and (mysteriously) yelling "HUNK!", I make myself do it too. If he is eating something bizarre--a cheese and jam sandwich?-- I eat it too. So my resolution for '08: more following the real leader around here..

I vow to sit down every Sunday and come up with a weekly meal plan, to be intimate with my spouse at least once a month, and to run the Portland marathon in October. I'm not sure which I'll consider the biggest accomplishment... :-)

I love all of the goals! They are inspiring. I also got a book for Christmas, A Thousand Splendid Suns. I didn't expect any less being back in the most literate city in US (Minneapolis) during the holidays; and from my husband's family (everyone got at least one book). Goals for this year are simple: read more, cook more, and start a "buy nothing month" tradition inspired by Lisa the Activista (http://urbanmamas.typepad.com//activistas/2007/09/i-survived-buy-.html).

I love the "following the real leader around here" - yes! This is a must do that will be incorporated immediately in our house!
Along those lines, "be here now" is something my brother is always saying, and that is exactly what I intend to do. On weekends, leave the blackberry at home (in a bucket of water?), close up the laptop and do whatever his little heart wants.
Occasionally take some time for me, to recharge. Be it to exercise, get a pedicure (what a treat!), read a book at a coffee shop...whatever. I'll be a better wife and mom for it.

I realize that one resolution for me is to take #1 and refine to say/mean "to drop what I'm doing and hang with the girls" instead of claiming "I'm busy" or "give me a second." What could be more important than spending a few moments of fun time with the kids?

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