I don’t believe in them. It’s just setting myself up for failure because I know damn well that I won’t stick to them. So why bother? I’m not here to make myself feel bad about myself. I can do that perfectly well without a resolution hanging over my head.
Having said that… I did make one resolution last year and I’m making the same one this year: to look my children in the eyes more often.
After I made that promise last year, I did it a little more than before. I’m hoping to do it a little more often now. I won’t be perfect and I know that, so I’m off the hook already. But it’s a reasonable goal and one that can only be better for us all when I stick to it.
Even this little bit of body language teaches my boys how to behave. I hate walking in a room and seeing them avert their eyes, and I know I’ve done it too many times. I’m never there to see them – I’m always on my way somewhere else, doing something else, thinking about something else. When they are in front of me, I need to be present with them.
A lot of the other moms and dads I know seem to play with the kids even when they’re having a playdate. I am jealous of this. I use playdates as a way to distract them so I can get some other stuff done. Some of these parents work fewer hours than I do, so I imagine they have already done their chores by the time the kids get home. Or their home isn’t their place of work, so they’re not saddled with cleaning the house several times a day on top of the normal load of chores.
Still I feel I’m missing out. Yesterday my boys had a friend over and they asked Daddy to play double-bounce with them. He said, “You have a friend over! Play with him.” When I shared my worries with him, Dave said I was being silly. Didn’t we just spend our week off taking them to basketball games, and museums, and aquariums? Yes, but why can’t I connect with them while we’re home in the same way as I do when we’re away? Is it precisely because I work here?
So they went to play double bounce and I cleaned and prepped the day care room for the kids to come back after the holiday break. I felt bad for not being the mom who could say, “Sure! I’d love to come play!” (Of course I don’t get asked to play sports, Daddy’s better for that.) But whatever – they’ll ask me for something and I’ll say no, I’m too busy.
So there’s one more resolution after all – say yes. Look them in the eyes, and say yes. Because here we are on the cusp of another new year and I know this one will fly by just as fast as all the rest of my babies’ years have.