Four days into 2016 and last year is already gone in a blur of over-eating, over-shopping and general over-consumption of practically every consumable product available. Good times.
This year will see some major changes in our household: my youngest, Baldy Baby (who is neither bald nor a baby anymore) will be starting kindy this year, I have finished my Grad Dip which means I will have more time for other things (like washing clothes and making school lunches) and this will be the last full year where I can still claim to be in my 30s.
I’m pretty lousy at making New Year resolutions. I usually make them around the 30th of December and by 10am on January 1st, while stuffing a huge muffin into my mouth as I muck around on Facebook I realise I have already broken them.
So I’m taking it easy on myself this year. And more importantly, I’m taking it easy on my kids.
Here are my goals for 2016:
Enforce a ‘one pair of underpants a day’ rule: while on holiday over Christmas, every time the kids got in and out of the water, out came new undies, until we had thirty pairs of barely worn knickers on the floor and everyone was complaining they had run out. One pair of undies per child per day = save washing and good for both the environment and my sanity.
No more fighting with my oldest daughter about screen time: I will only let her have her charger once a week – and she can decide when and for how long to use her tablet but when it’s gone flat, that’s it until the next weekend.
Practice what I preach: last year I was constantly telling my eldest to calm down, get off her tablet, to be patient with her younger sisters, control her anger, tidy her mess, to hurry up. She quite irritatingly (and correctly) pointed out that I do all those things myself, so I have decided for the sake of household harmony, to shut the hell up.
Throw out all kids’ dresses and bathers that have cross-over backs: no child can put this crap on by themselves, therefore they have to go.
No shoes with buckles or laces for anyone under fifteen: the time it takes for my kids to negotiate buckles and laces is directly proportional to my risk of an aneurysm. Velcro for everyone.
Limit my area of control: Mess makes me anxious and narky so I have made a deal with the kids that if they agree to keep the family room tidy and keep all their crap off the kitchen bench (my domain) then I won’t harass them about how messy their bedrooms are (their domain).
I think I should just about be able to manage that.
What are your parenting resolutions for 2016?