I hate New Year’s resolutions. To me they are usually lazy wishes made in the hopes that somehow turning the page on the calendar will magically make you lose 10 pounds and read more books. Having a daughter who just finished her first trip around the sun, though, has made me think about resolutions and goals for the year in a different way. Year one rocks your world and you spend most of it in survival mode, but I’m ready to do a bit more thriving than surviving in year two. Yes, just like with New Year’s resolutions, I will probably fall short and one year is a long time with a toddler (one DAY is a long time with a toddler) but with unbridled optimism courtesy of a caffeine buzz, I give you my Two Year’s resolutions.
I will organize the approximately 5k iPhone photos of my child and (gasp!) print some of them and (double gasp!) hang some of them on the wall. The way I see it, this is a parenting tool. When your kid throws herself on the floor of the hallway because you’ve taken the remote away from her for the 45th time that day, simply glance up at the picture of your tiny baby’s first smile adorning the wall. Sigh. Then, of course, just give her the remote and hope you can find it after bedtime.
I will get reacquainted my pre-baby self. She was so fun and laid back and ran half-marathons and washed her hair. She read books and watched movies and remembered important dates and deadlines. Her shoes were super cute. She was a great conversationalist and knew what was happening in the world. Not gonna lie, I really miss her.
I will become one with the mess. Dishes and laundry will never be remembered and there is no prize for getting them done in a timely manner. The fallout from days when chores are left undone pales in comparison to the fallout from days without alone time or one-on-one time with your partner. The mess is endless, and I will embrace it and set boundaries. And truly, she’s going to pull every single book off the shelf in approximately 13 hours so the fact that I can’t stop neatly stacking them every night screams insanity on my part.
I will adopt a daily mantra: I am a good mom. I’ve always been someone that nervously anticipated my yearly appraisals at work, but also secretly loved them. “What is that you say? I’m doing a great job??? Aw, reeeeally?? THANKS!!!” There’s no feedback and no tiny boxes checked “exceeds expectations” in motherhood so you have to keep reminding yourself that you’re killin’ it. I will continue to make mistakes but I love her, I’m devoted to her and I’m fiercely protective of her. Also, does this mean I get a raise?
I will take a back seat more often. I will recognize that her other parent is exactly that. I will butt-out of their time alone together (and give them more of it) and stop worrying about being away from her. The pressure to be available to my daughter 24/7 is completely unsustainable and I’ve put it on MYSELF. In year two I am full-on-Elsa-style letting that go. The beauty of a two parent family is that your kid grows and learns from two different people with different strengths and we all benefit from time apart from each other.
I will stop apologizing to family, friends and the general public when my kid acts (within reason) like a KID. I find myself apologizing way too much for a little human that’s done nothing wrong. What kind of message does this send? Yeah, she occasionally squeals with delight while eating at Taco Deli. That’s because it’s really, really good! Sorry not sorry, people. Adults, I fully support you gleefully yelling at your taco if you’re feeling it.
I will get some sleep so that all these other resolutions can (potentially) happen. So, year two, I’m gonna need hours at a time adding up to 7 or 8 total most nights, ‘kay? Thanks!
Now that the caffeine buzz is waning, this list is a little daunting, but I made it through year one with perfect attendance, so I have 365 days to make the magic happen. All you mamas of newly turned one year olds, Happy Two Year, you made it! What’s your resolution?