With the start of this new year, I have pondered whether or not I should make resolutions for myself. I'm not typically a resolution type of girl mostly because I know myself well enough that those resolutions will be either broken or long forgotten by the time the ground thaws. This year, though, I'm making an exception. I don't really want to call the following resolutions though. They seem so much more important than that. Instead, I've decided that I need to make some major changes to my parenting style.
I have found myself becoming increasingly frustrated lately, both with myself and with the girls. It seems like I spend so much of my time refereeing or disciplining and not nearly enough time just have fun. After some examination I realize that the root of the problem mostly lies with me, and therefore it's time to change.
- I need to stop saying "in a minute" when the girls ask me for something. Their concept of waiting has improved drastically with age but still they can only be asked to wait for so long before chaos insues. It's time that I develop the habit of stopping what I'm doing - something that most certainly will still be there when I get back, e.g. laundry, dishes, etc. - and tend to their needs first.
- I will spend less time on the computer while they are awake. Like those items mentioned above, the Internet will still be here after they're in bed.
- During Friday Night Movie Night, I will make myself an active part of that tradition rather than using that time to clean the house. Having the girls occupied in front of the TV does not make it okay for me to not be a part of this ritual. Again, I know for a fact that the dust and dirty sinks will still be there after the movie is over.
- When the girls ask me to watch something, I will. I won't half-ass it and sort of watch as I walk out of the room.
- I will play with them when they ask me to. I realize that it won't be long before they stop asking.
- The yelling needs to stop. My patience needs to increase. The constant countdown to bedtime needs to end. I will remember to take deep breaths and just generally chill the hell out.
- Instead of constantly tell them to "be quiet" or turning up the radio to drown out the noise I will take a moment to appreciate their ideas, answer their questions, and laugh at their stories.
- I will spend at least ten minutes with each one in direct mommy-and-me time every day, whether that be reading a book, snuggling at bedtime, cooking in the kitchen, or just playing together. It seems like so little, but it's probably more than they get now which makes me want to punch myself in the head.