New Year’s Resolutions are generally about health, wealth and happiness, however what if you were to make ones for specific roles in your life such as a parent? 

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Here are some suggestions if you want to have an easier time of things in 2021.

Be kinder to yourself: Parents are too hard on themselves whatever their situation. It’s sad but it’s true. Parental guilt is real whether you are a full time or part time caregiver. Whatever your parental style looks like, chances are you are doing the best you can with the support you have around you, the resources you have and the time you can spare so be kind to others, but also yourself. 

Don’t compare yourself to parents on social media: If you can- unfollow any parents who make you feel like you are failing after seeing the carefully selected, airbrushed images of their parenting highlight reel. Parents put too much pressure on themselves as it is without the need for more unrealistic expectations.   

Play with your kids more: Playing is like food for the soul and playtime with your kids makes you silly, helps you to forget about adult things for a while, encourages your imagination and takes you on a trip down memory lane to your own childhood. It’s nurturing to be a kid for just a few minutes each day as relief from the harsh realities of being a grown up. Enjoy playing, getting messy and letting your hair down, it’s good for your mental health to take that break from the norm.

Spend time and keep in touch with parents who get you: Forcing time with parents who have the opposite style to you will only make you feel worse about your own choices, especially if it’s sugar coated and embellished. So if you’re struggling with parenthood or want to vent, don’t spend time with those who profess everything is perfect. It’s not- but if they are convincing enough you will believe them all the same. 

Get out more with your kids: Even just a few minutes in nature is hugely beneficial for your and your kid’s mindset, so just kicking a ball around in the garden, taking a walk around the block or going to the park will fulfil your quota for the day and you will all feel better for it. Whether you’re a new parent, a toddler parent or a teenage parent, there is time to be had outside if you carve out little snippets of opportunity to get some fresh air.  

Less screen time: We can all agree that screens are fighting for our attention and our children’s attention all the time and can creep into the periphery when we least expect it. Reducing this exposure to screens can only be a good thing even if it’s just gradually. So if you usually watch TV right up until bedtime, why not turn it off an hour before your nighttime routine and engage in some conversation instead, or read a book together or apart in the living room. Turn the TV off while you are eating your evening meal so you can talk over your dinner and don’t make it the first thing you put on when you get in the house. 

Treat yourself to more sleep: Most parents I know are frazzled because of lack of rest. So, if you are constantly tired, your resolution should be to give yourself an earlier bedtime and recoup some of those hours your little sleep thieves have taken from you over the years. There’s a reason your children are spritely on a morning- because they get considerably more sleep than you do. So give yourself a fighting chance and put your head on the pillow half and hour to an hour earlier than you do now and feel the difference it makes. 

Happy New Year to all the parents out there!

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