I can hardly believe it's Carnival time again. This time around the booby bloggers and I are having a look at New Year's Resolutions - parenting resolutions to be precise!
This New Year I need to make some big changes. With a six year old at school all day, and a three year old and one year old at home, I've found myself increasingly relying on the television to keep them entertained whilst I try to keep up with all the housework, maintaining my website and updating my blog!
I never intended to work from home when I first embarked on the journey of parenthood. My dream was to take a career break from teaching, spend a few years at home with the children and give them lots of wonderful memories of their pre-school years. I was going to leave them to school, pick them up, help with homework and attend all the parent-teacher meetings, Christmas plays and the such-like.
But the reality has been quite different.
I find myself slowly drifting into working full-time at home and desperately attempting to entertain my bored children, never quite knowing what the day will bring...
Mondays are great because there is always a plan - my husband leaves our eldest child to school, I go to the Breastfeeding Support Group and Sarah and Jack have great fun in the attached playroom!
Afterwards we sometimes go to the shops and then home. We pick up Tara from school and then the children play together after all the homework is done.
As for the rest of the week we sort of just take each day as it comes - which more often than not means me spending too many hours on the laptop whilst the kids pull every single toy they possess into the lounge and turn the television volume to ear-splitting!
So my number one resolve is to plan ahead for each week so that we all know at a glance what lies ahead.
I will try to spend less time working whilst the children are around me and they in turn will spend more time having fun with me, their daddy and with each other. Perhaps we'll go to the park, feed the ducks, visit family, paint and draw together, go for lunch, enjoy a family bedtime story...
Every day will include at least one fun parenting time together as a whole family and one fun thing for me to do with the children whilst hubby is at work.
I resolve to get out more. And to get the children out more. And I will stop turning down my hubby's requests to go out with him. I think we need one evening a week just to ourselves - to go to the movies or out for a pizza together.
I also want to start some sort of an exercise regime. Right now I do little other than run around in the wake of the childrens' destruction, tidying up after them. And although I don't need to lose any weight (breastfeeding has helped tremendously in this area!), I do want to tone up.
My eldest child started horse-riding recently and usually my husband takes her to her lessons. I think it would make a nice family outing each week as the children love horses and we'll all have fun!
I've also realised that because I have three children, I've been using the car a lot more than previously! I think as a family we need to do a little more walking. Excuses are easy come by; it's too cold/ wet, I'm tired because Jack was breastfeeding all night, we're running late...
The excuses must end...
Maybe I will start by walking Tara to and from school more often. Any time I have done so in the past I have really enjoyed the conversations we have, plus she loves having me all to herself sometimes; that would be an ideal way to both exercise and spend quality mum/daughter time together!
I really want to improve our family diet. Far too frequently this year we've been living on convenience food because my husband and I are too exhausted to cook a proper dinner. I absolutely love fresh potatoes and vegetables and how hard is it to cook a bit of bacon or some chicken breasts instead of popping a pizza or lasagne in the oven? And to make it even easier we already have a steamer which can cook whole meals at a time!
Now I know that every year I make resolutions and nearly every year I've forgotten about them by the end of January - but they are usually just for me. So I'm hoping that by including the whole family, and making changes together, we'll be more inclined to stick to them this year.
Add to that the fact that my resolutions are in the public domain and I will feel obliged to carry them out!
So that's my plan for 2007... What do you propose this year?
See what the rest of the Booby Brigade bloggers are intending this coming year:
Happy New Year!