As parents, we’re doing the best we can each day to provide a great life for our children. Because, ultimately, seeing them happy and helping them thrive is all that matters.
But we’re also hard on ourselves. Even the most confident parents sometimes question if they’re doing things right for their children. It’s in our nature to want to be the best version of ourselves for the tiny humans that look up to us.
And that’s a great thing to aspire to—but if you’re looking to better yourself in parenthood, healthy goals are key. We need to set objectives that will help you grow as a parent, but that won’t diminish who you are as a mother or father to your children. They love you for who you already are.
What better time to do this than at the start of a New Year? So, here are some ideas for resolutions to help you become an even more amazing parent than you already are in 2020:
1. Prioritize moments for yourself
To have happy children, those kids need to have happy parents. And while, of course, our kids bring so much joy to our lives, we also need to prioritize time to immerse ourselves in doing the things we love outside of being a parent, too.
We need to have hobbies to help us decompress from the stress of life. We have to pursue the passions we have outside of being a mother or a father or else we’ll get burnt out.
Set aside time to fulfill your needs as an individual—whether that be training for a marathon or having a spa day for yourself, to reading a book you’ve been wanting to get to for a while or finishing a project for your home.
Whatever you choose to do, do it for yourself, and make sure it brings you happiness that radiates to your parenting. Your kids will appreciate it, too.
2. Dedicate bonding time to your kids
Daily life comes with endless responsibilities—at home and work. But it’s important to leave your work at work and set aside the chores and errands to really focus on spending time with your children.
They won’t care about how many dishes you washed or business deals you close. But they will remember and care about the games that you play and the books that you read together.
They’ll care about the moments you spend with them having fun and creating memories. They’ll remember the camping trips and adventures you go on as a family.
So, dedicate time to really bond with your children, and let them know that you really cherish their company. Show (and tell) them how much bliss they bring to your life and how important they are to you.
3. Ask for help when you need it
There comes a time when we all hit a wall in parenting, and we need a helping hand to overcome it. And there’s no shame in that. We all get overwhelmed—between the sibling arguments, toddler tantrums and busy schedules packed with your kids’ youth activities.
Sometimes there’s not enough time in the day to do it all. But you don’t have to do it alone. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it from a family member or close friend. They’ll be delighted to spend some time with your kids, while giving you a much needed break to recover from both the mental and physical exhaustion that comes with parenting.
Then, once you refresh, you can go back to being super mom or dad because you have the energy and fortitude to get through whatever parenthood throws your way.
4. Continue building your relationship with your spouse
Before there were children, you and your spouse only had one another. Cultivating and building that relationship with one another is even more important after having kids.
Find childcare every month or so to go out and soak in each other’s company and grow as a couple. Continue fostering that connection you have and getting to know one another beyond what you already know.
This is essential to having a healthy and lively household. So, don’t stop making memories with your spouse. Keep experiencing life with one another, and do exciting things together—just the two of you.
5. Work on ways to overcome an aspect of parenting that has challenged you the most in 2019
We all face aspects of parenting that prove to be more difficult than others. We need qualities when raising children that sometimes don’t come naturally to us, and that’s OK.
But as you enter the New Year, think of ways you can tackle this in 2020. Instead of struggling with this element of parenthood, take steps to embrace it.
I know patience is not my strong suit as a mother. It doesn’t come naturally to me. There’s definitely moments when I find myself frustrated that my 3-year-old isn’t listening. But that’s the thing, she’s only three. So, when this happens, I’ve found that I need to breathe and take a moment to really think of why I’m not resonating with her, and find fun and creative ways to get her to pick up her toys or eat her dinner.
So, find something you’re struggling with in parenting and make a plan to conquer it at the start of the year.