Suck it, 2016: my New Year’s resolutions
Now that 2016 is coming to end in all its terrible glory, I figured it was time to look back at the parenting New Year’s resolutions that I made back in January.
1. Teach the how Popple to sleep.
Done. So done. Thank God. The Popple still has the odd bad night when she’s not feeling well, but mostly she just kind of rolls over and goes to sleep as soon as I put her into her cot.
It’s the most amazing sight in the world.
I can’t think of a single other thing that’s happened this year that has had a more positive impact on my physical and mental health. Never underestimate what having more three hours of uninterrupted sleep in a row can do for you. Never forget how important it is to have a few hours in the evening to yourself to watch TV, read a book or stuff your face with cheese and wine. It’s not a luxury. It’s a necessity.
If you’re struggling with your baby’s lack of sleep, can read my super-helpful* post about how we finally cracked the whole sleeping-thing.
*Will probably not be helpful in any way.
2. Make mum friends more aggressively.
I wrote this list when I was still on maternity leave and doing the daily rounds of Bounce and Rhyme, Baby Sensory, Rhythm Time and Baby Yoga. I chatted with some mums who were nice enough, but I never made those mum friends that I was looking for, the ones who will come over and bring you cake when your baby has been up all night screaming and you’re too exhausted to leave the house.
Luckily, I have lots of great online mum friends who I met through #tribalchat, which started by the lovely Mummy in a Tutu. We chat daily, sharing our parenting struggles, supporting each other’s blogs and laughing about the ridiculous things that our children do.
You guys are awesome. Keep being hilarious. Never be afraid to lower the tone. Write amazing things in 2017.
3. Be more present.
Errr…yeah. Still working on that one. If anything, it’s even more tempting to whip out my phone now that the Popple is older and more capable of entertaining herself. Also, she can be kind of boring sometimes. It’s not her fault. Kids just aren’t always that interesting. Frankly, neither is Facebook, but given the choice between looking through my high school friends’ holiday photos and watching the Popple run around the coffee table for the 20th time, I’m probably going to choose the former.
4. Be kinder to myself.
I think I’m getting better about mum-shaming myself. That doesn’t mean that I don’t doubt my parenting abilities all the time, especially when I see how much the Popple likes watching Taylor Swift videos, but I can give myself a bit of a break. This is a learning-on-the-job kind of post, and I’m going to get things wrong as often as I get them right.
Now, on to 2017. I should probably make some new resolutions, yeah?
1. Come up with more creative toddler activities.
I’m not crafty in the slightest, so I’m not going to pretend I’m going to spend my days lovingly sculpting things out of homemade scented play dough. But this is a pretty shit excuse for a ‘fun’ activity.
So this year, I’m going to try a little harder. I may even experiment with messy play. The Popple hates getting dirty and I hate cleaning, but, you know, education and all that.
2. Meet up with the #tribalchat ladies.
It sucks when your best mum friends live down south, but I’m determined to find a way to catch up with some of these awesome mums in the New Year.
3. Be more present.
Damn you, smartphone.
4. Embrace the madness that is toddler travel.
We took some great trips to New York, Ireland and Berlin in 2016, and I want to do even more travelling in 2017. Travelling with a toddler is stressful, requires a lot of planning and can go very wrong very quickly, but I don’t want to let that to stop us. We’ll shell out loads of cash we don’t have for holidays that she won’t remember, but I’m fine with that if it means we get to see things like this:
So, what about you guys – are you making any New Year’s resolutions?