I have a January birthday (it’s the 25th), in case you want to send a card… and have always made birthday resolutions instead of New Year’s (on the theory that it’s always better to not go along with the crowd).  So here are my parenting birthday resolutions for my thirty eighth year (in no particular order…)

1.  Chores.  I always SAY I’m going to give the kids chores, and have even made a half hearted stab at doing it once or twice.  But then I don’t enforce it, it’s just easier and quicker to unload the dishwasher myself, or to put away the laundry while they’re at school.  However, that’s really a lose/lose situation – the kids don’t actually learn how to take care of themselves, and I end up saddling myself with all household chores.  So this year, I’m going to assign age appropriate chores and stick to it.

2.  Playdates.  I’m crap at arranging playdates.   But Worcester isn’t like Maynard.  We didn’t need playdates when I was little, because the kids I went to school with were the same kids I went to CCD with and the same kids I went to Brownie’s with.  But Worcester… the kids Jess sees at school are completely different from all of her other activities.  And there really aren’t any other kids in the neighborhood here, so a playdate a month for each kid is my goal.

3.  Stop apologizing for the state of my house.  My house is cluttered and that’s just the way it is.   I’m always going to have army guys scattered under the table, crayons wily nily all over the place and sixty seven thousand books everywhere.   I’ve spent years feeling bad because it’s a mess, all the time, and assuming that people are judging me.   And they’re not, my friends love me, love coming here and their kids love it.  It’s my own hang up and I need to stop feeling bad about it.

4.  Time alone with Marc.  For too many years, our idea of a date has been time with just our youngest child.  I love this guy, he’s my partner in all things.  He’s brilliant and kind and I’m incredibly blessed in my marriage.   We deserve time alone, and this year, I’m vowing to making alone time  with my husband a priority.

5.  Blog more.  I love to write, and having others read my stuff fulfills a need that I haven’t really addressed in years.  But more than just having others read my blog, I blog for the kids.  This is their baby book, my record of their childhood.  I love being able to go back and read entries from years ago, to see how far they’ve come and how much they remain the same.   Plus it allows me to remember all those little sweet details (and the not so sweet ones) that I’d forget without this record.

6.  Take more pictures.  Because they’re freaking cute – and growing so fast every day.  I already regret not taking more pictures when they were littler. 

7.  Do more.  Weekends tend to get lost in errands and just puttering around the house.  And sometimes that’s great, like today, we’ve got Lilli, Sarah, Glennys and Caroline over and the kids are busy, busy, busy.  But we need to do more stuff, go to museums, and the ocean and up to North Conway – visiting relatives we never make time to see.   I don’t want their childhood memories to be just Walmart and the New England Patriots games.

8.  Shabbat.  It’s the  first thing that I loved about Judasim, and always, the easiest thing to let slide.  Having one day when we eat a special meal, lighting candles and blessing the children, spending the whole day together, not watching television or zoning out in  front of the computer.  We need that.  And the only way to have it happen is for us to MAKE it happen.  WE have to make it a priority, or it won’t be.   

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