New Year’s resolutions are ridiculous. How can you possibly commit to improving yourself for an entire year? Especially in the gloomy month of January. (Okay, it’s sunny here in Florida but I try to keep that weather gloating to a minimum because I’m afraid of your backlash during the summer when this place turns into the land of sweat and humidity.)
I think it’s way more realistic to have New Year’s resolutions just for January 1st. Yup, one day only. (Like a one day sale at Walmart but you won’t have to get into a shouting match over a parking spot that was so obviously yours.) We can all do one day of New Year’s Resolutions, right? And if you extend to January 2nd, well, that’s just makes you a rock star.
New Year’s Resolutions for January 1st (or beyond):
Think of children less like “little people meant to bring you joy” and more like “workers you’ve recently hired to get stuff done around the house.”
Watch TV and not fold laundry. Feel no guilt about this. Look at that laundry basket and say, “Why would I bother folding you when my children will just wear you for 6 minutes and then deem you dirty so they don’t have to put you away.” Husband may wander in and ask why you are talking to the laundry basket but you remain unphased, triumphant and happily watching TV.
When kids are applying metallic jewelry tattoos, clarify much sooner the rules about applying these tattoos to their younger sibling. Especially when it comes to his face.
Don’t let anyone make you listen to Adele because that song where she calls a thousand times is starting to make you sort of crazy. Like multiply crazy by a thousand. Like you are longing to hear the Frozen soundtrack again. That crazy.
Yell at your kids less. You can do that for one day. Okay, you can do half a day if they really get annoying.
Ask that mom who doesn’t seem to age, how she looks so gorgeous.
Start a kickstarter campaign for Botox and fillers because it turns out that’s how she looks so gorgeous.
Commit to less Ryan Gosling in your Facebook feed. Because my god, you are a middle aged woman and you have better things to do than lust after a movie star. (Resume on January 2nd.)
Congratulate yourself that you have survived another holiday season without caving to your children’s demand for a gigantic inflatable Santa in your front yard. (Know in your heart that one of your kids is going to break you one year and you just pray that you at least get it on sale.)
Realize that your inability to spend 5 minutes uploading your pictures means you have no memory on your phone, preventing you from taking any photos or videos and that has actually made you a more present parent. #BlessedByLimitsOfTechnology. Then laugh because you just take photos and videos with your spouse’s phone instead.
When the CVS guy asks for your number so you can get your customer rewards and discounts, stop saying, “I can’t give you my number. I’m married!” and then snorting with laughter because man, you are hilarious and clever.
Practice a random act of kindness. Like secretly eating the last of the holiday chocolates alone in a dark closet so your kids don’t have to watch and long for a bite.
Be the fun, happy mom for one day! You know the kind of mom that is up for anything and never says things like.. “Hey clean up this mess before you start your next activity” and “No cake before dinner!”
Of course, that means the house will be trashed, and everything will be in complete disarray, but who gives a crap. You are the fun mom! (Half way through the day realize that it is completely exhausting to be fun and you’re going to just send everyone outside so you can scrape crazy glue off the countertops.)
That’s it. I mean, how much more can you do in one day. Wishing you an amazing new year! Or at least a pretty good one where you feel healthy and glow gorgeously in dim lighting. xo
So Christmas happened. Here’s proof:
For Christmas one of my darling children really wanted an iPhone 6 Plus. Despite the fact that she couldn’t really explain why she wanted it except that “everybody has one.”
And because my husband and I are very loving, giving parents, we decided to give her a refurbished blender instead.
Our blender has been broken for a really long time. This made my 11 year old daughter Dylan sad because she really likes smoothies. You can tell because when she was 8 years old, she wrote a list of things she wanted and “smoothie” came before “freedom.”
So Dylan begged us to get the blender fixed. It needed a $10 part but the store was not close by and only open on weekdays. And it probably won’t surprise you but with 5 kids, we don’t have a lot of time to go on fixing-blender-adventures. So it just never happened.
The obvious answer would be to just buy a new blender on Amazon but they aren’t cheap and we already had a high quality one (except for the pesky broken part).
Anyway, in the spirit of the holidays, Rick got the blender fixed and presented it to Dylan on Christmas. Dylan quickly realized that she couldn’t FaceTime her friends on the blender but she could mix and chop.
Well, this blender turned out to be some sort of holiday miracle, because on Christmas Eve, 5 year old Harlowe fell on the playground and had to get 5 stitches inside her mouth. Inside her mouth. I didn’t even know that was a thing. And that meant an immediate need for a lot of smoothies.
That’s her trying to smile on Christmas. But she is now healing nicely.
Now soon after that blender got fixed, our garage door broke. On garbage/recycling night. Which meant carrying all our recycles from the holidays through the house and then outside.
And we had A LOT.
Wow. I really hoped we tipped the recycling guy.
The Elf on the Shelf is finally out and about in my house. Which means he somehow must have escaped from the attic. Trying to remember to move the elf each night is incredibly taxing on my brain. And not only that, I’m reasonably confident that the guy is mocking me a large part of the day.
Here’s what he must be thinking…
1. I wonder how long that lady is going to look for her keys. I can see them right there under the couch. She’s checked her back pocket 4 times. Lady, they are under the couch!!
2. These kids seriously eat more off the floor than their plates. I like when that one little kid pretends his plate is a frisbee.
3. Oh man, they forgot to move me again. I wonder what excuse they are going to use this time. I like the one about me having a bit of sciatica.
4. That 5 year old boy just asked his mother 14 times if he could have a snack. Dude, you aren’t getting a snack.
5. Oh wait, 14 might be his lucky number after all. He broke her. He got a snack! And a cookie no less. This kid is really talented. I’m taking notes.
6. I would do anything to change my outfit. I’m soooo over red. I wish I could wear navy. I look fabulous is navy.
7. No one around here is ever going to guess that I’m the mastermind behind the Kourtney Kardashian/ Scott Disick break up. Text you later Kourt.
8. Where are the Barbies? I can’t find them anywhere. Did they get rid of the Barbies? They know I like to hang with Barbies late night. Come on!! Last year I hung out in the Barbie hot tub!
9. Pizza 3 nights in a row. Seriously people?! You’re mailing this parenting thing in.
10. Why would you buy a kid a drum set?
11. Hey lady, if you’re going to pour yourself a glass of Sauvignon Blanc, don’t forget a glass for the elf. I’m right up here!
12. Can someone please change the channel from Lifetime?! I’m dying over here.
13. Do you know they are trying to make me work all year round by turning me into a birthday elf! I seriously need a new agent.
14. It’s hard living in a world with so much Elf on a Shelf hate.
15. Did they just turn out the lights and go to sleep. Hello? Hello? Isn’t anyone going to move me? Hello?
If you’re a new parent and you’re wondering what you are going to remember about your baby, let me tell you. Nothing. You will remember nothing.
Okay, that’s not exactly true. You will remember tiny little moments, but it will be hard to remember the entire essence of what your life is like right now, what your baby is like right now.
I look at my children today and I try to remember what my 11 year old was like – toddling around our home. And it is nearly impossible.
The best I can do is remember little snippets of time – like a day we were taking a walk down our neighborhood street in New York City. She insisted on climbing the stairs at the entrance way of every building. It was the West Village. There were a lot of stairs. It took forever. It took longer than forever.
But she didn’t care that I wanted to get home. She just kept climbing up and down, with that determined toddler energy. Her hair had grown into a blonde pixie cut and whatever she wore that day, I know she picked it out herself because she knew what she liked.
Not long after I had my first baby, a friend told me to start writing stuff down. She insisted I would forget all these passages of childhood. I knew she was wrong. How could I forget any of it? I spent hours staring at this baby, nursing her, changing her, kissing her, loving her. Every moment was chiseled in my brain.
But it turns out, it wasn’t. As your child evolves, those memories somehow slowly drift away. You look at a child who now stands head to head with you and you think, how was she ever that small?
Thankfully, I followed my friend’s advice. In the past 11 years, I did write things down in a notebook. Just now and then. Silly things, ordinary things, things I would have long forgotten if I hadn’t picked up a pen.
Like the fact that Chase (3 at the time) used to kiss me every night on both cheeks as if he was secretly European. And as he did it, he would say, “I kiss your face. And now I kiss your other face.”
The funny thing is I wrote down these notes for myself but I inadvertently gave my children a gift because they love when I read from this book.
Dylan adores hearing about her younger self. Like the day she (then 9) told me, “Daddy is good on TV. You’re good at watching TV.” (I guess we all have our strengths.)
I want to remember everything. But I know I will have to settle for moments here and there.
I want to remember that 2 year old Cash rolls a backpack wherever he goes and would hitchhike to Utah if I would just let him be free.
And that 5 year old Harlowe always turns to me and says, “You’re my best mommy. Of course you’re my only mommy.” (She does have a point. It is a very small sample size.)
And that when Chase wants something, he will ask me 457 times because he is undoubtedly the most persistent member of this family.
And that 9 year old Summer is terrified of the tiniest of dogs but not gigantic horses. And that there is no one who gives better hugs.
And that 11 year old Dylan is a tornado of passion, creativity and unbridled energy. And one day, not long ago, my heart almost exploded as I watched her jump on the trampoline in the rain with her 2 year old brother – both soaking wet and filled with ridiculous joy.
So whether your child is 2 months or already towering over you, take a pen and a notebook and start writing down the moments. Just whenever you think of it. The things they say, what they hope to be when they grow up, how they make you laugh, their obsession with cheese, whatever.
It doesn’t matter what you write. Only that you write something.
Because some day you will want to remember it all.
There always moments in life that define each of us. A moment when we decide, we can’t just sit back and do our normal… go to work, run to the grocery store, put the kids to bed, fold laundry, watch TV, read a book and check out social media kind of life. Yes, we will continue doing all those things (and enjoying them… well, maybe not that laundry thing) but we feel compelled to do more.
It might be the March of Dimes or cancer research or adopting a foster child or collecting toys for the homeless or simply paying for a stranger’s coffee at Starbucks. Moments that make us want to make this a kinder, gentler world.
For me that moment was Sandy Hook.
I remember sitting in the parking lot at Trader Joe’s and listening to my car radio in disbelief. 20 children? That couldn’t possibly be true. As a mother, I felt broken for those families. And horror that I live in a country where the mentally ill, people on terror watch lists and people who can’t pass a standard background check… can still find ways to buy a gun. Easily. And legislators that would rather accept money, than stand up and do the right thing.
As someone who has had my own violent encounter with gun violence and who has watched in anger as shootings have happened all over our country, I am compelled to do more.
Over the weekend, I (along with 3 of my kids) took part in walks organized by Moms Demand Action to end gun violence in this country. More than ten thousand people attended over 100 walks in 43 states.
As former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords (who suffered a serious brain injury from gun violence) tweeted, we honor the victims of Sandy Hook with action.
We all have our callings. Something that stirs us to act and create more love and light in this world.
So I ask you on the 3rd anniversary of Sandy Hook to honor those children who never had a chance to grow and discover their callings. I ask you to honor them by taking your passion, your commitment and go out and begin changing this world.