A new decade began when we rang in 2020, and with that came the opportunity to reflect and hit refresh. As parents, many of us took stock of our parenting highs, and inevitable lows. Whether you are expecting a 2020 baby or have already had some practice, here are some of our favourite resolutions to get us back on track.

Get back to normal

The holidays mean later bedtimes, more lax supervision, and a generally jollier time.  But kids need structure to thrive, especially when it comes to getting enough sleep—actually, so do we. Start by adjusting naptime and bedtime and follow through on other routines that may have gone by the wayside during the holidays. In fact, the whole family can benefit from kickstarting a healthy and restful lifestyle now that everything’s back to normal.

Presence over presents

You may have spoiled your loved ones during Christmas but being truly present is the gift that keeps on giving year-round. Sure, you’re spending enough time with your kids (I mean, you live with them!), but if you are constantly multitasking between dinner, laundry and work emails, you might want to rethink the way you’re engaging with them. Put down the devices, forget the chore list for a while, and carve out specific times with each of your children every single day. Let them take the lead, it might turn into a tickle fight, or playing their favourite board game, or just a special conversation where they feel completely heard—and it will be totally worth it.

Be a role model

The reason parenting is such hard work is because you have to demonstrate the behaviour you’re trying to teach. All of a sudden, losing your patience, telling a white lie, or bending the rules has a ripple effect, because like it or not, your kids pay way more attention to what you do than what you say. Make this the year you minimize double standards between what you expect of your children (No shouting! Tidy up! Share nicely!) and your own behaviour. And when you do cross the line, because you will, there is nothing wrong with admitting it, and apologizing.

Prioritize self-care

Let these words sink in. A happy mom will always be a better mom—and a better spouse and a better colleague. Not only are you showing your children what it means to have a good relationship with yourself, If you’re more fulfilled, relaxed and all-around satisfied, it will make it that much easier to find the energy to have more patience, compassion and understanding for everyone around you.

Don’t skip date-night

The other relationship that needs your attention is with your husband…you know, the man that inspired you to have these tiny humans? Taking time to enjoy each other and remembering what brought you together in the first place will bring more love and appreciation into your home. You’re also showing your children what a healthy relationship looks like, an example they’ll be able to follow later on.

Don’t sweat the small stuff

This should be your mantra every day. Most things we obsess about work themselves out. The best thing to do is always count your blessings, have fun and laugh. A lot. It will instill joie de vivre in your children, an essential part of raising them.
January 10, 2020 — James DiMiele