New Year, New You? Whatever. New Year, Old Me is this yearâ€™s resolution.
I havenâ€™t made a New Yearâ€™s resolution in years. In fact, the Gregorian New Year feels far less like a renewal or rebirth than the good olâ€™ 5777-year-old Jewish one. Rosh Hashana brings with it Yom Kippur and, like it or not, I always find it a time of reflection and thought. Being around the start of the new school year helps.
But Jan 1 resolutions? Not for me.
Except this year.
There will be no weight loss, cardio increases or spendthriftery for this girl. This isn’t about volunteering more, drinking less, or vanquishing vices. No, this is the year Iâ€™ve decided to stop parenting my children. At least in many of the ways they’ve come to expect.
I will happily try to accommodate them when it works – for me. I will not be forcing activities and plans and action upon them. My Man and I have tried our best to make our boys well-rounded human beings. But we can’t force them to practice musical instruments they refuse to play. We can’t make them like what we like. I am done with sign ups. And paying. And hustling. Gentlemen, if you’re not in, neither am I.
Wanna to stay home and be bored? Me too! Addicted to their screens? Who isn’t?! They can watch their shit while I watch mine. Until I tell them to stop. Negotiations are over. Be as bored as you can possibly be and let’s see what dreams and ideas come out of it. Or not – I’m not making it my problem. I’ve fought the good fight – if there is such a thing – and I’m finished.
This year they can – and will – learn to amuse themselves. â€œMama donâ€™t playâ€ has been a signature line of mine â€“ and this year I say it with guilt-free pride. Go to the park, the backyard or the basement but count me out. I am not interested. Want to hit a movie? Go for dinner? Walk the streets and see whatâ€™s happening? Let me know when and where and I will be there. But activity zones, indoor play spaces and bowling? Iâ€™ll be the mom waiting and reading in the car. If I feel like it.
I was never good at sports. Ever. And Iâ€™m ok with it. This is not the year that I plan on learning how to snowboard nor will I be improving my skating or training for a marathon. No chance. This is the year I hope someone will join me in walking our dog. And if not, I have my headphones. My noise-cancelling headphones. And I’m not afraid to use ’em.
Be more patient? Fuck that. Iâ€™ll be more real. If youâ€™re making me crazy, youâ€™ll know it, Fellas. I know Iâ€™m a good mom. Iâ€™ve been doing a great job, or at least the best that I can. Iâ€™ve never taken up the mantle of Homework Police and donâ€™t intend to do so now. Furthermore, I resign as Warden of the Washroom. Piss on the walls if you will, just stay out of my ensuite ladiesâ€™ loo.
“Dinner is better when we eat it together”.
Most of the time.
I have enough food issues of my own in trying to eat healthy and clean and low carb and no sugar and good fats and less meat and kosher-style and early enough and organic. There is very little nobility in homemade dinners at our place. At this point â€œyou get what you get and you donâ€™t get upsetâ€ will be the only menu item served chez nous. Because thereâ€™s always toast. Or hummous.
As my eldest enters the teen years I brace myself. From all accounts of those whoâ€™ve been there and done that, my baby will be hating his dad and me soon enough. So weâ€™ll do the best we can and wait for whatever brewing storm to pass. No one here gets out of adolescence unscathed so Bring. It. On. I have enough trust in my guys to know weâ€™ll weather it well. (Like we have any other choice!)
I love my babies more than anything but this is the year that they learn that yes, parents are people. If I have to spend any more minutes focusing on breathing, I think Iâ€™ll bolt. I am full. So full of being mindful and grateful and careful. Itâ€™s painful.
So in this year of 2017, I resolve to bring back my own good self. Version 48.5. Because in many ways it feels Iâ€™ve been absent for a while and I miss me. My kids donâ€™t know their pre-parent mother. Theyâ€™ve only heard stories. But they will. Theyâ€™ll know me and theyâ€™ll love me and weâ€™ll all be better for it.
Happy New Year.