It’s that time of year again when we have eaten too much (definitely), partied too hard (probably) and have no idea what day it is…and as the new year rolls around, our thoughts often turn to changes we want to make for the year ahead (starting with eating and drinking less…see above).
Do you make resolutions every year, full of hope and optimism, but fall off the wagon by mid-January? (Sounds familiar!) Or maybe you don't bother in the first place, as you know you won’t have time to even write them down, never mind stick to them?
Here at Mini First Aid, we’re taking a different approach this year – we’ve decided to create some New Year’s resolutions especially for parents, that you will actually want to keep! Sound good? Read on…
1. I will make time for myself
We know it’s easier said than done, but as the saying goes, you can’t pour from an empty cup. Try and schedule some me-time at least once a week, even if it’s just half an hour with a book and a cuppa. Ask friends or family to watch the kids and have some time out – you’ll be a better parent for it and your kids might even appreciate you a bit more!
Top tip: schedule this time in your calendar to make sure it happens – treat it like any other appointment that you can’t miss.
2. I will ask for help
We’ve all done it – struggled on whilst plastering on a smile and pretending everything is fine. If a friend of yours needed help, you would want to know about it, right? So don’t be afraid to reach out to your friends when you need to; most people will be glad of the chance to help. (This is particularly important for any new mums out there.)
Top tip: If you don’t know many other parents locally, join Mummy Social to find like-minded people and meet-ups in your local area.
3. I will nurture my relationships
Whether it’s your relationship with your partner, or other friends & family, this can take a back seat when children come along, as they tend to take all of your time and energy. However, it’s really important to focus on your grown-up relationships too – to maintain a sense of identity other than as a mum or dad, and because you will need their support when the kids have driven you to the end of your tether!
Top tip: Book a babysitter once a month if you can, and schedule some time with your partner or close friends. Some time out from being a parent can do the world of good and recharge you to deal with whatever the kids throw at you next.
4. I will learn something new
Learning a new skill can be reinvigorating and do wonders for your confidence and self esteem, however it can be difficult to find the time and the headspace when you are the primary carer for young children. Perhaps now is the time to learn that instrument you always fancied (ukulele lessons anyone?) or to become an expert in something you have always been interested in. Lots of courses can be done online, so you can do them from home during baby’s naptime, or perhaps there is a one-off course you can do to add a new skill to your CV if you are thinking about returning to work.
Top tip: You can learn essential first aid skills in just 2 hours (and you can even bring your baby) – why not tick a resolution off your list, learn a new skill and give yourself peace of mind that you would know what to do in an emergency? You can find a class near you here: www.minifirstaid.co.uk/classes
A few more tips to help you stick to your goals:
1. Keep it simple – limit yourself to 4 or 5 resolutions to make sure they are achievable
2. Share them with family and friends (or post on social media) – you will be less likely to give up if you have shared them publicly!
3. Involve friends and family where possible – can you convince them to do this with you? This will make it more enjoyable and you won’t want to let each other down.
4. Schedule time in your diary each day when you will focus on your goals – this can be on your phone or in a paper diary – and set reminders so you don’t forget.
5. Reward yourself if you manage to stick to your goals – think of a treat that will motivate you. This could be a sweet treat, a glass of wine or a new pair of shoes – whatever works for you.