Opinion

Playing with the kids is as good a resolution as any

SO IT is a new year again, and resolutions have been flying thick and fast.

Given that 90% of resolutions made are given up on within two weeks of the new year, I have never been one to profess sweeping changes in my life at the stroke of midnight.

I do like to use the idea of a new year and a fresh start to evaluate my life, however. What do I want to do more of, what changes could I work on, what don't I want to do anymore.

This year, big on my personal list is reading more books (which I used to do a lot of before my children were born), going to bed early, getting more sleep, and eating better.

But since having kids, I have found my focus is less on me and more about my boys - what kind of wife and mother I want to be.

As I entered 2015, I realised that this is the last year I have with my eldest, Master H, at home before we start a slow entrance into the world of school, with kindy starting next year, all too soon followed by Prep.

It was a bit of a shock realisation that he is growing up fast and there is not long left for me to take advantage of the quality time we have while he is still at home.

And it really got me thinking about what I wanted to get out of our time together. I couldn't think of anything else but fun.

The past three years have passed in a blur of becoming a new mum, having a second baby, adjusting to life with two boisterous boys and basically just getting through the days.

But just getting by is not really a life I want to live.

I look back and wonder why I have felt it important to do other things around the house while they play by themselves. I was horrified to realise I felt I was wasting time by sitting down and playing with them - because I wasn't doing anything "useful" with my time at home.

It has taken me a while to get there, but I now see the most useful thing I can do with my time is to spend it playing with my boys.

They are getting older now and play time can be just as fun for me as it can be for them. Although while I can handle Lego, playdough, painting and drawing, I am not much chop when it comes to playing with tractors and cars and diggers, which are their all-time favourite things.

But hey, I guess that is my new year's challenge. Because I want them to know me as the fun mum who loves to play with them, who they have fun with, not the mum who is busy with other things or who just watches and helps them go about their day.

There is one other thing that will be my biggest challenge this year - I want to work on not yelling so much.

Generally speaking I wouldn't say I yell a lot, but there are some days when yelling is common place - when I am especially tired, or stressed and generally when I have hit my threshold of whining and tantrums.

It is always a knee-jerk reaction, it just happens. And I don't like doing it.

Especially when I see that Master H is learning that this behaviour is okay, that it is okay to yell at his brother, or us, when he is annoyed and frustrated. It is not some thing that I want to be teaching him.

Part of this is knowing that I need to take better care of myself - mainly get enough sleep, even if that means going to bed when they do and sacrificing my precious "no-kid" time.

It is clear to me that when the hours of sleep I get dwindle, so does my tolerance level of annoying child behaviours.

I have started this already, and I can tell you it isn't easy, but no habits are easy to break when you first start trying, so I hope I can persevere. Because this year I want to take more time to remember that I am lucky that I get to spend so much time at home with them, as I know there must be other mothers who wish they could be spending more time with their little ones.

I want to try and remember that life doesn't have to be so serious and that it is not all about routine and schedules.

Topics:  children new year resolutions parenting



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