New Year’s Resolutions for New Parents
December 29, 2017
Perhaps the greatest change that occurs for new parents when a new baby is born is perspective. Suddenly priorities become clear, time becomes more precious, and efforts become more focused. We want to be the best we can for our baby, and we want to give them the world.
Here are some New Year’s Resolutions ideas for new parents that will help you be your best self for your baby, your spouse, and you.
Instead of setting a goal to “lose the baby weight” or “lose the baby tummy,” focus on the positive. That baby weight and baby tummy served a noble purpose, so try to avoid regarding it as a negative entity. Instead, focus on the miraculous feat your body has achieved, and what you want it to do now. Remember, goals must be specific to be achievable. Perhaps your goal of “being healthy” could center around building endurance, running a few times per week, or eating more whole fruits and vegetables to give you energy and fight exhaustion. Remember that the way you see yourself and treat your body will serve as an example to your child through their years under your influence, so treat yourself the way you’d want your child to treat his/her body.
Learn to Cook New Foods
Many parents prefer to make their own baby food instead of using store-bought baby food. Learning to make your own baby food would be a great New Year’s resolution. As your baby gets older, you may find that their palette is a bit more “refined” than yours, and many parents can attest to the battles of dinnertime with a toddler. Learning to cook a variety of new foods can help prevent this battle and introduce your whole family to new foods you never knew you liked. Setting the example of cooking and trying new food will also influence your children’s habits, so setting a goal of making one new recipe per week is a great way to encourage good eating patterns and open-mindedness.
Read Parenting Books
I used to roll my eyes at parenting books, but then I heard a perspective that completely changed my mind. Parenting is very much a job, a tough job. It requires skills – organization, adaptation, project management, human resources, budgeting, time management – you name it, you probably need it for parenting. Every other job requires training, education, and ongoing education and training, so why would we treat parenting any different? While the love that we feel for our children comes natural, we may not know the best methods of discipline, how to deal with a child whose personality is nothing like ours, different methods of potty training, and the list goes on. To be the best we can be at the best job in the world, we must seek continued education and training to gain perspectives, methods, and ideas that we don’t know of yet.
Resume an old Hobby
It is easy to lose yourself in parenthood. While time is precious, it is also fleeting. This makes it easy to put ourselves last and fail to do the things that used to be part of our identity. Set a goal to get out there and play tennis once per week or month. Go fishing with your brother once per month. Think of something that you can do for your own wellbeing, and make a realistic goal to do it reasonably often. Taking care of yourself is not selfish. Your child deserves the best parents, and the best parent is the one who is at peace with themselves and the world around them. And who knows, it may not be long until your little one wants to come along, and that favorite hobby of yours becomes a passed-down tradition.
Visit Family Members
After moving across the country from my parents and grandparents a few years ago, I realized I would have to be deliberate and willing to sacrifice in order to visit them. I set a New Year’s Resolution last year to visit all 4 of my grandparents because it had been a few years since I’d seen a few of them. We bought plane tickets for our whole family and dedicated our entire Spring Break to it. Boy am I glad I set that goal, and stuck to it. My grandmother died two months after our visit, and my grandfather after whom my son is named, slipped into stage 5 of Parkinson’s Disease within weeks of that trip. Don’t put off visiting family members, especially with a baby. You will never regret the sacrifice and time it takes, but you may very deeply regret putting it off until it’s too late.
Spend time daily distraction-free
Social media is a great tool to help us stay connected, especially during times of isolation. But when we’re home a lot because of a baby, too much social media can be a distraction and even detriment to our relationships and responsibilities. Set a goal to consume social media and other forms of media in moderation. Perhaps set a goal to have all meals device-free.
Commit to a weekly date night
Don’t forget to set time aside for your spouse. Your relationship may evolve when a baby is added to the mix, but it should still be a priority. Make actual plans in advance and keep them. Overcome the fear of leaving baby with a babysitter and spend time alone with each other. You will be better parents when you keep your marriage healthy.
Hey new parents, we want to know! What are your New Year’s Resolutions?
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