For 2013, I resolve not to stop...
1) Putting my family before my career
With our daycare costs at $2,400/month, I sometimes wonder if I should have taken that fast-track position in a mid-size public accounting firm. I'd be making at least $20-$30K more than now, with a possibility of partnership and the big bucks. We could afford to have a date night occasionally and our house wouldn't be filthy, because we could pay for a cleaning service. We could set up university savings accounts for the kids and finish the basement so they could have a big playroom space all their own. Other than me never actually seeing my husband or children, it would be great.
2) Working out at least three times a week
Yes, my fitness classes take time away from my family. Without them I'm so unpleasant that my husband practically drives me to the gym and pushes me out of the car. They're not just enjoyable; they're necessary.
3) Watching TV
As someone who grew up without a TV (my parents didn't believe in them), I'm perfectly capable of entertaining myself without staring at a screen. But at the end of a long, stressful day, a bubble bath followed by an episode of Dexter or Modern Family brings my blood pressure down like nothing else. I have plenty of high-falutin' tastes and I know I'm intelligent. I don't need to stop watching My Strange Addiction to prove it.
4) Refusing to be a tiger mother...for now
I expect my children to be thoughtful global citizens, appreciate what they've been given and work hard to earn their way in the world. I don't expect them as toddlers to work hard at anything other than learning to respect authority and not hitting other kids over the head with Tonka trucks. There will be plenty of time for heavy academic study and organized leisure activities in high school and later. You only get one childhood.
If your ten-year-old is on the verge of a nervous breakdown from the pressure of her soccer team championships, Mandarin lessons, church youth choir solo and science fair exhibition for the robot she built all coming together on the same weekend, you're not building character. You're crushing her soul. Just stop, or when she's 18 she may drop out of Harvard halfway through her first year, go live on a beach in Hawaii for the rest of her life and never speak to you again.
Keeping it G-rated around the kids, absolutely. Not swearing at all - why the fuck would I do that?
6) Eating ice cream and steak
Any diet that involves eliminating my two favourite foods inevitably fails in a spectacular feeding frenzy. I am working on eating less overall, and that's good enough.
7) Taking mental health days
I find it interesting that calling in sick is supposed to cover only physical ailments. One of my bosses once had his vacations cancelled over and over until he finally managed to take three days off at the end of October. We all would have been happier if he'd taken a sick day or two before that. I take a mental health day every three months or so, and I don't feel guilty. Considering the amount of unpaid overtime I've worked over the years and the expectation I respond to any question instantly 24/7 (including during my "vacations"), they owe it to me. Not to mention most of my staff have more vacation time than I do.
8) Paying for convenience
I've been buying more and more things online and despite a few glitches, overall it's the best thing ever. I try to get free shipping, but even when I can't, being able to buy new clothes for the kids in my pajamas while they play beside me is SO worth the shipping charge.
Pre-peeled carrots, frozen stir-fries and crockpot meals all get a huge checkmark too. This is not popular in the many areas of the blogosphere, but as long as our family isn't eating Twinkies off the floor, I'm happy. My husband does the cooking and when we all get home from work/daycare at 6:30 p.m., we are freakin' hungry and just want something reasonably healthy to eat. It doesn't need to be a gourmet meal prepared out of ingredients grown in our backyard.
Please don't tell me about all the toxins and pesticides, and how we don't care about our kids for not quitting our jobs to make food from scratch all day every day. Everything under the sun causes cancer or heart disease (including the sun itself), and we know plenty of health nuts who have died in their 50's despite their locally-grown, organic eating habits. We've given up.
9) Giving myself jet lag every weekend by staying up really late and then sleeping in
This is the complete opposite of what sleep experts would tell you to do. For optimum health, you're supposed to keep the same schedule all week, which would mean getting up at 6:00 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday and going to sleep by 1:00 a.m. (yep, that's not eight hours. I don't approve of it either). HA! My amazing husband gets up with the kids on the weekends and lets me sleep, which is such an act of love he should win an award. It means I can stay up late and get some quiet time to myself without having to be a total zombie the next day. I try to give Jay as many awards as possible to show my appreciation for his kindness.
Here's where I'm cheating a little on the anti-resolutions. I'm going to keep blogging, but going back to work full-time in March is going to force me to spend less time on it. This is a good thing. It's supposed to be fun and a lot of times it isn't. That needs to change.