Thursday, 2 January 2014

On New Year's Resolutions

I wish I could say I was resolving to blog more, but I've got a busy year ahead of me.  I've learned over the last few years that there's a natural ebb and flow to motherhood so I hope there'll be time for blogging some of the topics floating through my brain.  Going back to having just one baby at home for three days a week is going to be an interesting change for me!

I love our house; coming home after 10 days away over Christmas reminded me just how much.  Unfortunately, some parts of it just aren't working for us right now.  We have a couple of big projects planned but it's the little ones and all the decluttering I have planned that are going to make the biggest difference I think.
  • Finish decorating the nursery
  • Replace bathroom
  • Decorate hallway and staircase
  • Mammoth decluttering project!
I have an assortment of unfinished yarn projects hanging around our living room.  I'd like to say I'm going to complete them all before starting anything new, but that's never going to happen.  So instead I'm going to be realistic; finish those I love and junk those that I don't.  I'm carrying on my Project Life approach into 2014.  I've enjoyed completing a side a week, usually working in retrospect over about a month.  I also want to get more 'proper' scrapbook pages into my albums.  I also need to finish the blind for our kitchen (started the last time I was on maternity leave!) and make a quilt out of the fabric I bought for the purpose before I had Isaac.
  • Rationalise yarn projects
  • Project Life 2014
  • Scrapbooking
  • Finish kitchen blind
  • Make patchwork quilt.
I'm so pleased and proud of my family; I honestly believe I married the best man I've ever met and that we made the most wonderful children in the world together.  I've learned a lot about prioritising and structure over the last few years.  Children like predictability and, it turns out, so do I.  We have some concrete routines in our home that work really well and we've been able to adapt them to our needs as time has passed.  These simple sequences of activity performed daily (e.g. our bedtime routine) or weekly (e.g. attending the same toddler group every Thursday morning) make life happier and smoother round here.  Another real positive is our approach to discipline; we aim to be calm, consistent and developmentally appropriate.  I've realised lately that I've been letting Anna off the hook too easily, not noticing that she's growing up so fast.  We've entered a defiant phase and she needs firm boundaries with consistent consequences.  The thing that surprises me it how often I'm able to avoid taking their misbehaviour personally.  I'm a short-tempered and grumpy person by nature, especially when I'm tired or hungry.  You'd think I would lose my temper often with the children but actually, I find it reasonably easy to understand where their behaviour is coming from and how best to deal with it.  Enough self-congratulations, there has to be a cloud, right?  Well, we're in the trenches of child-raising right now.  Neither of us has the time or energy that we would like to devote to our marriage.  So my aim for the year is to strengthen our marriage, making sure we purposefully spend time together without our children.
  • Continue to build a strong and long-lasting marriage; regular time together, without the children!
  • Continue to consider the children's temperaments, developmental stages and natural tendencies 
  • Continue with our daily and weekly routines
  • Provide consistent discipline for the children
  • Go on a family holiday
  • Spend time with our extended families.
You'd be forgiven for thinking I could let this one slide for most of the year.  Actually, I really enjoy my career and recently I've become more aware of my responsbilities both to my patients and my colleagues.  I've become involved in a management group, which will mean some meetings and maybe some email-based work.  I've also been given some data for a project by my educational supervisor and the direction to "make of it what you like".  Added to professional development activities, that makes for a pretty full list.
  • Attend trainees committee meetings
  • Read Archives monthly
  • Complete allergy data project
Maybe this should have been higher up?  These items are going to seem slightly frivolous, but I'm ok with that.  I was looking back at photos of me when I was pregnant with Isaac, goodness how I've aged since then!  I'm still following the beauty regimes I had when I was a teenager (i.e. none!) and I think it's time to accept that I'm now in my thirties.  So the first step is an anti-ageing face moisturiser and then, woah, maybe some eye cream?  The main thing for this year is remembering the importance of seasons.  I remember the enforced inactivity of the newborn days, the frustration of the nearly mobile baby and the constant watchfulness when they finally do start to move.  Some days I'll get a lot done, some days it'll be enough that we're all alive and fed at the end of the day.  So taking it easy on myself is going to be key for 2014, which I guess puts everything above it in perspective.  It's good to have a to-do list but it's also go to let it go from time to time.
  • Use an anti-ageing moisturiser and consider an eye cream
  • Moderate my expectations to fit the season.

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