Herald-Whig

Here's a realistic resolution: Toss old socks

Posted: Jan. 30, 2019 12:01 am Updated: Jan. 30, 2019 11:45 pm

Well, we are through the longest January I can remember, and a thought just crossed my mind: I don't think I made any resolutions for the year.

I'm not really bothered, but I'm trying to think of what I can give up or add, and I'm struggling to come up with something reasonable. Not because there's nothing to give up and that I'm perfect, it's just that now is not a season in life to push oneself.

I'm thinking of the top things people, especially moms, like to give up or add to their daily life, to better themselves.

The strugglehood of motherhood is enough for me. Trying every day to do my best in this arena and still have enough left over to answer a question without sarcasm or gritting my teeth and whispering, "I've already told you" in my witch voice is about all I can muster right now.

But alas, let's go through the possibilities.

1. I will give up yelling at the kids. One year I did this. I told my oldest what my New Year's resolution was, and she laughed and asked me what my plan B was. If we make this contingent on children listening, then I'm in. Otherwise, let's get real and just shoot for asking five times in a normal voice before letting things naturally escalate.

2. Give up caffeine. Hilarious. If I give up coffee and black tea, I may have to kill someone. I will never make it. Last night one of the littles had a nightmare at 2 a.m. When she told me what it was, I was like, "OK, that's legit, you can lie with me." But how am I supposed to get through a day with people still pulling this stuff? Nope. Not happening. I don't even wanna cut back.

3. Diet or cut back on sugar. This is always a good notion. I announced to a friend I was going to detox. Five minutes later another friend called to ask if I wanted to go get Mexican, and I had to tap out. It was good while it lasted. I might try to drink more water, but why would I want to cut out any joy in my life? People on diets cut out foods and friendships, and I'm not prepared to lose either. I'm moving on.

4. Organize my life. Right now I'm just trying to stay on top of the laundry and pay late bills, I don't know if I have time to evaluate every article of clothing in my house or rearrange the kitchen drawers. Maybe I like cursing the potato masher and chopsticks every time they jam a drawer. I could definitely throw out all of the mismatched socks, though. These do not spark joy. Thank you, socks. Thanks for nothing. Bye.

5. Learn something new. Unless it's something like how many times can I hear the word "Mom" before I have to answer, I think this may be out of the question. I suppose I could download some podcasts and put on my noise-canceling headphones -- two birds, one stone. However, since I can't remember what day it is, I doubt I can retain a new language. Plus, with kids, I learn something new every day, whether I wanted to or not, usually something non-relevant to the real world and probably about Fortnite and/or cats.

6. Save money. Excellent idea. Sadly, child labor is frowned on outside the home. I think we all gave up on the dream of extra cash when we decided to have babies. I mean, we all cut our cloth accordingly, but it all goes the same direction. The house (full of children) always wins. Maybe if I ate fewer tacos. Nope. That idea didn't spark joy.

7. Spend more quality time together. Uh, no. I played Uno last night for an hour, made special-request smoothies and am in the middle of reading, "A Wrinkle in Time" to the littles. I'd like some quality alone time. When I say it out loud, it sounds selfish, though. Here I am, alone, writing while the kids are in school. Don't I get enough "alone" time? Well, I'm contemplating ways I can possibly be a better parent, and yesterday my alone time (all of it) was spent removing candy wrappers from bedrooms. Today is full of errands and bills, and coffee, precious coffee.

So the realistic resolution is to not resolve to any one absolute anything. Meet this new year head on with realistic expectations and goals. Give myself all the understanding I need to get through this season of life. The truth is, yelling is normal, caffeine is necessary, food is delicious, organization is overrated, and money is too. We already spend every waking moment with our kids or thinking about them and most of us have already given up enough. We need to cut ourselves a break.

It looks like my New Year's resolution is to drink more water and throw out old socks. I think I can manage.