I know what you’re thinking. This is going to be another list of clichéd resolutions that everyone makes each year. Snore. Well actually, it’s not. Every January I make a whole load of resolutions (usually on New Years Eve long after Midnight after a few glasses of something fizzy and not with the clearest head.) You name it, I’ve pledged it – I will get fit, I will cut my hair, I will grow my hair, I will get rich quick, declutter my house – and everything in between.
These resolutions have usually all been broken by February so I spend the next 11 months feeling guilty and then the cycle repeats itself. Sound familiar?
I’m a lucky mama to 3 gorgeous little people aged 18 months, 2 and a half and 4. They’re far too young to make resolutions (as much as I’ve tried to get them all to promise to sleep in at weekends and never ever whinge again, I know that this is wishful thinking). Most of what goes on in their lives is dictated by me – so in 2015, rather than making resolutions, I’m just putting together a list of stuff that I – and in turn they – are going to try not to do anymore. Here’s how it goes:
I will not say yes when I mean no.
You know those people who over-promise, who enthusiastically agree to everything but rarely follow through? Well that’s me. My intentions are good but I always end up taking on too much, running myself ragged (and probably annoying everyone involved in the process). Well enough’s enough. If no is the first response that comes to mind then it’ll also be straight out of my mouth. And instead of volunteering to undertake every idea thrown at me, I’ll delegate.
Person: Kaya, I thought we could write about the top 1000 school satchels in Dubai.
Me: Yes, great idea! You have my go-ahead.
Husband: Kaya, can we get steaks for the barbecue tonight?
Me: Crack on darling, mine’s a rib-eye.
See what I did there? Must try to employ this tactic often. The effect? I’ll feel less stretched, less stressed and hopefully have more time and energy to dedicate to my kids and to what’s important. Look after yourself first and you can then look after everyone else.
I will not overcomplicate plans.
Weekends can be a mad couple of days of trying to piece together a crazy jigsaw of plans. I put this down to family FOMO (fear of missing out). I want to be on the beach, at the park, eating out, cooking in, seeing friends, attempting some ridiculous DIY – the list goes on and on.
I think most mums are guilty of taking on too much – both for ourselves and for our kids. We need to slow down and understand that it’s ok if our diaries aren’t bursting at the seams each week, and that actually it’s better for our children not to be signed up to every activity under the Dubai sun. Quality not quantity.
I will plan ahead and plan well, as well as leave lots of free time for some fun spontaneous stuff that gets thrown our way. And a few random trips to Ikea because they make me happy, which brings me to my next point…
I will not buy loads of random pointless stuff from Ikea.
I’ll admit it – I love Ikea. And I mean I really love it. I go there to relax (yes, I know this sounds mad). I love wandering around the fake little rooms imagining how I can recreate the look at home – by the way, you never can – and loading up my trolley with lots of cheap bits and pieces that are just bound to make our kitchen/living room/bedroom/playroom perfect. I even love the meatballs.
I’m going to allow myself the occasional trip to Ikea; everyone needs an escape and I promise this is one of mine! I will not come home with useless utensils and additional accessories that I just don’t need, and I’ll save all that money to buy the odd gorgeous piece for my home that will last forever and ever and not end up on the Dubizzle pile. Enough said.
I will not go to bed late every night.
I have children. I am tired. Yet, I still find myself turning in far too late and you know what they say – it’s the hours before Midnight that count. I fiddle around on my laptop, watch a bit of rubbish TV and get sucked into social media-ing. Before I know it, there are only six hours of sleep available to me before the next day starts which sends me into a blind panic and stops me sleeping at all.
I’m going to go to bed earlier and leave late nights for evenings out. I’m going to remove my phone and laptop from my bedside table and read a book before entering the land of nod. And I’m going to get eight hours of sleep a night so that I’m not rushing around like a lunatic in the morning, stressing my children out and making them late for school. Even if my little ones don’t cooperate and wake me from my slumber mid-way through, at least I’ll have a little sleep under my belt to cope with it. Oh and I will not drink coffee after 2pm ever again – bye bye caffeine jitters and hello blissful snoozing.
I will not complain that my husband and I never go out together anymore.
Instead I will book that date night we always talk about and never get round to organising, buy cinema tickets, make a pilgrimage to the most romantic resto in Dubai and get round to ticking off all those places we want to see and things we want to do.
And the same goes for spending time as a family. We’ll camp in the desert, take a staycation, go and see the flamingoes in Ras Al Khor and feed giraffes at Al Ain Zoo. Less talking, more doing and no more empty promises to the kiddos.
And for my final resolution…
I will not save all my clothes for special occasions.
I can’t keep wearing the same jeans and T-shirt every day!
So there it is. Farewell to unrealistic resolutions, hello to everything I pledge not to do this year! Here’s hoping to a less stressed, better dressed mummy and to a happy well rested family!
An adapted version of this feature was originally published by Good Taste Magazine.