TalkMum blogger Rachel from Make A Long Story Short has a big birthday coming up, and a few goals to reach...
Duck and cover, readers, because there’s something coming, and it ain’t pretty. In a matter of weeks I will be 30. Thirty! I will be celebrating with balloons of woe and a cake made from the tears of the child I used to be.
Actually (shh), I’m looking forward to getting out of my twenties. At heart I have always been a stay-at-homer, someone more comfortable with a hot drink and a book than all-nighters and, I don’t know, raving (?). But I do feel a nagging sense of guilt that I should be better at some things than I am. A person who is thirty has it all figured out, right? Right?! At any rate, as new year’s day came around this year – THE LAST JANUARY BEFORE I AM 30 – I scribbled out these resolutions with extra urgency.
1. I will remember that a soft answer turneth away a whole host of parenting problems
I have been a mother for three and a half years, and whew, don’t you learn a lot about yourself? One of my least favourite discoveries was that my inner parenting style is more akin to Sergeant Major than hippy-dippy earth mother. I wish it wasn’t. With a shy and painfully sensitive boy, I’ve had to work hard to curb my tendency towards because-I-said-so. It doesn’t work with him. This year I want to practice soft voices, drawing them in to discipline rather than isolating them in time-outs (where possible), and love, love, love. The Beatles thought it was a great idea.
2. I will remember that I need more sleep
A couple of days into January, I set an alarm on my phone to go off every day at 10pm. Left to my own devices, delirious with happiness that no one is sat on me, I stay up. And up. And up. I’m not even doing anything necessary, just fiddling on Instagram or watching House. But when the toddler alarm goes off at 6am (if we’re lucky), I’m wrecked. I have finally realised that I need more sleep to function happily. So I’m going to do myself a favour, and give myself the gift of a good night.
3. I will remember to accept my glorious self and the glorious selves of others
It seems to me that 30 years should be long enough to realise that, actually, you’re a bit of alright. Yes, my body looks like this because it grew and birthed and fed two babies, which was a pretty amazing thing to do. Yes, I’m not good at everything, and that’s OK. I can improve on the things that matter to me. Yes, people do things for reasons that seem good to them at the time, and while I might not always agree, I can at least try to understand. Shut up, little voices in my head. You’re not doing me any good.
4. I will remember to feed my body and soul
For all parents of toddlers, I prescribe the following: look in a mirror once a day and repeat ‘I AM A PERSON, I AM A PERSON, I AM A PERSON’. Being a parent of small children, wonderful though it undoubtedly is, makes you forget you ever had an existence outside of nappies and naptime. This year I want to remember that there are things I like to do too, separate from my boys or even my husband. I want to eat well. I want to read well. I want to chase up old interests I have forgotten. I am firm in the belief that you are a better mother when you mother with your whole self.
5. I will remember that Nutella on a spoon is an absolutely acceptable way to self-medicate through 5 – 6pm
Wish me luck. I don’t have very long.