With the New Year upon us, I thought I would put down some random New Year’s-related thoughts. Some are resolution-type things, some are observations from the last year, and some are general hopes I have as a human being on this planet.
Cell Phone Moderation
As I shared here on Kveller before, I have been keeping my cell phone usage in check when I’m with my kids and would like to continue doing that. I have been pretty good and I don’t know that they notice, but they must realize they have more of me. It’s been good to be reminded what the present moment is. It’s not constantly checking a phone when there is a lull in conversation. Right, that.
Tempering The Temper
As I have also shared here on Kveller, I sometimes lose my mama temper. And I want to continue working on that. It means taking better care of myself (not enough sleep = lack of patience and tons of grumpiness = shouting; that equation I have certainly figured out). It means reaching out more to friends who I know struggle with the same things and not asking your friends who literally have endless patience and do not seem to have it in them to yell what to do because they will just tell you you’re doing great and everyone yells and kids are resilient and your kids know you love them. That’s all fine and sweet and nice and good, but it’s not true. I want to not yell. That’s the goal.
Don’t Act Like We’ve Been Through a War
Another mama goal is to not get to the end of each day with my kids as if we have just – God forbid – been through a war. Do you know what I mean? When they were toddlers I remember feeling like that. 5 o’clock would come and I just could not wait for it to be quiet so I would feed everyone in a mad rush and bathe them really quick and practically slingshot them into bed and then finally exhale, because I had been holding my breath since about 3 pm. I don’t like that. I don’t want that for me or my kids anymore. I need to find ways to let the end of the day be mellower. My mom used to let us watch TV after we did our homework, but I don’t have cable TV and sure, I could get something off Netflix but I honestly don’t use the TV like that. I want to find a way to have everyone chill out so we can enjoy the later parts of the day.
A lot of people hate Israel. And a lot more people than I thought would want to tell me they hate Jews. People also hate Zionists even though, from what I can tell, most no one knows what a Zionist is. The last thing I saw posted for my benefit was someone defending me I think, or trying to defend Jews maybe…
It read, “Not all Muslims are terrorists [true] and not all Jews are Zionists.” Ouch. I also saw someone post “I didn’t know you were a Zionist. Not following you anymore.” Ouch for the ignorance of this world, that assuming being a Zionist is legitimately equivalent to being a terrorist or, at best, someone not worth being associated with. Like it’s a crime. I hope this coming year we see education and progress in Israel and the Palestinian territories and throughout all of the Arab world so we can work this year towards peace, co-existence, transparency, and honesty.
I believe everyone would benefit from learning about Positive Discipline. Quality Parenting is the set of books and resources my group of friends and I used to yell less, not hit our kids, and have compassion for them rather than constantly dominate them. I worry about the relationships of the next generation based on how I see children routinely treated. I just do. My kids aren’t perfect and I’m not either, but it breaks my heart to see children yelled at because they are breaking some arbitrary rule their parents have made which more reflects the parents’ anxiety and neurosis than anything helpful or significant. Had to say it. People make up so many rules just to enforce them it seems. Research is proving that harsh discipline doesn’t “work.” I hope more people will get turned on to Positive Discipline. That’s a little wish of mine.
I don’t understand leggings and why women wear them in public. They look like tights you’d wear under a dress or at best yoga pants, which I would even feel too shy to wear in a yoga class. My kids think women have forgotten their clothing when they see women out in leggings. I sort of feel the same way. Maybe this year I will either understand leggings better or not have “You forgot your clothing, lady,” judgment in my head about them.