First off, all New Year’s resolutions are pointless. Sure, they seem great on New Year’s Eve, even better when you’re hung-over on New Year’s Day, and maybe even pretty good in the middle of January. But by the time the Super Bowl comes around and you’re stuffing your face with nachos and washing all that cheese down with beer, your dreams of self-improvement are laid bare as the ridiculous delusions they are.
Falling prey to the resolution delusion is human nature. Everyone wants to improve themselves. Especially parents. Having kids is a constant war of attrition. Everything you like about yourself is slowly ground away, and any attempt to reclaim those attributes is met with resistance in the form of your annoying, needy crotchfruit. Even your attempts to be a better parent.
When you have kids, you are constantly looking for ways to get better at dealing with them. But for every hard-earned step forward, you take two backwards. Every day is a self-contained cycle of small victories and crushing defeats, and there isn’t a week that goes by without a shame spiral of self-doubt and self-assurances that you’ll do better. Of course, “next year” is the ultimate time to do better. It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to improve your body, your mental health or your sex life or your parenting; resolutions are futile.
Especially when it comes to parenting.
Here are the Top Ten totally pointless New Year’s Resolutions for Parents to completely ignore in 2014.
1: Drink Less: HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
2: Yell Less: The only way I’ll yell less is by yelling so much I lose my voice and am no longer able to yell.
3: Less TV for the youngsters: Look, be my guest, curtail your kids TV time. But don’t come crawling to me when you desperately need to take a shower and can’t reach for the shampoo without someone’s tiny, grabby little hands reaching past the shower curtain.
4: Exercise More: This is both pointless and inevitable. It’s pointless because after wrangling your kids, getting no sleep because of your kids, and generally being exhausted because of your kids, the motivation needed to go tire yourself out even more just doesn’t materialize. That said, it’s inevitable that you do get some exercise just by virtue of being a parent; half the job is constantly wrangling your kids, and chasing after your kids, carrying your kids to bed as they kick and scream, etc. You experience sudden bouts of elevated heart-rate without even trying. Sure, you accumulate more stress during that kind of exercise, rather than reduce it, but it’s still exercise!
5: Swear Less: This is possible, UNLESS YOU DRIVE.
6: Have More Sex: This depends on a lot of factors. Do you have a lock on your bedroom door? If so, do you have any trouble performing while someone is banging on said door/screaming through said door/hurting themselves on the other side of said door? If not, do you have enough energy to not pass out immediately after getting on the bed? If so, have you had a vasectomy? Yes? Then let’s get it on!
7: Read More Books: Unless by “more” you’re referring to reading the same book over and over, either a book of your own that you have to keep going back to and restarting because the gap in time between the last time you were able to pick it up and this current time was so long you’ve totally forgotten everything that happened OR a children’s book you’re forced to read out loud 500 times a year because your kid hates change, then yes, you’re gonna pull this off. But if you mean reading multiple books, don’t even renew that library card because book reading ain’t gonna happen.
8: Eat Better: The only way this happens is if my kid also eats better because I’m always finishing his half-eaten dinners, and since by the end of the day I’m just desperate for him to eat ANYTHING so he won’t starve to death, those dinners usually aren’t the picture of nutrition. Unless you think chicken nuggets shaped like dinosaurs are nutritious and if you do you’re wrong.
9: Drink Less: Did I say this already? Sorry, I’ve been drinking since Thanksgiving.
10: Mock My Son Less: This one’s mostly for me, since I write a blog that’s largely centered around mocking my son, and I’m not about to retire that blog anytime soon. But I bet it’s about some of you too. I love my son, as I imagine you love your kids. Venting about them, and occasionally mocking them, is nothing to be ashamed of, provided it’s usually done with love and out of earshot. I don’t hate my son and how dare you assume that I do just because I wrote a post called “Top Ten Reasons Why I Hate My Son”. Parenting is hard, just like life is hard, and if you can’t laugh at it, and mock it, and mock yourself, it’s just gonna be harder.
You can read more of Dad And Buried on his website.