I hate January.
It’s always cold and rainy and dark. It’s such a disappointment after the lights and warmth and fun of the Christmas season.
I am also usually really against the idea of making New Year’s Resolutions because in my experience they rarely succeed in staying around and making any real difference which only leads to further disappointment and self-loathing on top of all the rain and fog.
But I have a child now and instead of passing through January in a mope and a moan I decided that I should start practicing positivity and optimism.
So I tried to think of some resolutions. Maybe there would actually be something beneficial in the New Year, New Me thinking. Perhaps I could use this deliberate positivism to dust out the cobwebs from my life corners. I might find myself more fulfilled, more successful, happier… Don’t get carried away Kat.
Anyway, to the resolutions…
I thought I could resolve to stop being grumpy with my daughter. To stop feeling frustrated with her, or annoyed with her.
But that would have failed by lunchtime on the 1st January.
I thought I could enter a new healthy regime and finally lose the rest of my ‘I’ve just had a baby (more than a year ago)’ weight with no chocolate, crisps, cake, biscuits…
That would have ended by 10.30am on the 1st January.
And then I was back to my dislike of resolutions. I learnt a long time ago that I have a tendency to set myself unrealistic goals knowing full well that I won’t be able to achieve and thus failing before I’ve even begun. It’s a self-fulling cycle that I know a lot of people struggle with in one way of another and it takes a great deal of courage to break free.
So I pondered the idea of a resolution trying to find something that I wouldn’t fail at before I’d even started, but that would be something I could genuinely work at. An appropriate and manageable task. (The teachers out there will be thinking of SMART targets…)
And somewhere around the 8th January (still counts as ‘new year’) I settled on ‘guilt’. I once read that there are two different types of guilt: rightful guilt and unwarranted guilt. Rightful guilt of course serves a very important purpose, but unwarranted guilt can warp thinking and wrongly change perceptions. Self-berating is something I’m very good at and, going back to the point about how my life is different now that the little one is around, it is something that I want to conquer.
So I have bared my soul before the whole wide Internet to say that I am really, really, really going to try hard and work at not being guilty where it isn’t deserved.
So I’m going to make a concerted effort not to feel guilty when I get frustrated with the small one- I’m not a super-mum and she can be annoying. I’m going to try not to feel guilty when I sit down and watch TV instead of doing something ‘useful’. And I’m going to work on not letting guilt creep in when I stick my hand in the secret chocolate store (everyone has one) because sometimes it’s the little things that keep me going.
It’s definitely not going to be easy and I’m going to need the help of people who love me, but I want my little girl to see her mum being confident and true to herself. Not wallowing in guilt and self pity.
So bring it on 2016!