Parenting Guru: Our Family Resolution

For years when the kids were younger while I was still married to my ex-husband, I would sit down before the new year and craft this all encompassing list of what I wanted to accomplish in the new year. It would always have a category for self-improvement, the various things I hoped to achieve, and there was always a mini bucket list of places I wanted to go. During the course of the year, I would dutifully scratch through the list. It was great. For me. Of course, back then it was me against the world.

Life changed with my second husband.

With Sam, it was add kids and voila!...instant family. Only he didn't have a lot of experience being a family to begin with. Maybe that's part of why my list changed. Maybe it was because I saw a chance to have something I'd always wanted, but never felt I had. And so one New Year's Eve, the list became family focused. I saw the kids growing up, my time with them trickling away, and I was grasping at a way to keep us close, to make memories.

Our project became the inspiration for the best year of our lives and the record of that year became a book, Live the List, and has sparked a following on Facebook where we challenge each other to live our best lives. The first year that we decided to create lists to accomplish as a family went better than I imagined. It sparked a creativity in our lives that we hadn't felt before. It had us working together as a family, building our relationships, and bound us through a shared history.

I credit this lifestyle with saving our family. At a time when so many teens are going off on their own, spending time with their friends, and drifting away from their parents, we had one dedicated weekend a month where we grew together. I learned that the kids loved when I made homemade soup and homemade bread. I learned that Rachel is an amazing shopper. I discovered that when we let our playful side out, almost anything is possible. It was a really special year. And the thing about one special year is that then you want them all to be special.

And so our tradition continues. We have our lists for the year on the board. If we only accomplish a small portion of them we will still be incredibly well rounded, have had many adventures, and will never run out of things to talk about. I'm looking forward to it.

What are some resolutions you've made as a family?