I FREAKING HATE reading articles about “New Year, New You!” I feel like that title should have been left in my late teen years. Yeah, I’m a little older now and a HECK of a lot wiser, and today I want to talk about why the “old you” isn’t so bad and why I don’t want you to fall into the “New Year, New You!” trap BUT, what a twin parent might want to do this year to be a “new” person.
When articles are titled “New Year, New You!” I say to myself “What the heck is wrong with the old me?” and it makes me start doubting myself. OH NO, THEY DIDN’T. Yeah, sure, maybe you wanted to exercise more last year and/or lose a few pounds…join the rest of the universe. And sure, maybe I didn’t get to take that family trip I wanted to, but you know what… I was surrounded by the love of my twinnies!
So instead of having a list filled with “take a yoga class” and “go for that teeth whitening you’ve been talking about”, today we are getting down and dirty on some things we wish for YOU this new year. Here are the Top Ten Things we think you should do to have a better year!
New Year, New You: Twin Parent Edition
Go to the bathroom with the door closed more often. With littles around, you might have to take quick bathroom breaks for yourself, meaning that in order to keep an eye on them, your bathroom door may stay ajar. While we don’t recommend you keeping the door open when company is over, we understand fully why you do it. Double the kids, double the trouble they can get into. This year, we hope that one bathroom break per week is with the door fully closed and that you can check your Instagram account in peace from the bowl.
Make more enjoyable meals. Get out of your grilled cheese and pasta rut! The reason isn’t for the twins, it’s for you! We know that many days your lunch is whatever the twinnies didn’t eat, so why not make something once a week that YOU like. Egg Salad fan, go for it! BLT aficionado, make it a double! Pad Thai lover, order two! Poké fan, do it! This will help expand your kiddos’ pallets and give you a better lunch selection if you are stuck eating only what’s left on their high chairs.
BACK UP everything! This is a serious one. If you’ve been taking pictures all year and they are ONLY on your smartphone, you need to back that sh*t up! You could easily have your phone thrown into a stream, the ocean or a toilet at any time during the year and losing those precious photos will break your heart. Amazon Photos, Snapfish, Shutterfly and Google Photos ALL have systems to back up your photos with a simple app. I personally recommend Google Photos because I can sort and search by face, place, and even say “show me circus pictures” in the search box. But please back ’em up. I have ZERO photos that I personally took from my twins’ 4th month-7th month because my hard drive crashed and I didn’t save ’em online. Boo! I suck! Thank goodness for friends and family who took a bunch of their own.
Have more fun. Did I just hear you ask, “what’s fun?” Yeah, it’s time for a tiny intervention. Having twins is like living on another planet. Each day is a new and each day your goal is to survive and thrive, but who said anything about “fun”? Listen, I’ll be the first to tell you that this one is a bit subjective. Some folks find it fun to clean the puke out of carpets and to go on a vacuum binge and banish the car of Cheerio crumbs, but not this girl. My kinda fun involves friends and laughing till my sides LITERALLY hurt. It’s not realistic to say that this will happen weekly or even monthly, but please make fun a TINY priority. Plan a girls night in, PJs welcome, bring your favorite beverage be it Titos or an egg cream (what, you don’t know what an egg cream is, Google it…you’ll thank me,) and plan to watch a movie that you’ll start, but then something funny will happen that will remind someone of a story, and they will tell it, and there goes the movie and the fun will really begin. Try to find some fun daily too, in a private way. Read a funny blog, listen to a funny podcast (Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me is my fave), and find a moment of joy each day. Please, if you don’t stop to smell the dirty diapers, you’re day will go by in a blink and you might feel like you’re trapped in the movie Groundhog Day (another good one!)
Dance! Dance! Dance! Like you don’t have enough to do, now I’m suggesting you dance? Yuppers! Start a family dance party tradition. When the witching hour strikes (typically between 9am-midnight) and the twinnies are grouchier then Oscar, crank up your favorite jam and D-A-N-C-E. The kids can be 2 months old or 20 years old, dancing is universal. Don’t even suggest they dance too (clearly this is only for my walking crowd), but YOU dance. Don’t worry about graphic lyrics or your dance moves. Just shake it out! If you start this now, by the time they are big enough to have big problems, dancing will save the day. Dancing not only gets your blood pumping, but it will make you smile. No one has bad memories of dancing. No one dances during a funeral, a breakup, or the time you forgot to buy groceries, so dancing is connected with good memories. PLEASE create a playlist today with some of your favorites and title it “Dance Emergency”. My suggested songs: Walking on Sunshine by the Bangles, I Feel Good by James Brown, Come On Eileen by Dexy’s Midnight Runners, Brand New Key by Melanie, Uptown Girl by Billy Joel are just a few! Start with those, turn it up to 11, and I dare you to have a bad time!
F*&k the guilt! Pardon my French (yes, I’m totally aware that that wasn’t French, my apologies to all our French-speaking families.) Tell me, what purpose does guilt serve? Does it ever make you feel better? Does it make your family feel better? Listen, I was raised by a Roman Catholic Italian mom who literally has her own guilt language. My mom rocks, don’t get me wrong, but she has a Ph.D. in guilt. Try not to guilt the kids and, more importantly, don’t guilt yourself. I can name you a dozen things I wish I would have done this year, but didn’t. The guilt sometimes eats at me when I close my eyes at night, but the next day, I wake up and TRY to do at least one thing eating me. Instead of letting things bother me, I just write ’em down (or create a voice memo) and “let it go”, like the song tells me to do. That mom/dad guilt BS is such a waste. Use your time for better things like showering or sneaking a drive-through meal after your grocery store run.
I can go on for days with “New Year, New You!” tips, but these are my big ones. Don’t wait till January to make changes. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY gives you an opportunity to do things better than you did yesterday and the next day will give you another new opportunity. Don’t say “it’s too late” or “I’ll worry about that tomorrow”, just live happily TODAY whatever that means. Smile more, laugh more, love more. That’s what you need to do this year. That’s it. Those are your top three requests from your friends at Twiniversity. Smile. Laugh. Love!
Now go pop a bottle of champagne or sparkling grape juice (Welch’s new Rose is awesome) and start your year with hope and a smile!
Happy New Year Everyone!