As 2013 debuts, we thought we'd reflect on our New Year's parenting resolutions. Here's what we had to say and be sure to add your resolutions in the comment section below.
As a working parent, I'm often overwhelmed with "mommy guilt." I know I'm a good parent, but some days, I feel like I could do it better. So this year, my resolution is to play. It may sound trivial, but it's really simple: Leaving the dishes in the sink so we can color together. Checking email after she's gone to bed so we can have a dance party. Watching "Finding Nemo" without cleaning or picking up her toys. Pretty soon she'll be trading in her crayons for a cellphone and friends, and since I can't stop her from growing up, I need to work on spending more quality time. As 2013 rolls in, you'll find me at home with my effervescent daughter doing something fun. -- Jennifer Berger
I finally get it, and it took a year of soul-searching. Screaming accomplishes nothing, especially when it comes to relationships. And with that chilling realization, I look back over the nine years since becoming a mother and question everything I’ve done. Did I get Harrison to do what I wanted him to do every time? How has it affected him? How has it affected our bond? Have I hurt him in some way that I may not realize until years from now? Does he love me as much as he always seemed to? So this Dec. 31, as we hug each other around the television screen, I will whisper firmly, “Happy New Year, Harrison.” -- Valerie Kellogg
This parenting resolution is likely to benefit me more than my kids — I pledge to maintain my sanity as my son, a junior in high school, takes the SAT and visits college campuses, and my stepdaughter, a senior, learns which schools will open their doors to her. I won’t be swept into the acceptance/rejection hysteria, repeating to myself constantly that the colleges they get into will not determine the rest of their lives. -- Beth Whitehouse
Parenting is one of the most rewarding but difficult things I've ever done. In the new year it is my goal to continue to grow that special bond with my son, who is getting older, much too quickly for my taste. But I also want to have more fun with him. I want to travel more, let him explore different U.S. cities, other countries and cultures because he's at the sponge age (taking everything in and not forgetting a thing), and I think he will appreciate these experiences now and as he gets older. -- Shameka Dudley
I don't have a tradition of making New Year's resolutions, but a parenting book I read this year, "10 Mindful Minutes,” by Goldie Hawn, made me realize that I need to adopt more mindfulness in my life before I can teach my children how to do the same. As a busy working mother of three kids who is on the run from dawn to dusk, it's a herculean challenge for me to stop and take a "brain break." But I am more determined to adopt a more focused lifestyle so I can stop and smell the roses every now and then. -- Leema Thomas
My New Year’s resolution is to spend less time on my cellphone. It’s going to be easier said than done, but I’m positive it will make me a better parent. As a journalist, I often use my phone to take pictures and communicate with editors, so completely cutting the cord is impossible. But dropping the phone at home -- by abstaining from social networking, texting, game-playing and otherwise goofing around -- is very possible. I have a feeling my wife thinks so, too. Our 16-month old has started to pick up mannerisms that give me the impression I spend too much of my time with him on the phone. He’ll pick up my cellphone, hold it too his ear and babble incoherently for minutes -- a trait I’m positive he learned by watching me. The little guy also has somehow acquired three toy cellphones, and they are among his favorites. I appreciate that he wants to be like his old man, but I’m sure I have better qualities to emulate! So this will be the year I turn off the phone in the house. -- Patrick Whittle