1. When I forget to go to the grocery store, I will not boil the macaroni necklaces my children made for me in preschool.
2. I will pack the kids’ lunch boxes the night before so I don’t throw in a slab of frozen lasagna as they’re running for the bus. "It’ll defrost by lunch. If not, you can suck it like an ice pop."
3. I will resist the urge to explain to strangers why my son is wearing winter boots, a bathing suit bottom, and an inside-out and backward pajama top. I will be grateful that he is able to dress himself.
4. I will not tell my children that the Play-Doh dried up just because I don’t feel like cleaning up after they use it, even though I know it means I’ll spend the evening harvesting the colored stuff from the carpet fibers, chair cushions and the dog’s fur.
5. I will always protect the rights of my children, especially their right to remain silent.
6. I will learn to accept the outbursts and tantrums as a part of life. After all, I promised to love my husband for better or worse.
7. When my husband and I go to a restaurant without the kids, I will not roll up his sleeves or move the knives from his reach. I will not accompany him to the bathroom and remind him to wash his hands with soap. If my husband wants dessert at the end of the meal, I will not tell him it depends on his behavior.
10. I will develop an ability to have a conversation with an adult that doesn’t revolve around labor pains or children’s toilet habits. I will feel comfortable in the silence that ensues when neither of us can think of any other topic to discuss or remember we can always discuss the weather.
8. I will be more flexible about children’s nutritional requirements by counting the ketchup and green crayon as vegetables.
9. I will be a good, fair and loving parent to my children. I will provide them with enriching experiences and opportunities. I will give them a solid foundation on which to build a useful life. After all, they may eventually be responsible for choosing a nursing home for me to live out my final days.
From a sermon by Ned Bartlebaugh, "Resolving to Know Christ" 1/4/2009)
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