So a new school term has started, hot on the heels of a new year. However you feel about new year's resolutions, there's no denying that this is a time of year that's ripe with change and new starts. Nobody really has the perfect family life – if they claim to then they're probably lying or in denial.
But there's no point in beating yourself up about the fact that you might be a more rubbish parent than you'd like to be. Allow yourself a clean slate for the new year, and make plans to start again.
So what will you and your family do differently this new term? What habit do you want to leave behind last year, and where do you want to start afresh? What worked well in 2009 and is worth carrying on with?
The aspect of our family life I'm focusing on this year is the morning routine – is there a way to do it that doesn't involve me shouting upstairs till I'm sick of the sound of my own voice? How can I get the children to take more responsibility for getting themselves ready in time?
The other thing I want to change is more family activities at the weekends, especially swimming. Last year I had a half-baked aim that we would all go swimming at least once a month, but that petered out once the weather got colder. So that's one to re-start and not make excuses to postpone. Might even put it in the diary and make it a definite appointment.
There is no magic solution to any of these, but if the way you are currently doing things isn't working, it's foolish to keep doing them the same way. Or worse, to simply moan about the fact that life isn't going to plan. Focus on the solution, not the problem, and you're already halfway towards solving it.
So what will your family be doing differently this New Term? Leave a comment and let us know