A new you?

Do you feel you need to change your life. Parenting readers share their plans…

Mum and baby playing

Moving overseas

‘My husband, Toby, and I have decided that we want our little girl to have a wonderful life, so we’re moving to Australia in the New Year to open a surfing shop. We’re both massively keen surfers and it’s our dream to raise our family by the sea, doing something we love. We sold our house last year and we’ve been renting ever since, sorting out visas so we’re all set to move. We’ve already been out there house-hunting and we’re determined to make this happen.
‘Some people think it’s a bit mad to start a new life so far away when you’ve just had a baby, but we feel that the timing is perfect! It’ll be wonderful for her to grow up in such a beautiful place where there’s sun and surf, and life is more relaxed and gently paced than it is here.’
Alice Jenkins, 37, mum to Daisy, 4 months


Lose weight

‘Not picking at the children’s leftovers would certainly be one of mine. Also not eating the chocolate our nanny brought back from holiday for the children – before they even knew it existed! My wife Elaine and I did that last night, the evil, lardy pair that we are!’
Carl Styants, 34, dad to Martha, 3, and Rhydian, 2

Chill out

‘My second child is due this month, and my resolution this time around is to wind down earlier and have more of a rest before the new baby arrives. Last time I worked like a demon until the last minute, and was actually baking a big batch of pies for the freezer when my waters broke.
‘After my baby, Anne, arrived, I realised that for at least the first three months you just have no free time – you hardly get any time to sleep, let alone sit down and enjoy a cup of tea. But with this second baby, Anne is going to be packed off to Granny’s so I can have lots of pampering and lie-downs before all the trouble starts again!’
Louise Fisher, 34, single mum to Anne, 2, and 8 months pregnant

Spring clean

‘My resolution is to get my house as organised as possible before our new baby arrives in February. Everyone keeps telling me to sit down, rest and make the most of the time I’ve got beforehand. But I know that if I don’t get jobs done now, such as making sure I can actually find bedding in the airing cupboard or giving the house a good old clean, they won’t get done for months after the baby arrives.’
Cathy Anderson, 31, 28 weeks pregnant

No more big toys

‘My new year resolution is not to buy any more enormous toys that won’t fit into the house!’
Tracey Roberts, 36, mum to Taya , 11, Alex, 10, Jo, 6, and Jackie, 3

No more bed-sharing

‘Since becoming a mum, I’m always busy even though I’m not working. My daughter still sleeps with my husband and me, so I’d like to get her into her own bed. I also need to find her a nursery and, most of all, cook her healthy food. I hope I can do all of that!’
Christine Donnely, 26, mum to Jasmine, 2

Give more quality time

‘Because of the big age gap between my two sons, my resolution is to make sure I give equal time to both boys, and also try to take care of their individual needs. I’m a childminder and sometimes the things I practise in everyday life with other children are lost when it comes to my own!’
Bobbie Smith, 42, mum to Joshua, 16, and Freddie, 4

A better routine

I recently had a little baby girl, Linda, so my resolution is to get her older brother, Mark, to start going to bed on time! I’m ashamed to say that, at the moment, it’s after 9pm before we get him upstairs.
‘My husband says we also need to get Mark to stop sucking on my finger, which he does as a comfort thing. But I think I’ll wait until he’s used to the new arrival before we start trying to wean him off that.’
Teresa Allen, 38, mum to Mark, 23 months, and Linda, 3 months

Become a business woman

‘I’m definitely going to start my own business this year. I really want to be my own boss so I can have flexible working hours and plan my time around the kids.
‘I’m a huge fan of baby signing, and I’ve wanted to teach it to other parents for ages. But I haven’t got round to it yet, as my second baby, Fox, is just 18 months old and I’ve been too busy looking after him.
‘My older daughter goes to a childminder three days a week now, and I think Foxy is just about ready to join her, which will give me some time to get the business off the ground. I just need to get organised; I’ve bought the website name – chatterbabies.co.uk – so now I just need to put everything into action!’
Marilyn Henderson, 36, mum to Nyah, 4, and Fox, 18 months


Stay calm but firm!

‘My wife’s due to have our second baby in January, and one of my resolutions is to be a lot calmer and more organised than I was with our first. When her waters broke, I literally ran around the house with my arms flapping in the air for 10 minutes, while she stood waiting for me to calm down so I could drive her to hospital.
‘My other resolution is to be more firm with the midwives – they didn’t believe the labour was going as fast as it was last time and they left us alone in the labour room with no pain relief as the contractions got stronger and stronger. Finally Cathy, my wife, said, “I have to push now.” I ran into the corridor, shouting, “She’s having it, she’s pushing!” and all the midwives dived into the labour room. It had only been six hours, but Cathy was already at the second stage. I still think she was really, really brave, and although the midwives were busy, I wished they’d kept a closer eye on what was happening.
‘We’re moving house and we’ll be living over an hour away from the labour ward this time around, so I’m going to make sure we’re there in plenty of time no matter what they say. Otherwise we might end up delivering our next little one in the car. Goodness knows how much I’d panic then!’
Steve Carter, 32, dad to Anne, 23 months

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