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Family Matters

10 New Year's Parenting Rationalizations

Forget resolutions! Cut yourself some slack with these guilt-reducing rationalizations for 2017

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The idea of new beginnings timed to the new calendar year is lovely...in theory. But in reality, come January 1, many parents are fresh off of a season of a) traveling, b) extended time with extended family, c) unstructured days away from school and daycare, and d) dozens and dozens of baked goods dyed green to look like holly. Does this sound like a time to treat yourself harshly? No way. Instead, take a break with these 2017 Parental Rationalizations.

1. Let's start with the obvious: Yes, Virginia, ketchup is a vegetable.

2. And actually, if it's the organic kind with no high-fructose corn syrup, it's almost as good as two vegetables. 

3. Matching socks are overrated and sometimes even a sign of uncreative parenting.

4. Other things that are overrated: folded laundry, all-family bike rides, a clean backseat of your car.

5. Think about it: Is instituting a family job wheel on your kitchen fridge going to make you more a) proud of your parenting, or b) disappointed in your otherwise wonderful children? I think we have our answer here.

6. Pajamas = same as long-johns. Layer up!

7. Officially: New Year's family greeting cards are more culturally, religiously, and spiritually sensitive. (Also, more on sale.)

8. Things that definitely do not count as screen time: Anything educational, reprogramming Daddy's wearable activity tracker, learning to sound out the words "hahahaha" and LOL by reading Mommy's texts over her shoulder.

9. If you keep the Christmas tree long enough, you can turn the experience into a science lesson.

10. A holiday thank you note sent in early January is...lovely, but expected. A holiday thank you note sent in late April is...an absolutely delightful surprise!

Lauren Smith Brody is the founder of The Fifth Trimester and author of the upcoming book, The Fifth Trimester: The Working Mom's Guide to Style, Sanity, and Big Success After Baby (Doubleday, April 2017).