My New Year’s Resolution: A Just Do It Pact With Kids


I hate New Year’s Resolutions. When I make one, I feel like a politician, promising what I can’t or won’t end up delivering, which, frankly, sucks. I feel worse after the empty promise than I did before I made it.

That’s why my philosophy has always been in line with a Nike ad: Just Do It – or Don’t. Either way, there’s never any reason to whine about what’s not getting done.

I have come to believe that your feet speak. If they are not moving, you’re not moving them for a reason. Full stop.

But things need changing, and the fact that it’s now 2013 is all the kick in the pants I need to get everyone’s feet moving. Everyone’s that is, but mine, which are already moving enough for all of us.

So how’s this for a resolution? This year, I resolve to STOP doing everything around here.

Vacation was no time to set new house rules. We all work hard and holidays are for all, kids included. After months of regimen – grunty mornings, boring classes, homework backlog, exams, lessons, appointments, nagging – the teens and tween deserved some slack. If I don’t have to make lunches, I reasoned, why should they have to hang up their coats?

That last line got a lot of air time this holiday. I told it to myself again and again as I let them sit on screens until after I turned in then waited til midday to see their faces. I repeated it to the husband as I tripped over shoes in the hall and stepped on crumpled clothes that still had tags on them. I whispered it aloud as I made beds and carried bowlfuls of rotting fruit to the sink, looking every bit the underpaid butler.

And now, my friends, it’s 2013. The holiday is in the rear view and my generosity of time and spirit has expired. So in honor of the new year, I’m resolving to Just Do It – Or Don’t, as the case may be.


Here’s the deal, Kids. You Just Do It and I will, too, OK? You don’t, I don’t. Fair?


1. When you hear the doorbell ring, get off your screen and your butt and run (don’t stroll) down the stairs to answer it. Whatever you do, don’t just sit there ignoring the sound, figuring someone else will crack first. I know how you HATE being left in the cold for all of two seconds, but believe me, I’d love to watch the end of Parenthood without interruption.

2. After you are done using my shower, kindly remove your wet towels and dirty clothes from my bathroom floor fast, or at least before I need to spray perfume to eliminate the stink. Of course, I’d be happy to start using your bathroom instead, if you insist.

3. When you see I’m carrying groceries, do us both a favor and help your mom without being asked. No sighs, no eye rolls, no arguments, even when we reach the kitchen and then – yes, it’s coming, you know it’s coming – help put them away. Otherwise, how about I save my breath and the strain on my aging back and we just agree to eat out of the trunk of the van all week?

4. In case you didn’t realize this, we five family members share dog duty which includes walking and scooping. So how about on the days you don’t do your part, the Big Guy camps out in your room for the night. Get it?

5. Read carefully now: If stuff isn’t where it’s supposed to be, oh well. Lemme spell that one out for you. I can’t make lunch if I have nothing to put it in, ie, yesterday’s lunchbox is not in the drawer. I can’t do laundry that is not in the hamper. I can’t dish out supper on plates scattered all over the house.

6. Also, if you’re too busy on your computer to say hello or answer a simple question about your day, no problem. But please don’t complain when it’s 12:45, I’m deep in a Scrabble game and you need to ask if I can drive you to a 1:00 movie.

7. And lastly, if I do ask you to do something – take out the garbage, clean a pot – try not to forget. Or next time you need a new razor or hockey stick or running shoes, I’ll be happy to oblige. Yeah, I’ll get right on it. When I remember.

HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYONE! Got any resolutions you care to share?

About randi

Randi Chapnik Myers & Mara Shapiro don't get fazed by their teens. At least they try not to.


  1. This is so great, Randi!

    I love it because each point makes perfect sense. I think I will steal it and have my boys sign it.

  2. If it works, let me know!

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