Five New Year resolutions every mum should make

Life with kids is hectic, but the new year is a perfect time to pause and take stock. Try these ideas for making next year your best one yet as a mum.

Here's one resolution to start with for the new year to come: let's not make any wild promises we know we can't keep.

It's all too easy to say we're going to give up biscuits or chocolate on New Year's Day after a season of indulgence. But when the stresses and strains of family life kick back into gear, it's only natural to fall back on tried-and-tested comforts.

So instead, we've tried to draw up a list of changes that you've got a real chance of sticking to. Give these ideas a try and it should make life easier and better for you as a mum.

And even if you do let a resolution slip, remember that you don't have to try too hard to change. Your family loves you just the way you are.

Cook from scratch

It's hard to make sure everyone gets their five-a-day when you're just pinging microwave meals. Investing a bit of extra time in planning the weekly shop and cooking can have a big impact on the family's nutrition.

But rustling up a freshly cooked weeknight meal can seem like one job too many at the end of a long day. That's why we gathered together a whole month's worth of cheap, easy and healthy dinners. So that's one less thing on your plate.

Spend time with the kids one-on-one

As a mum, you're constantly in demand, especially if you've got more than one little darling. When you're being pulled in several different directions at once, it can seem unfair just to focus on one of them at a time.

But just like your relationship with your other half, your relationships with your kids get stronger when you spend one-on-one time together. So take some time for plan a favourite activity with each of your kids in turn – they'll feel special, and so will you.

Be generous with praise

It's no fun as to feel like you're always having to be bossy with the kids and say “no”. There's no avoiding it sometimes – like when exploring fingers reach for the electric socket. But you'll feel better about laying down the law when you focus on the positive more.

Try to take a moment out of the hectic everyday routine to notice what's been going well and to tell them. You'll soon find the encouragement works wonders. (You can even try it with your other half – give a compliment, get more compliments back.)

Get fitter for your family

Being a mum is hard, physical work, whether you're lifting up a growing kid, carrying a week's worth of shopping or dashing from the school run to work. Getting fitter makes it all that little bit easier, though.

Getting back into regular exercise after having children can be intimidating, though, especially for the 43% of women who say that exercise triggers their sensitive bladder. So try packing Always Discreet pads in your gym bag: its DualLock core prevents wetness and odour for hours, you won't need to worry about little leaks as your stretch and strain.

Take more time for yourself

Resolutions? The last thing you need is more tasks added to your to-do list. So make this the last thing you plan to change: try to do a bit less and free up some me-time. Say no to more commitments. Delegate a few more jobs to your other half.

With the extra time you've clawed back, try to indulge yourself. Wear make-up that hasn't been applied by one of the kids and go on a date with your partner. Read a book, or take a long bath. Or just enjoy some peace and quiet – whatever you choose, you've earned it.

What's been your best new year's resolution as a mum? Share your suggestions in the comments below.