Letter from the Editor January 2012

Jenna Hammond

A resolution offers motivation to make yourself a better person or accomplish an individual goal. However, a big part of the equation in achieving an inspirational feat is how your resolution affects your family or the overall community. Likewise, I solicited resolutions from my work family to see how co-workers are pledging to make a difference in 2012. Maybe some of their responses will provide inspiration for putting your best selves forward as people and parents.

“I would like to volunteer for an environmental cause,” reveals associate editor Rachel Kalina. “One of my resolutions is to be a better listener to my family members,” says associate editor Kayla Mossien. “I want to make sure both of my kids get equal attention from me,” adds art director Ilana Rispoli, who recently welcomed a baby boy to her brood. “With the new arrival, I don’t want my oldest daughter to feel left out. Oh and I need to get my body back!”

Eight months pregnant, I relate to Rispoli’s desire to get in shape after my baby arrives. A former half marathon runner, I have visions of jumping on the fitness bandwagon whenever I can sneak in exercise once my baby boy is born. Either way, my colleague and I can solicit advice from “Resolving to End Emotional Eating” by Dr. Ben Michaelis, Ph.D., if we find ourselves grabbing food in moments of stress... or off of our children’s plates absentmindedly. Though the article has insight for people with a dysfunctional relationship with food, it dually gives guidance to those of us intending to remain healthy parents who feel great not just in the new year but always.

But while I identify with Rispoli’s hankering to reclaim my physique in 2012, like her I have something else I want to accomplish more. As I prepare to raise my child, I aim to mimic my mom as the most patient and devoted mother I know.

Charged with raising two daughters as a single parent after my father passed away when I was age 8, my mother seldom hesitated in putting her children’s needs before her own. Because of mom, quality family time was a constant and unconditional love abounded. If I am half as tolerant as my mother, I know my baby-to-be will feel beyond adored and grow up to be confident and composed even when life gets cumbersome.

To this day, mom still enjoys being my right-hand woman. However, I’m relinquishing her of parental duties so she can relish her new role as a grandmother since my sister also recently welcomed a baby. (Congrats, sis, on beautiful Annabelle Sophie!) Fortunately, I have a great backup authority on being a patient and devoted parent (aside from my amazing sister, of course) thanks to David J. Palmiter, Ph.D., ABPP, the author “Finding Time.” Flip to the article for ten tips to make quality family time a priority no matter what life throws at you. I’m sure Rispoli will appreciate the wisdom in Palmiter’s first pointer that deals with giving every child your undivided attention on a regular basis. Later in tip five, the author stresses the importance of making self-care and your marriage top priorities, something we all should keep in mind as we seek to nurture ourselves and our partners as well as our kids.

And when all else fails, consider art director and parent extraordinaire Susanne Kimball’s resolution: “to not sweat the small stuff so much. Life is too short!” Don’t even say you’re sweating the big stuff, like choosing the ideal school for your child this year. We have you covered there too with “What is the Best School for Our Family?” by admissions pros Jennifer Brozost and Vimmi Shroff. Plus, in true PARENTGUIDE News style, the trusted Education Directory follows the article, allowing families such as yours to find the optimum home away from home for your kids by reading about the leading schools and programs in your area. Whenever you get frazzled, you can always rely on us.

Happy new year and enjoy the issue.

Jenna Hammond